On March 11th, 2022, Turning Red debuted on Disney+, and received a myriad of positive and loving reviews as we follow a young girl going through more than the average teen. 

Turning Red is Disney and Pixar’s newest release, and sees Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a bubbly, star student go about her busy day-to-day life at school, then working at the temple with her mother. 

However, despite Mei think she’s sure about who she is, something rather odd happens. Shortly after her 13th birthday, Mei wakes up and realises she’s turned into a giant red panda overnight! 

At first, Mei is terrified of her new power, which allows her to turn into the creature when she feels any overbearing emotion, but after realising that it makes her even happier than before, she decides to fight for this new version of herself. 

Meet the all-female team behind Turning Red! / Picture Credit: Disney+
Meet the all-female team behind Turning Red! / Picture Credit: Disney+

Yesterday (March 15th, 2022), Pixar released the trailer for Embrace the Panda: Making Turning Red, which allows fans behind the scenes to see how Mei’s story came to life. 

Audiences will be able to meet the all-female team behind Turning Red, as well as an introduction to director Domee Shi. 

Shi, alongside her leadership crew, worked incredibly hard to highlight the powerful professional, and personal, adventures that brought this emotional, comical, and deeply relatable story to the screen. 

Some, however, have criticised Turning Red for its depiction of women growing up, namely the scene in which Mei states she is a “gross red monster”, and her mother thinks this is because she has begun her period, not because she’s turned into a red panda, which is a fair assumption. 

Mei's friends love her adorable powers / Picture Credit: Disney+
Mei's friends love her adorable powers / Picture Credit: Disney+

However, this is the beauty of this film, as entering adulthood is a scary thing. Turning Red doesn’t ignore this fact, and instead makes it a relatable and understandable theme for anyone watching. 

Embracing the Panda: Making Turning Red (and Turning Red) is streaming on Disney+ now. 

Turning Red is a genuinely wonderful movie, where the only ‘villain’ is the experience of growing up. 

Puberty can be hard and, as a woman myself, it was great to learn that the team behind this movie were women, and the film definitely benefitted from this. 

Mei is a unique character, as puberty only sees her unlock more of who she already is. This feature was a joy to watch, and I can’t wait to see how the all-female team created such a beautiful, emotional, and relatable film. 

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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