Cinematic Doctrine

Turning Red - Heritage, Teenagers, & Puberty: Oh My!

March 15, 2022 Melvin & Dan Season 1 Episode 102
Cinematic Doctrine
Turning Red - Heritage, Teenagers, & Puberty: Oh My!
Show Notes


Melvin & Dan talk about Pixar's latest feature film Turning Red, a film too criminally fun to be streaming only! What a shame!


  • Turning Red is very much a family/kid's movie, with a more direct demographic target of preteens and young teens. 
  • Some of the narrative choices frustrated Melvin, in particular the mother's lack of social awareness (in particular, the journal scene). 
  • Media produced for young girls is often overly derided for being lame. With Turning Red, it's fun to see that culture celebrated as valuable and exciting through music, puppy love, music, and dance. 
  • The Panda works on multiple levels as a metaphor. For Melvin, he connected with the Panda as a metaphor for self-identification and self-discovery. For Daniel, the metaphor he connected with was an "assimilation cultural heritage" angle. 
  • It's great to watch a kid's movie where the kids act like actual kids, and not movie kids (i.e., little adults). 
  • Turning Red has seen some strange criticism online from a few critics and Animation Twitter. Melvin & Dan parse through the mire. 
  • A brief history of what Daniel calls "Pixar Pushback". 
  • Turning Red has an effective depiction of self-talk; what we envision in our minds when talking-up or talking-down to ourselves.  Often times, they manifest as individuals who have been important in our lives, for better or for worse. 
  • In response to the reconciliation that takes place at the end of the movie, Daniel shares his thoughts on how having a child can naturally develop and mature a person as they learn self-sacrifice. 


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