Take this Turning Red Quiz and find out can you name all the Turning Red characters. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most fun quiz.
This critic had a massive crush on a boy one year her senior in middle school when she was barely a young teen.
I’m not sure if we were already dating when I foolishly filled my notebook with his name and some sappily romantic sentiments one evening, not realizing that the embarrassing pad would soon be discovered by my annoyingly overprotective detective of a mother. But I do recall sweating in shame, fear, confusion, and panic as she yanked the notebook from under me (in desperation, I sat on it to unsuccessfully hide the evidence of my young love) and began flipping the pages in shock and anger.
Imagine my surprise as I watched Oscar-winning “Bao” director Domee Shi’s masterful animation “Turning Red13-year-old “‘s central character go through a similar experience with her own mother! The heroine in question is the overachieving Meilin (Rosalie Chiang)—Mei to her loved ones—who are growing up too fast in the early aughts in Toronto, with her developing hormones and changing body amid her Chinese-Canadian family. Also, you must try to play this Turning Red Quiz.
Turning Red Quiz
She may be a slightly dorky straight-A student, but no one can stop her from noticing all the good-looking boys—particularly a local store clerk—that she and her best friends frequently gush over. That anyone includes Mei’s disciplined, willowy mother Ming (Sandra Oh), who is furious when she discovers Mei’s notebook of suggestive heartthrob drawings. In the midst of navigating all of these intense emotions, what is Mei to do but literally turn red and POOF, transform into a furry, monstrously cute red panda? (Why hadn’t I considered this when I was similarly busted?) And, more importantly, where was this film when I was a kid?)
And that is the brilliance of “Turning Red,” a radical, brazenly hormonal PG film that instantly fills a huge void in the lives of awkward, novel female teenagers who may be crawling out of their childhood cocoons with a disharmony of mystifying awakenings and sexual feelings. That achievement may come as no surprise coming from Pixar, a studio known for delivering a generous dose of reflective, grown-up nostalgia as well as a good old-fashioned coming-of-age saga. After all, weren’t some of the fiercely inventive animation house’s best characters—from the talking dolls of the “Toy Story” franchise to the corporeal feelings of “Inside Out,” the rebellious princess of “Brave,” and the aspiring young musician of “Coco”—gloriously defined by its signature preoccupations? Even for the studio that brought us the groundbreaking animated sci-fi “WALL-E,” “Turning Red” (which deserves a lot better than the straight-to-streaming fate Disney has bestowed upon it) feels pioneering and surprising. To begin with, no Disney female has ever been asked, “Has the red peony blossomed?” as a question about the start of her menstruation.
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In this regard, “Turning Red” is both a triumphant thematic homecoming for the company and a welcome outlier within the Pixar canon, which is, with a few exceptions, typically dominated by male-centric narratives. What’s more, it has a recognizable foundation with shades of various superhero stories and the likes of “Teen Wolf” (1985 one). You know, stories about boys and men hiding behind their alter egos as they try to make sense of the new eyes with which they see the world. “Turning Red,” written by Shi and Julia Cho, passes the torch to Mei, unearthing something both culturally specific and universal through its Chinese-Canadian protagonist, clearly fashioned by the co-writers with heaps of personal memories and loving insights.
It’s a delight to follow Mei as she discovers her inner red panda and realizes that as long as she maintains a cool and collected demeanor devoid of emotions, with a little help from her friends, the pink brute will not take over. Who knows, she might even be able to live a normal life and have some fun along the way. But it’s easier said than done when you’re a teen defined by your erratic mood swings and the amount of time you spend with your equally erratic group of friends. Mei’s girlhood clan includes the sharp-tongued Abby (Hyein Park), the nonconformist Miriam (Ava Morse), and the laid-back Priya (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). The celebrated quartet swings from one snafu to the next, doing everything they can to see their dreamy boy band 4*Town perform live. (Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, members of the five-piece band, do have some actual bangers in the film.) But, with Mei’s plush red panda swaying their plans, the friends find themselves at a fork in the road that directly affects the young Mei’s future.