Turning Red Movie
Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.Characters: Ming Lee, Meilin « Mei » Lee, Robaire, Devon, Tyler, MORE TrendingRelease date: March 10, 2022 Director: Domee ShiProduction design: Rona LiuEditor: Nicholas C. SmithDistributed by: Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures
In 2002, Meilin “Mei” Lee is a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl living in Toronto. Mei helps take care of the family’s temple dedicated to their ancestor, Sun Yee, and works to make her strict, overprotective mother Ming proud. Mei hides her personal interests from Ming, such as the fact that she and her best friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby are fans of the boy band 4*Town.
Ming discovers Mei’s crush on the local convenience store clerk and unintentionally embarrasses Mei in public, including in front of Tyler, a school bully, which leads Mei to have a vivid nightmare involving red pandas. The next morning, Mei wakes up to find herself transformed into a large red panda. After hiding from her parents, Mei discovers that she only transforms when she is in a state of high emotion, though her hair remains red. Ming initially believes Mei is experiencing her first period, but finds out the truth when she further embarrasses Mei at school, causing Mei to transform and run back home.
Ming and Jin, Mei’s father, explain that Sun Yee was granted this transformation to protect her daughters, and every female family member since then has also transformed when they came of age. This has become inconvenient and dangerous, so the red panda spirit must be sealed in a talisman by a ritual on the night of the Red Moon, the next occurring in a month’s time. Mei’s friends inadvertently discover her transformation but take a liking to it, and Mei finds that concentrating on them helps control the red panda within her.
Ming allows Mei to resume her normal life but refuses to let Mei attend 4*Town’s upcoming concert. The girls secretly begin to raise money for the tickets at school, exploiting the popularity of Mei’s red panda form. Mei agrees to attend Tyler’s birthday party as the red panda to cover the last ticket. At the party, Mei discovers that the concert will actually be on her ritual night. She gets angry and attacks Tyler when he insults her family, scaring the other kids. Ming discovers Mei’s recent activities and chastises her friends for seemingly corrupting and taking advantage of her. Mei fails to come to her friends’ defense because she is ashamed and afraid to stand up to her mother.
Mei’s grandmother, Wu, and her aunts come to assist in her ritual, to Ming’s dismay. As Mei prepares herself, Jin finds videos she took of herself as the red panda with her friends and tells her she should not be ashamed of this side of her. During the ritual, just as the red panda form is about to be sealed, Mei decides to keep her powers. She abandons the ritual to attend the concert at the SkyDome with her friends, who forgive Mei for her actions at the party and discover Tyler is also a 4*Town fan. However, during her escape from the temple, Mei inadvertently damaged her mother’s talisman; an enraged Ming transforms into a kaiju-sized red panda and disrupts the concert, intending to take back Mei by force. While the audience hides and flees, Mei and Ming argue about Mei’s independence, and Mei accidentally knocks her mother out.
The rest of the family arrive to help. All of the women break their talismans to use their red panda forms to help drag Ming into a new ritual circle. Mei’s friends and 4*Town join in singing to complete the ritual, sending Mei, Ming, and the other women to the astral plane. Mei reconciles with Ming and helps her mend her bond with Wu, whom Ming accidentally scarred in anger at some point years ago before sealing her red panda form. The other women conceal their red pandas in new talismans, but Mei decides to keep hers, and Ming accepts that she is finding her own path.
Sometime later, Mei and her family help raise money to repair the SkyDome. Mei and Ming’s relationship has improved, and Mei balances her temple duties—where her red panda is now an attraction—with spending time with friends, now including Tyler.