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Disney’s “Turning Red” Turned Out To Be Better Than I Anticipated

Beautiful: that’s how I would describe Disney Pixar’s Turning Red. It was not what I expected, instead it was way better! 

Mei Lee, a confident 13-year-old, is the perfect daughter any mother could want. She stays on top of her studies, does her chores, works with her mother and is always within her mother’s reach. Unfortunately, being the perfect daughter meant she could not express herself. There was no room for hanging out with her friends or having feelings for boys. Her mother was constantly supervising and being overprotective. She was okay with this until one day, Mei Lee poofs into the red panda! This is only the beginning of her journey in growing up. She faces a lot of criticism from her mother who does not want to see her make bad decisions. But what her mother doesn’t want to admit or see is that her daughter is growing up. You can only imagine the constant back and forth bickering between Mei Lee and her mother. Follow Mei Lee and her friends in figuring out how to control her red panda side and obtain concert tickets for the boy band called 4*TOWN; they would do anything to see them live.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was just going to be another kids’ movie. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just meant that I wasn’t going to be rushing to see it. That’s exactly how it happened. It came out on Disney+ on March 11th and I didn’t see it until the beginning of May. I am glad I watched it, all late but I did! I can thank Instagram and TikTok for that. It did not disappoint. It was more than a kids’ movie, it was about Mei Lee exploring who she was and trying to express herself without her mother going against her. I understand why her mother, Ming Lee, wanted to have her daughter be this perfect young girl who did everything she said. But she had to accept that this wasn’t her daughter and no matter how hard she tried to make her a mini version of herself, Mei Lee was never going to be her. I think this happens with many mothers. They don’t want to see their children grow up. They want to be able to keep coddling, protecting and making decisions for them. But that’s not how life works. We all know that there comes a point in our lives where we have to leave the nest and fly off to find out who we are. 

As I watched the movie I thought about my sister who’s turning 13 pretty soon. She’s already doing her own thing, finding her groove. It made me realize that the years are passing by pretty quickly. I suggest that we all take a moment and appreciate the people around us because time is flying! We especially need to appreciate our younger family members and friends before they leave the nest.

I highly suggest watching the movie. It is awesome and filled with lots of growing-up moments that almost everyone can relate to at one point. But overall it’s a journey about a mother and daughter coming to terms with accepting that everyone is their own person.  

Maria is a third year at UCLA majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish. She loves meeting new people and learning new things. In her free time you can find her going out, dancing, binge-watching, or simply relaxing.
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