While Pixar’s Turning Red has received heaps of praise for its feminine perspective and inclusivity, some viewers have criticized the film for the way it addresses the reality of puberty for girls.
Turning Red is the first Pixar movie ever written and directed by a woman (Domee Shi), and since omen have historically been underrepresented in the film industry, the female gaze is still unfamiliar to some moviegoers, with a few going so far as to describe the movie as alienating.
Though Turning Red is upfront about being a coming-of-age film, Chron reports that some parents are taking issue with the fact that it touches on topics like menstruation, sexual attraction, and body autonomy. As one disgruntled parent complained, “[Thirteen] and obsessed with boys may be common, but it’s not an ideal I want for my girls. She’s doesn’t learn that it’s a waste of time to sexually fantasize about older boys, but instead, mom learns to respect ‘my panda, my choice!’ Seriously what?”
A debate broke out on Twitter about whether the film’s subject matter was appropriate for children or not. Thousands of fans have praised Turning Red for being relatable and challenging some of the common taboos girls encounter. Others, meanwhile, have argued that no one took issue when the same coming-of-age topics featured in Disney films about male protagonists.
As one user tweeted, “It’s like movies about boys growing up, chasing after girls and going through puberty is fine: But it’s out of line and gross for the same thing for girls. People are whack, and this is why it’s so hard for young girls to be comfortable with themselves, even to adulthood.”
Another user wrote, “People saying Turning Red is ‘too mature/oversexualised’ (???) are really weird. If you think tweens having crushes/periods/going through puberty is inherently ‘grown up’ or ‘inappropriate’ idk what to tell you.”
A third user pointed out that menstruation is a part of life for some young children, tweeting, “Especially people saying that periods are mature, like do they not know that periods can start at like 9 years old?”
If you’re unsure of which side of the fence you stand on, you can stream Turning Red now on Disney Plus.