Turning Red

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Turning Red Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Pixar coming-of-age tale explores puberty and parent issues.

PG 2022 100 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 254 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 228 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 9+

Don’t be misled by over-critical reviews

First of all, I’ll say this: any reviewer who talks about 4 boys in a band did not pay attention to the movie and I’d have a hard time trusting their review when they get such an easy detail wrong. That being said, I didn’t love this movie. I watched with my kids, a 7 y.o. daughter and 11 y.o. son. Yes, they had questions about what “pads” are. Yes, I thought the scene of her drawing pictures of the cute boy was—somewhat uncomfortable? Probably because the animators hid what she was drawing from us at first. The pictures were weird but I expected them to be more…explicit? So, no big deal. The confrontation between the mom and aforementioned cute boy was awkward to watch because that felt like a very grown-up, very serious issue. But honestly, everything after that was fine. We learned that yes, we can put too much pressure on our kids. We learned that kids are kids and will experience peer pressure, will disobey, will lie—guys, come on. We are not raising perfect angels, and if you think you are, YOU ARE THE MOM IN THIS MOVIE. The movie examines the relationship between mother and child, and between friends. It shows how damaged relationships can be repaired. It shows that we as parents need to give our kids freedoms; if we are overbearing, it will cause more rebellion. It shows kids how to manage their emotions. Are there are weird parts to this movie? Sure. But the weirdest thing is seeing the straight up fear-mongering “this movie teaches your kid to disobey” reviews. Kids know how to disobey; this movie shows the grace required to repair a relationship after that happens.
55 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Too Heavy Handed for its Intended Audience

Watched this movie last night with my family, and honestly found it disheartening. There are lots of fun bits in this movie, and the animation is gorgeous, but I feel that the message is questionable and heavy-handed for its intended audience. Mei Mei is a 13-year-old with an overbearing mother. Throughout the movie, she finds ways to cope with this by being dishonest and disobeying her parents behind their backs. Now, there's nothing intrinsically unbelievable about this as a plot point, as growing up I've had several friends do the same thing. However, instead of eventually humanizing the mother character and bringing communication and reconciliation between the characters, the mother remains the antagonist; Mei Mei chooses to live her own life, which takes her away from her relationship from her mother (which she admits herself during a crucial scene in the movie). This all seems extremely unrealistic for a 13-year-old. Fantastical rituals aside, every 13-year-old will feel like their parents are overbearing; that's just a part of growing up. However, this movie pushes a theme that it's okay to disregard your parents rules and advice because you need to follow your own heart. Again, I can see what they're trying to say here, but it's not a great message to be telling such a young audience. In my mind, when you are living in your parent's household, you need to respect them and obey their rules. But, Mei Mei calling to her mom "my panda, my choice" in order to completely shut down a concern her mom has...that's just flipping the script and putting her mom in a place of having no say. It's not showing a relationship with open communication or reconciliation, just a power shift. Another thing, kids are very prone to imitate catchphrases and play out scenes in movies. If a young kid sees that a beloved movie character is rewarded for disobedience and complete disregard of her parents advice and concerns, that's going to set up a toxic mindset for how they approach relationships and conflict with their parents. Instead of working it out with open communication and understanding, the "my panda, my choice" mentality completely shuts down a healthy relationship. I also just find it disheartening that the overall message was "in order to be yourself you have to completely break away from your parents." Again, especially for a 13-year-old to be saying this is extremely concerning as always following your prepubescent heart with complete disregard to the rules of your elders will eventually get you into some sticky and regretful situations. Bottom line: I find it hard to imagine a young audience being able to understand and enjoy such a heavy-handed movie. Although it has several fun moments and characters, its message is something that would be more applicable to a character turning 19, not 13.
44 people found this helpful.

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Inside Out Poster Image

    Inside Out

    Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.

    age 6+
  • Over the Moon Poster Image

    Over the Moon

    Dreamy, China-set musical fairy tale has positive lessons.

    age 6+
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines Poster Image

    The Mitchells vs. the Machines

    Action-packed family adventure tackles tech dependence.

    age 8+
  • Encanto Poster Image


    Vibrant visuals, catchy songs, moving messages.

    age 6+
  • Luca Poster Image


    Sweet fish-out-of-water story about friendship, adventure.

    age 6+
  • Raya and the Last Dragon Poster Image

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    Charming, epic adventure mixes monsters, humor, heart.

    age 8+
  • Kiki's Delivery Service Poster Image

    Kiki's Delivery Service

    A mystical, positive take on girl's coming of age.

    age 5+
  • Brave Poster Image


    Mother-daughter princess tale has some very scary scenes.

    age 8+
  • Ms. Marvel Television: Poster image

    Ms. Marvel

    Thrilling teen superhero show is vibrant and relatable.

    age 10+

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Young girl playing
    See all
  • Kid looking through telescope
    See all
  • Young girl staring at her dad
    See all
  • Teenage boy with a basketball
    See all
  • Hands together
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon magic wand on orange background
    Magic and Fantasy
    See all
  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    See all
  • Cartoon photo of a keep out sign
    Middle School
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of an elephant
    Wild Animals
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate