Parents on Common Sense Media had mixed reviews about the film, with some raving about it’s progressive normalization of puberty, periods, and self-love. While others like myself, found the rebellion, disobedience, and defiance, something our kids will be just fine without.
“I find it disheartening that the overall message was ‘in order to be yourself you have to completely break away from your parents,’” one parent wrote. “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””
“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.”
Another wrote: “I don’t want my daughter learning ‘my panda, my choice.’”
Others echoed these sentiments, arguing that Hollywood’s role is to entertain, not educate.
One young adult commenter said it well in that “Disney tried too hard to make sex less taboo for preteens.” Even putting those two concepts into a sentence feels like they have no place in the Disney animation wheelhouse.
On the kids side of Common Sense Media reviews, some 13-year-olds loved it (which makes sense, that’s the actual target audience). But most reviewers, especially those over the age of 15, had warnings for parents.
“Just be careful, and make sure there is lots of discussion regarding the lessons, because the morals of the movie may be difficult for a child to discern,” one 17-year-old said, calling the movie “hard to watch.”
“Periods and crushes are normal. Pixar just really messed up on mentioning them in an appropriate and productive manner,” another commenter, 14, said.
Bottom line? There are plenty of great movies on Disney+ that have really positive teaching moments, and can help kids have a better understanding of what may otherwise seem like heavy, adult-stuff.
Turning Red is not one of them.