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Turning Red – Plugged In

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Ever since Pixar released the historic classic Toy Story, the studio has been known for telling some of the best cinematic stories of the era. And while Pixar movies are technically for kids, those labels can obscure the beauty, depth, and resonance of the movies themselves.

up is an amazing and moving reflection on grief. inside out does nothing less than decompress the human psyche. Not every Pixar movie has been a home run. some have had their own problems. But overall, from Finding Nemo to The Incredibles, from Wall-E to Soul, Pixar’s films have achieved an outstanding double achievement: providing audiences of all ages with beautiful, beautifully narrated messages.

Reading: Turning red movie christian review

Even Brave, not considered among Pixar’s best, bravely jumped headfirst into the delicate family dynamic between a demanding mother and a headstrong child and found a fertile middle ground in her. In the movie, Mom realized that she couldn’t turn her Merida daughter into someone she was never born to be. But Mérida understood that growing up meant embracing not only new freedoms, but also new duties.

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by those standards, wearing red is a disappointment. Her own story of mother and daughter skips the depth and maturity that has been a hallmark of Pixar, leaning instead on a myopic spirit of doing things her way. in fact, in a way, he’s almost twice as smiley as brave.

turning red begins where bravery ends: mei expresses her understanding that personal freedom and autonomy must inherently be balanced with the needs of family and community. “I am my own person,” she says, “but that doesn’t mean doing whatever I want. Like most adults, I have responsibilities.”

But while Courageous suggested that mature understanding was something people grow into during adolescence, turning red suggests it’s something we need to grow out of.

“I like boys!” Mei finally yells at her mother. “I like loud music! I like to spin! I’m 13! deal with him!” In the film’s ethos, this isn’t a childish tantrum: it’s a declaration of emancipation, mei telling her mother that she’s done following her rules. child psychologists say teens are literally, kind of, a little crazy.) in fact, mei even uses a twist on a pro-choice catchphrase that’s creepy for a couple of reasons: “my panda, my choice,” she says.

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now, it’s true that mei’s rebellious panda stage comes with some lessons for mom and dad. Mei’s mother is quite controlling. and as teens mature, parents can gradually ease restrictions a bit, especially if their kids, like me, have proven trustworthy. teens need space to explore their individuality and test some limits; it’s part of growing up. doubling down on rules and restrictions without context can lead to rebellion and sometimes fractured relationships.

but this story lacks the nuance or the strength to show where I went wrong too. the film suggests that while family values ​​are all very well, the individual trumps all. it’s the spirit of the “me generation”, simply spelled m-e-i.

And that’s not the only way turning red escapes Pixar’s historically towering podium. while the story is entertaining, it is not fascinating. it is done competently, but not beautifully. And while many of Pixar’s best didn’t have an iota of connected content concerns, this has plenty, from its spirituality to frank sexual asides and some rude words and phrases.

sure, you can find much worse things for children. turning red didn’t make me turn red. but it didn’t tickle me pink either. And given Pixar’s lofty pedigree, that made me pretty sad.

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