Reactions to Pixar's next film Turning Red are starting to come in – and the movie is being praised as a unique, heartwarming coming of age story.
The film focuses on teenage girl Meilin Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), who turns into a giant red panda whenever she's particularly emotional. Domee Shi, who helmed the Pixar short Bao, directs.
"TURNING RED is a cute coming of age story whose obvious metaphor is bolstered by lively voiceover work from Rosalie Chiang, an emotional mother-daughter relationship, Ludwig Göransson’s score & the relatable anxieties of adolescence. A quirky, honest & enjoyable effort from Pixar," writes Next Best Picture's Matt Neglia (opens in new tab).
Variety's Jazz Tangcay (opens in new tab) thinks very highly of Chiang's voice work: "#TurningRed is pure joy and absolute fun. Thoroughly enjoyable. A wonderful story about puberty and parenting from Domee Shi with a catchy soundtrack to boot. Rosalie Chiang is going to be a star."
Critic Amanda Taylor (opens in new tab) finds the film emotional: "Disney's TURNING RED is a beautiful coming-of-age tale of finding oneself and accepting those qualities deemed "imperfect." Parents will relate to the struggle of letting go. PIXAR does it again and will pull at all the heart-strings and envoke all the tears."
Writer Tessa Smith (opens in new tab) agrees that the film is a tearjerker: "I related so hard to Turning Red. As a mom of girls & as a boy band fanatic. I get Mei, but I also get Ming. This a HEARTWARMING coming of age film about mothers & daughters, growing up, & embracing who you are -- beautiful in many ways. The end moved me to tears."
"Turning Red is Pixar's take on Teen Wolf, and it's as cute as it sounds. Heart and humor abound in this tale of the bumps along the way to becoming a young adult. Tween girls likely will respond the most here, but there's lots for everyone. I had a great time," says Awards Radar's Joey Magidson (opens in new tab).
Polygon's Matt Patches (opens in new tab) thinks the film is one of a kind: "Loved Turning Red. The specificity – of mother-daughter bonds, heritage, cartoon touchstones, millennial pop crushes – sets Domee Shi's coming-of-age story apart from other Pixar (or any big animated features, really). Vivid physical animation, Satashi Kon heart."
Critic and Variety writer Courtney Howard (opens in new tab), meanwhile, has some slightly unusual praise: "#TurningRed/ #PixarTurningRed is hilarious, heartfelt & unapologetically horny. A sentimental story about parental problems, puberty & pandas that's endearingly oddball & off-kilter in the best way. Good world building & teen bops. Sandra Oh & newcomer Rosalie Chiang are splendid."
Turning Red releases on Disney Plus this March 11. While you wait, check out our guide to the best movies on Disney Plus streaming now to fill out your watchlist.