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
"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.
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.
Turning Red currently has a 66% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Dived into the reviews and had a real "don't know what I expected" moment pic.twitter.com/xGgYXik4Ch— Jonathan (@jonathanmb32) March 12, 2022
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.
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— Izzzyzzz 🐜🍑 (@IzzzyzzzArt) March 14, 2022
People didn't like Pixar addressing a girls transition to womanhood in Turning Red.— JOLLY J✨ (@DynamoSuperX) March 13, 2022
I 100% understand why some find the topic uncomfortable but there's nothing "inappropriate" or "disgusting" about a woman's period. It's a natural stage of their life. I respect Disney for this. pic.twitter.com/aQ5TGmcoaT
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?— Kimmy The Pooh (@kimmythepooh) March 14, 2022
I’m really confused about some warning posts I’ve seen on Facebook about Turning Red because the topic of puberty/menstruation was too “mature” for their children. Are they not reading plot descriptions before showing a movie to their children to begin with 😭— Mushroom Mama Fawn 🍄🦌 (@mckennabuck) March 13, 2022
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.
if you're bothered by tween girls having crushes and experiencing periods in Turning Red but you weren't bothered by the puberty joke in Big Hero 6 or the toilet humor in Shrek, you're telling on yourselfhttps://t.co/tyJOhAudV0— Bri | @DC Comics: The Batgirls Deserve Better (@wordsandsense) March 14, 2022
There’s absolutely no way that anyone can pull the “but THAT shouldn’t be in a Disney movie” card cause- 💀 pic.twitter.com/8z2dF90f9k— 💫AstralWingz💫 (@Zhane_Star) March 14, 2022
The complaints that #TurningRed isn’t appropriate for kids because it addresses puberty is hilarious like I’m pretty sure that Finding Nemo opens with the murder of an entire family?— Slavic the Hedgehog (@the_ns) March 13, 2022
Complainers: Turning Red is inappropriate for children! Why can’t it be like older movies?— -INSERT COIN- (@pat_alazr) March 14, 2022
Appropriate for children apparently: pic.twitter.com/pQayHSl8ZM
Everyone who’s upset about Pixar Turning Red’s Meilin disobeying her parents and “sneaking out of the house,” let me remind you of a few Disney films where the girl disobeyed and no one was in an uproar about it:— Raising Whasians (@raisingwhasians) March 13, 2022
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:
- Turning Red director wants the film to help 13-year-olds talk about periods and puberty
- What year is Turning Red set in? Here's when and where the Pixar film is set
- Here’s who voices the characters in Turning Red and what they look like IRL
- Who voices 4*Town in Turning Red? The real singers behind the Pixar boyband
- Turning Red: Why does Mei turn into a red panda? The curse explained