‘Turning Red’ Is Being Called Pixar’s Best Movie In Years

After going sequel-heavy in the late-2010s (Finding Dory, Cars 3, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4 were released in a three-year span), Pixar has been on a strong run of original films. Onward was a successfully charming attempt at fantasy; Soul won Best Animated Feature Film at last year’s Oscars; Luca is up for Best Animated Feature Film at this year’s Oscars; and Turning Red is being called the studio’s best movie in years.

Directed by Domee Shi (Bao), Turning Red is about a boy band-loving teenage girl who turns into a red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions (“which is practically ALWAYS,” as the official plot description notes). In her glowing review, Thrillist‘s Emma Stefansky wrote, “What’s so wonderful about Turning Red is that its themes of growing up and learning to live with a complex and mature set of feelings are clear without being obvious or simplistic,” while Polygon‘s Petrana Radulovic noted, “With a bright visual style and specific, evocative storytelling, Turning Red is an incredibly special addition to the Pixar canon, and one of its best films.” The praise is near-universal.

The Hollywood Reporter:

Turning Red is original, funny, and tender, an affectionate reminder that adolescence is a time of life not easily tamed, and sometimes the animal inside us demands release.

The Globe and Mail:

There may not be a gut-punch moment of overwhelming emotion like, say, the climax of Toy Story 3, the profoundly unexpected imagination of Up, or the form-busting audaciousness of Wall-E (though the plush-toy-ready Panda Mei is as easy a product to sell as Toy Story 4′s Forky). But Turning Red immediately announces itself as top-tier Pixar.


Turning Red is another Pixar home run, a low-stakes adventure turned high-stakes thanks to its heightened emotions and envelope-pushing animation style. It’s loud and unapologetic, and while that frenzy of stuff can sometimes turn frantic, it’s one of the most accurate cinematic depictions of what it was like to be a hormonal teenage girl — city-destroying kaiju fights, and all.

Little White Lies:

With all of its visual delights and expert use of its colourful onscreen spaces, its ever-a-shame that it’s the latest Pixar movie exiled to Disney’s streaming services – because it’s one of their best animated movies in years.


It’s not only the studio’s best movie (and metaphor) since Inside Out — it’s one of their best movies ever. Wherever the company’s next project premieres, I just hope they keep getting to make original, heartfelt, beautiful films like Turning Red. It’s one of those special movies where during your first viewing you already know there’s going to be a 100th viewing someday.

It sure would be nice to see Turning Red in a movie theater. Instead, it’s coming out on Disney+ in March 11.