Thank God For Disney and its animated movies! Onto the next release of the weekend and I have finished watching the new Animated film Turning Red on Disney Plus Hotstar. The last time I looked to review a Disney animated film, that was a bit of a disaster. The spin off of Ice Age was best forgettable and probably one of the few animated films which I had absolutely detested. Usually the animation films particularly the ones coming from Disney are heartwarming and have a message attached to them. To put in simply in words would be tough but there are a set of values which are reflective in each of the Disney films which not only caters to kids but adults too. Another interesting aspect is the fusion of different cultures in Disney films. While Coco catered to Mexican culture, Luca had Italian culture, and Encanto Spanish, with Turning Red the makers turn towards Asia but in a foreign land which was fascinating. That said does Turning Red tug the strings of your heart, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Turning Red follows the story a 13 year old girl who has a hidden ability to turn into a monstrous Red Panda once she is agitated/excited. The story is unique in every shape and form(pun intended) and quite vibrant as well. The screenplay is taut like all Disney films and wastes no time in getting into the thick of things. A quick introduction of characters is followed by the actual conflict. The writing also reflects on how protective parents are about their kids and they want them to be perfect always. Instead, if they allowed their children to be themselves then they would actually watch their children bloom. The events are engaging with two subplots unfolding together in quite a seamless manner. The elements involving culture are very well addressed and they add a bit of authenticity to the drama. The standard Disney magic is prevalent here as well with a nice little messaging at the end. The warmth and fuzziness in the drama is heart touching particularly the last shot that almost entirely encapsulates another life lesson – to accept your inner demons and work on it, instead of suppressing it. Basically be yourself! Another brilliantly penned screenplay!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but filled with drama and very engaging. The BGM is quite good here. The animation is outstanding and it just amazed me at the level of imagination and thought put in here. Director Domee Shi keeps her values intact while telling a magical coming of age tale. Her direction is excellent.
The voiceovers are spectacular here. Tristen Allerick Chen as Tyler, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya, Hyein Park as Abby and Ava Morse as Miriam have all lended their voices to their characters in a spectacular manner. Sandra Oh is terrific as Ming. And Rosalie Chiang as Meilin adds a lot of soul and earnestness to her character. All other character voiceovers are fabulous as well.
Turning Red is a magical coming of age story in Beast Mode(literally). Available on Disney Plus Hotstar and Highly Recommended.