‘Turning Red’: a Delightful Millennial’s Paradise for the Whole Family

Wondering if Turning Red is scary for kids or worth a watch with the whole family? This is our spoiler-free Turning Red review.

Millennials, grab your Tamagotchis, Nano pets, and get ready to Bop along with Pixar’s Turning Red. It’s a GenY2K paradise with so many throwbacks from the glory year that was 2002. I wasn’t expecting much going in, and this is the first Pixar movie I can remember them not being excited to watch. Now? They’ve all watched it multiple times and 2 out of 3 of my kids can’t wait to watch it exclusively streaming on Disney+ March 11th. So let’s get into it in this spoiler-free review. 

What I liked

There’s a lot to love, and to avoid any spoilers I’m going to keep this very high level for now. The animation style was just as beautiful as most Pixar movies, but infused with a familiar fun anime style. Avid Sailor Moon fans will recognize the often exaggerated emotions and features. My 3-year-old daughter Lee Lee loves some kiddie anime and I think that’s one reason she loves Turning Red so much. It’s hard not to get pulled into what the characters are feeling.

Is Turning Red Scary for kids: Movie Review. Mei Mei hides from her overbearing mother
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The story is exciting, and relatable. Mei Mei is only 3 years younger than I was in 2002 and I’m empathetic to her coming of age struggles with an overbearing mom. The story has you on the edge of your seat waiting to see how it’ll end. Along with all of that, you get a beautiful story about family, friendship, trust, and growing up. I was happy that my kids were able to have such good takeaways.

Diversity and Inclusion

I wanted to give this it’s own section because diversity is a beautiful part of this film. Not only with the Asian Canadian family and culture, which is beautiful, but also among many of the characters with different hair types, braces, glasses, smart girls, emo kids, and spotted glucose monitors on at least two students. 

Turning red mother and daughter have uncomfortable chats about puberty
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I worried this movie might be another Disney movie that turns a person of color into an animal or creature for most of the movie but that is not the case with Turning Red.

Is Turning Red Scary for Kids?

If you’re planning on watching this movie as a whole family you might be wondering if Turning Red is scary, or has parts that might scare young kids. Admittedly, my 3-year-old is quite the thrill seeker, so probably not the best to compare to for what might scare your children. There are a couple of brief moments that might be scary for some young viewers. One with quick strange scenes flashing during a nightmare (meant to be a mix of spooky and funny). And other moments where you may be temporarily worried for a character’s safety, but it is paired well with humor.

There’s also some more grown up content involving periods, puberty, crushes, and growing pains. I adored it but at times my tween wasn’t digging it. Maybe in a couple years. 

Is Turning red scary for kids
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

What My Kids Thought

Speaking of what my tween, and other kids thought, each of my kids have some insightful takeaways and critiques about the movie that may help you gauge if your family will enjoy it. 

Jayda is my 11, Ty is 8 and Lee Lee (periodically answering a question) is 3 and a half. 

What did you think of ‘Turning Red’?

Jayda: I thought it was ok, but some parts I didn’t like but some parts I really liked.

Ty: I liked it.

Why did you/ didn’t you like it?

Ty: I just liked that there’s a red panda. 

Jayda: I liked how it was put together. I liked the 2nd half more. Especially the ending. But I didn’t like that the girl seemed to care more about her friends. I didn’t like how they made the mom seem a little mean. And I think they tried to make friends seem like a big deal and I feel like there should have been more family. I didn’t like how she kept secrets from family. 

What was the funniest part to you? 

Jayda: I can’t say without spoiling it. 

Ty: Well maybe when… Well, I don’t want to spoil it. 

Turning red parent movie review
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

What was your favorite part? 

Ty: What if I spoil? 

Jayda: When they were getting creative to raise money. 

Lee Lee: Kind of when she turned into the red panda. 

Would you recommend it to your friends? 

Jayda: Maybe

Ty: I would, I think they would like it. 

What lesson did you learn? What message was the movie trying to get across?

Jayda: I feel like there were lots of little lessons. Maybe be yourself. 

Ty: You don’t always need to be perfect. You don’t need to be someone else, you don’t always have to be like your mom or family or ancestors.

Lee Lee: I learned how to turn into a red panda. 

Who was your favorite character?

Ty: The red panda. 

Lee Lee: The red panda. I love the red panda. I love Mei Mei! And the mad girl who was her friend. Abby!

Jayda: The red panda.

Turning red age for kids
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Who would you recommend this movie to? 

Jayda: Maybe people who are into Chinese culture or people your (my mom’s) age. 

Ty: I don’t know. I would recommend it to kids and young teenagers. 

Lee Lee: Yes, my friends. McKayla is my friend. 

Do you think it’s for older kids? 

Jayda: Some younger kids might not get things. 

Ty: I think it can be for both. 

Did you think Turning Red is scary?

J: No. 

T: No. Not even for little kids. 

Lee Lee: No, it was fun. It was good. 

turning red movie review
© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Do you want to watch it again? 

Jayda: No, I’ve seen it too many times. (Twice).

Ty: Yes, even though I watched it 4 times. 

Lee Lee: I do!

How would you rank it compared to other movies we’ve seen recently? 

Jayda: I liked Sing 2 more. I liked Ron’s Gone Wrong more. And Encanto.  

Ty: I liked this more than Encanto, Ron’s Gone Wrong is very close. It’s so hard! It’s close but Ron’s Gone Wrong is the winner. I think I like this a point and a half more than Sing 2. 

What would you rank it out of 10?

Ty: I would give it maybe like 3.4 out of 5 stars. 4 and a half out of 10.

Jayda: 2 out of 5, 4 out of 10. 

Lee Lee: I give it a 4.

Would it be a good movie night pick for someone?

Ty: Maybe

Jayda: Probably older families. Younger families I don’t know. It depends, 6,7 or 8 you’re wondering about stuff. If you’re younger you like the red panda, if you’re older you get it. 

Turning Red is exclusively streaming on Disney+ March 11th. 

Will you be watching? When you do, come let us know what you thought!

Wondering how our Turning Red movie review might compare to yours? Here are some other movies we’ve reviewed:

Like watching movies together as a family? We’ll you’ll LOVE our new Movie Night Journal!:

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One Comment

  1. This movie was so adorable! I remember reading there was some controversy but I couldn’t understand what for. Your children’s answers were so insightful. My daughter is 11 and she and I loved it, the panda especially, it was so beautiful and cuddly. And that boy group was hilarious

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