Turning Red

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Turning Red
Directed byDomee Shi
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Domee Shi
  • Julia Cho
  • Sarah Streicher
Produced byLindsey Collins
  • Mahyar Abousaeedi
  • Jonathan Pytko
Edited by
  • Nicholas C. Smith
  • Steve Bloom
Music byLudwig Göransson
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • February 21, 2022 (2022-02-21) (Everyman Borough Yards)
  • March 11, 2022 (2022-03-11) (Disney+, United States)

October 7, 2022 (Theatrical)
October 21, 2022 (China)
February 9, 2024 (Theatrical, United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1][a]
CountriesUnited States
Budget$175 million[2]
Box office$3.8 million

Turning Red is a 2022 American computer animated fantasy comedy movie produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It was directed by Domee Shi. The movie stars the voices of Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Orion Lee, Wai Ching Ho, Tristan Allerick Chen and James Hong.

The movie is set in Canada, Toronto in 2002.

Characters[change | change source]

  • Mei - A 13-year-old girl.
  • Miriam - Mei's 13-year-old best friend.
  • Tyler - A 14-year-old boy.

Plot[change | change source]

In 2002, Meilin "Mei" Lee is a 13 year-old Chinese-Canadian girl who lives in Toronto. Mei helps take care of the Lee family's temple to their ancestor, Sun Yee. She works to make her strict, overprotective mother, Ming, proud. She tries to hide her personal interests from Ming, such as her crushes on boys and that she and her best friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby are fans of the boy band 4*Town.

After having a nightmare, Mei suddenly wakes up to discover that she has turned into a large red panda. After hiding it from her parents, Mei discovers that she only transforms when she has high emotions. At first her parents believe her problem is caused by her first period. Later, Ming finds out the truth when she embarrasses Mei at school, causing her to transform into a red panda.

Ming and Jin, Mei's father, explain that Sun Yee (an ancestor) was granted the ability to transform into a red panda in order to fight battles, and every female member of the family since has gained the ability when they get old enough. This has become inconvenient and dangerous, so the red panda spirit must be sealed in a talisman by a ritual on the night of the Red Moon, in a month's time. Mei's friends discover her transformation but like it, and Mei finds that concentrating on her friends prevents her from transforming. She convinces her parents to let her continue her normal life. Ming continues to keep a close eye on Mei.

4*Town announces a show in Toronto as part of their concert tour, but Ming refuses to let Mei attend it. Using her red panda form, Mei and her friends begin to secretly raise money for the tickets. Tyler, a former bully, blackmails Mei to entertain people at his birthday party. At the party, Mei discovers that the concert will be on the night of the ritual. She gets angry and attacks Tyler when he insults her, scaring the other kids. Ming discovers Mei's recent activities and scolds her friends for corrupting and taking advantage of her. Mei fails to come to her friends' defense because she is ashamed and afraid to stand up to Ming.

Mei's grandmother Wu and her aunts come to assist in her ritual, but just as the red panda form is about to be sealed, Mei decides to keep her powers. She abandons the ritual to attend the concert at the SkyDome with her friends. They forgive Mei for her actions at the party and discover that Tyler is also a fan of 4*Town. However, during her escape from the temple, Mei inadvertently damaged her mother's talisman; an enraged Ming transforms into a kaiju-size red panda and disrupts the concert, intending to take Mei by force. While the audience scatters, Mei and Ming argue about Mei's independence, and Mei accidentally knocks her mother out.

The rest of the Lee family arrive to help. All the women break their talismans to use their red panda forms to help bring Ming into a new ritual circle. With the singing of Mei's friends and 4*Town, the new ritual sends Mei, Ming, and the other women to the astral world. Mei resolves with Ming and helps Ming to fix her bond with Wu which had started Ming's perfectionism. The other Lee women conceal their red pandas in new talismans, but Mei decides to keep hers, as she is finally figuring out who she wants to be.

Some time later, Mei and Ming's relationship has improved and Mei balances her temple jobs with spending time with friends, now including Tyler.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The original running time is 100 minutes; on Disney+ it is accompanied by 7 minutes of international dubbing credits.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Turning Red". Disney+. Archived from the original on March 11, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  2. Bares, Brooks (March 7, 2022). "With Turning Red, a Big Red Panda Helps Break a Glass Ceiling". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.