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Review: Pixar's "Turning Red" tackles puberty, adolescence in creative way

Movie does include some topics that won't be appropriate for all ages

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“Turning Red” is Pixar's coming-of-age adventure set in early-2000s Toronto about Meilin "Mei" Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a Chinese Canadian teen who unleashes a literal red panda when she starts going through puberty.

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Special to On the Minds of Moms

The panda transformation — which can sometimes be intense and leads to both unintended and purposeful damage/destruction — is definitely a metaphor for adolescence, and the movie skews more toward an older tween/early teen audience than many of Pixar's other films.

The story centers the city's Chinatown community where Mei lives and features an authentically diverse cast.

With puberty and adolescence at the heart of the action, expect references to periods and celebrity crushes, discussions of “hotness,” and descriptions of the attractiveness of popular singers (as well as another older teen) and their gyrating dance moves. Occasional mild and insult language includes “crap,” “freak,” “jerkwad,” “butthead,” etc.

The film encourages curiosity, compassion, courage, self-control, and teamwork, and families who watch together can discuss lots of issues afterward, from the importance of having honest conversations about puberty to the dangers of lying and keeping secrets and the need for both close friends and trusted adults.

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