Turning Red fans call out complaints that the film is “too mature” for kids

15 March 2022, 17:48 | Updated: 15 March 2022, 21:56

By Katie Louise Smith

"If you think tweens having crushes/periods/going through puberty is inherently ‘grown up’ or ‘inappropriate’, idk what to tell you."

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Pixar's latest gem Turning Red is all about Mei, a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl from Toronto who turns into a giant red panda whenever she's stressed or overexcited. Her transformation into said giant red panda also happens to be a metaphor for puberty.

While millions of viewers have praised Turning Red's refreshing and exciting approach to the early teenage years, some parents have now complained that the film is not "appropriate" for children because of the "mature" subject matter.

As a result, negative reviews from parents are being shared on social media but fans of the movie have been calling those criticisms out.

READ MORE: Will there be a Turning Red 2? Sandra Oh and Rosalie Chiang want to do a sequel

Turning Red viewers call out "too mature" comments about the film
Turning Red viewers call out "too mature" comments about the film. Picture: Disney+

Over 2500+ reviews have been left on Turning Red's Rotten Tomatoes page, where the film currently has a 73% audience rating compared to the 94% critic rating.

Several negative reviews have popped up, with the majority complaining that the metaphors about puberty, the storyline about Mei crushing hard on a boy, and the inclusion of periods and period products within the film are "too mature" and "uncomfortable" for their kids.

Criticising those reviews, one Twitter user wrote: "People saying Turning Red is ‘too mature/oversexualised’ (???) are really weird. If you think tweens having crushes/periods/going through puberty is inherently ‘grown up’ or ‘inappropriate’ idk what to tell you".

Another added: "the criticism around #turningred being "too mature" is so sad. besides the fact a lot of it is clearly ppl being uncomfortable w/diff cultures and disguising those hideous thoughts w/concern "for the children," why on earth should anyone feel shame around periods or attraction?"

In reference to the criticism of the period themes in the movie specifically, several people have noted that menstruation can start as early as 10 years old for some, so it's not really a "mature" or "inappropriate" subject for children of that age at all.

Others have also argued that several other Disney, Pixar and animated films have more "mature" themes, humour and throwaway comments that are possibly even less appropriate for really young children than a brief scene about periods, puberty or a teenage crush.

Viewers have pointed out some of the darker moments in Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, and even certain scenes in Up! and Finding Nemo, too.

A thread put together by @raisingwhasians has also gone viral, pointing out that Mei disobeying her parents (which some reviews have called "disrespectful") is literally no different to the majority of other teenage female characters in Disney films, including the princesses.

Turning Red director Domee Shi recently told Chatelaine that she hopes the movie "starts those conversations and that we can eventually just normalize talking about puberty and menstruation and not feel so weird about it."

Read more about Turning Red here: