Why Turning Red Isn’t a Big Pixar Movie in Today’s Animation Culture


Last March, Disney released its latest animated game titled turn red which is streaming on Disney+.

It revolves around a young girl named Meilin who has proven to be gifted and is constantly trying to earn her mother’s praise and approval. However, things take a turn when she transforms into a giant red panda that was caused by an inherited disease from generations ago.

On paper, the movie looks like it has the makings of a great Pixar movie, but it just seems to fall flat compared to others like toy story or The world of Nemo and here’s why.

Turning Red has no real villain and the stakes are low

One thing people will notice after watching the film is that it seems to be missing a real villain with the intent to hurt and/or harm the protagonist. The closest thing we got was Mae’s mother, Ming, transforming into a bigger red panda monster that looks like something out of a Godzilla movie.

Even then, we as audience members know that Mae’s mother isn’t going to try to hurt or kill her and it’s not like the two are ardent and mortal enemies of each other. neither for the other. Their dynamic is that of the feud between mother and daughter which makes the potential for a threat incredibly small.

Along with its lack of a villain, the film’s stakes are awfully low when you break it down into its simplest forms. The main goal Mae and her friends have in the movie is to see a concert where the boy band ‘4-Town’ is playing. Mae tries to transform into her red panda form to get money for the concert without her parents knowing.

Realizing that’s what the characters are trying to achieve, it has a deflated sense of importance in the realm of film and often comes across as childish.

It seems Pixar is running out of steam with movies like Turning Red

The fact that this film could have been put together much better with its low-stakes plot and lack of a villain makes this film one of Pixar’s mediocre releases.

Disney and Pixar are known for throwing hit after hit, with the exception of Cars 2. That being said, it’s very disappointing to see a movie like this with so much potential.

It looks like Pixar is losing its mind and living in the past of its former glory. Hopefully the company can work on better ideas.

One thing that stands out is how much the turn red the characters are, especially compared to other earlier Disney/Pixar films. The main characters tend to blend in with other character archetypes seen before in film.

When you compare Mae to Woody from toy story or Mr. Incredible The Incredibles, she pales in comparison to the characters and fails to be convincing. Maybe Pixar can create more consequential sequences and memorable characters in future movies.

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