Parents applaud new film Turning Red for 'normalising' periods

15 March 2022, 15:18

Parents are loving the message behind Disney Pixar's new film Turning Red
Parents are loving the message behind Disney Pixar's new film Turning Red. Picture: Disney Pixar
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Disney Pixar's new animated film, Turning Red, tackles important subjects including puberty and having your first period.

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Parents are applauding Disney Pixar's new animated flick, Turning Red, for its representation of periods and puberty.

Turning Red, which was released onto Disney+ last week, tells the story of 13-year-old Meilin Lee as she navigates her way through an inherited blessing/curse that forces her to transform into a giant red panda whenever she feels intense emotions.

And you don't have the be a genius to notice the entire film is an underlying metaphor for periods, puberty and the emotions they bring.

While there have been some negative reactions to the mention of periods in the coming-of-age film, many parents have been left ecstatic at the representation and messaging behind the tough age.

Meilin Lee's mum brings her tampons and pads when she thinks he daughter has come on her period
Meilin Lee's mum brings her tampons and pads when she thinks he daughter has come on her period. Picture: Disney Pixar

In one particular scene, when Mei first turns into the Red Panda, she is asked by her mum if the "red peony" has "bloomed".

Assuming the change Mei is going through is her period, her mother comes to her aid with tampons and sanitary pads.

Reacting to the film, one person took to Twitter to comment: "Turning Red normalising periods and the emotions that come with them. I wish I had media like this when I was going through puberty."

Another wrote: "I just watched it and it was an absolute joy. I loved the message and as a new parent of a girl it certainly connected with things I’ve been thinking about as a parent. But above all else this was FUN!"

A third argued against the negative reviews: "'Period' is not a dirty word, it’s SO important for young girls to see puberty talked about. #TurningRed is a wonderful glimpse into how hard it is being a 13-year-old girl."

People are ecstatic that periods are finally being normalised in films
People are ecstatic that periods are finally being normalised in films. Picture: Disney Pixar

Directer and co-writer of the film, Domee Shi, opened up to Polygon about the meaning and message behind the film.

She told the publication: "The red panda is a metaphor not just for puberty, but also what we inherit from our moms, and how we deal with the things that we inherit from them.

“[Mei is] growing up caught between two worlds, East and West, but [she’s] also at this time in her life where she’s blossoming into adulthood. And all of these changes are happening not just to her body, but to her relationship with her mom and her friends.”

Producer of Turning Red, Lindsey Collins, added: “It was always in the very earliest versions of the film. It was the first thing we put into production.

"Everybody on the crew was unapologetic in support of having these real conversations about periods and about these moments in girls’ lives.”

Watch Anne-Marie talk about her Turning Red cameo here: