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The Turning Red Scene That Went Too Far

Pixar's "Turning Red" has gotten plenty of praise since debuting on Disney+ on March 11, but it's also managed to cause some controversy. The controversy has not ruined the experience for most as the PG-rated movie currently has a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of the more popular streaming titles for Disney at the moment. The Domee Shi-directed movie also stars Sandra Oh, James Hong, and Wai Ching-Ho.

The film follows the story of Mei (Rosalie Chiang), a young girl who, due to a curse on her mother's side of the family, transforms into a red panda when she gets excited. By tackling the story of a girl coming to terms with her changing mood and body, Pixar deals with some subject matter that has led to some critics saying it's not as appropriate for children as the company's other releases. One scene in particular from the movie seems to have caused the most outrage and inspired the most discussion as it deals with the movie's metaphor directly and makes a reference that not every parent has been happy to explain to their kids.  

Some were put off by the references to pads and periods in this scene

When "Turning Red" protagonist Mei first turns into a giant red panda, it plays out humorously as her mother (Sandra Oh) tries and fails to offer help. Some of Oh's dialogue has sparked some of the controversy surrounding the Pixar feature. Mei's mother informs her in the scene that she has "ibuprofen, vitamin B, a hot water bottle, and pads," as she holds a variety of pads in the scene. While on the surface, this moment doesn't seem outrageous, some have objected to the reference to periods in what is supposed to be a kids' film.

"Be prepared to explain what periods and pads are to clueless kiddos," one Redditor posted, noting they actually enjoyed the movie. Similarly, Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Richard Roeper offered the same warning in his review of "Turning Red." "Please leave the explanation of puberty to us parents and we'll leave the family entertainment (if you ever actually plan on making anymore of that) to you," a negative user review on Rotten Tomatoes read. "I would not recommend watching this with your kids unless you're ready for the puberty talk," another added. 

Despite the controversy, "Turning Red" filmmakers behind the movie say they were "unapologetic" from the beginning about the themes. "Everybody on the crew was unapologetic in support of having these real conversations about periods and about these moments in girls' lives," producer Lindsey Collins said about the production (via Polygon).