REVIEW: Turning Red (2022)

n Disney and Pixar’s all-new original feature film “Turning Red,” 13-year-old Mei Lee “poofs” into a giant panda when she gets too excited. “Turning Red” is available exclusively on Disney+ right now. – Photo: Disney/Pixar.

Directed by Domee Shi (Bao) – Screenplay by Julia Cho & Domee Shi.

Turning Red, the 25th feature-length film from Pixar Animation Studios, takes place in Toronto, Canada in 2002 and follows a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl named Meilin Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), who thinks of herself as a grown-up and who dedicates a lot of her time to honoring her parents. However, things are about to change for Meilin. She both wants to take care of her family’s Chinese temple and go to a boy band concert with her supportive best friends, even though her mother doesn’t trust her friends and despises the boy band. Over night, something changes for Meilin, and when she wakes up she has turned into a huge red panda. She finds out that she can turn back into her normal self, but every time she has a strong feeling she goes right back to being this mythological panda, which obviously freaks her out.

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REVIEW: The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchell family (voiced by Maya Rudolph, Abbi Jacobson, Michael Rianda, and Danny McBride) in THE MITCHELLS vs. THE MACHINES — Photo: Sony Pictures Animation / Netflix.

Directed by Michael Rianda (Gravity Falls) — Screenplay by Mike Rianda & Jeff Rowe.

Sometimes it’s difficult to really gauge whether or not the hype for a film is justified or not. From the outset, what I had heard about The Mitchells vs. The Machines sounded really good. The premise was neat, I liked what I had seen of its animation style in trailers, but I wasn’t sure if it would work as a total package once I finally felt ready to sit down and watch the film, which had been on my watchlist for quite some time. The reactions that I had heard from my peers also made it sound like far and away one of the best animated films in years, which was overwhelming information that I didn’t know what to do with at that moment since I was a little bit too busy when it was released. I ended up waiting a considerable amount of time before I finally watched it, which meant that when I finally felt the urge to start up Netflix and watch their Lord & Miller-produced animated hit, the hype had sort of died down at least a little bit. So, having now seen the film, do I think the hype was justified? Well, yeah. Though I was trepidatious initially, the film more than won me over.

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