Turning Red Deserved its Theatrical Triumph

By: Isaac P. Ale
April 08, 2022

turningred2 Turning Red [2022]


I've been a pretty big detractor when it comes to Pixar animation domination (sorry FOX) and how it ruins the Academy Awards. Specifically giving Soul Best Animated Feature over WolfWalkers in the 2021 Oscars and giving eventually Encanto the same award over Flee in this year's.

And disclaimer here, I'm not upset about Pixar or am a Pixar-hater in any sense of the word. Soul and Encanto are spectacular movies don't get me wrong. However the innovation and boundary pushing we see from smaller studios that put out movies like Flee, Wolfwalkers, The Mitchell's vs. The Machines test the limits of the animation medium. Nowadays when we get these amazing movies, they aren't rewarded much of anything outside of a good tomatometer

Essentially what I'm getting at is that every year Pixar puts out a movie, it is going to be nominated for Best Animated Feature and possibly to probably win it. The only reason I say possibly is because Pixar and Disney beat themselves all the time.

So why is it that you have the newest edition of Pixar's prize winning films and Disney decides instead of having a theatrical run (FYI The Batman just surpassed $350 million at the BO) it will stream exclusively on Disney+??

It was an interesting decision for sure but after actually watching the film I'm even more baffled. Turning Red is an instant Pixar classic, amongst the ranks of Finding Nemo and Inside Out, two of the top rated and reviewed Pixar films of all time. What is under all the layers and allusions is a beautiful film about family, discovering one's self and growing into adulthood.

Taking place in Toronto Canada, Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) is 13 year old straight A student who one day finds herself transformed into a giant red panda. Pretty quickly, if it wasn't too obvious to begin with, we're informed that the red panda is actually a metaphorical representation of Meilin having her first period (with more to it later on, trying to not spoil here). Its not as glaringly obvious as Plan B but it works well within the parameters of the film and plot along with it. Attempting to hide the truth from her overbearing mother Ming (Sandra Oh) sets off the chain reaction of events that continuously spiral throughout the film.

But this film isn't just about getting your first period or navigating your burgeoning adulthood. Maybe more so the latter than the former but through metaphors and allusions, Pixar has created a film for all ages that centers on self-discovery along with respecting or paying homage to those that came before you. It has this perfect balance of Meilin wanting to choose her own path in regards to the panda and its history throughout her family's roots, while also paying the respect to Ming and Ming's mother before her. This idea of becoming who you want to become, while also respecting and acknowledging the elders that worked hard to get you where you are is incredibly well done in the film.

Not to mention Pixar created a boy band in the film, 4 Town, which I just learned, Hopster will be quite pleased, that Jordan Fisher is the lead singer! And Finneas O'Connell is one of them too?! I mean what can't this man do??

All in all I adored Turning Red. I think Chiang is a rising star and can't wait to see her in more projects. Sandra Oh is fantastic as always along with James Hong who is an absolute blessing to have on the screen in any capacity.

Lastly I'll give a shout out to director Domee Shi who has been working with Pixar for some time now in the Animation Department for great films like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. You might also remember a little picture she directed a while ago, Bao, which took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Needless to say, Shi knows what she's doing and did it to perfection in Turning Red, I thought it was a finely crafted film through and through and can't wait to see what else she takes part in!


Well you already knew I was picking a red ale for this didn't you? I mean its in the title people!

What I curated for you on this fine day is a product of the wonderful Stoup brewery over in the Ballard area of Seattle. Their Northwest Red Ale, to be exact, is a fine combination of hoppiness, smooth drinking, and malt. But what you get near the end is a nice little hint of chocolate, along with the sweet sweet junction of hops and malt. Its a well rounded beer where no flavor interferes with the others, and the chocolate is actually placed quite well on the palette.

I thought about ending with a cheesy joke about how this beer won't turn you into a red panda but I figured that might be so bad it upsets people.

Upset to the point of Turning Red, thank you thank you I'll be here all week!

Northwest Red Ale
Red Ale - American | 5.0% ABV
Stoup Brewing

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