“There’s no reason to shame and belittle a film for those who can relate”

The new Pixar movie turn red fueled an online debate about what is “appropriate” for a children’s film.

turn red is Pixar‘s first feature film to be directed by a woman – Oscar winner Domee Shi – and follows the coming-of-age story of a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl named Meilin. Lee. Although the film received generally favorable reviews, there is a discrepancy between the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score and the audience’s score which indicates that parents complain more that the film is “totally inappropriate for children”.

Some users’ argument, based on Rotten Tomatoes reviews, seems to be that the story is “very targeted to a specific audience” and “glorifies ‘finding yourself’ and following friends at the expense of listening to your parents. “.

Christie Cronanmother of two and author and CEO of RaisingWhasians.com, went viral on Twitter for her response to public criticism condemning the film.

“I felt it was my duty not only as an Asian mother, but as a film critic parent who had a positive experience with the film,” Cronan told In The Know. “I think it’s easy to overlook all the Disney coming-of-age movies where the heroine disobeys her parents. So I’ve created a thread listing some of the more obvious ones from the top of my head.

Examples listed by Cronan included Riley of Upside down, Mulan’s Mulana, Ariel’s The little Mermaidbeautiful of Beauty and the Beast, jasmine Aladdin and Cinderella.

“My biggest fear as a mother and a Korean is that projecting this anger and hatred towards turn red has nothing to do with Meilin disrespecting his parents,” Cronan continued, “but an unconscious bias toward Asians and their experiences.”

Cronan, who is also an accredited Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, said she also encouraged her two children to watch. turn red after she pre-selected him. Her 9-year-old daughter watched the movie several times.

“Meilin is a kid she can relate to, as a half-Korean girl with glasses,” Cronan said. “And managing the emotions and having open conversations about the changes in her life – I couldn’t have hoped for more as a mother.”

To parents who still want turn red is “inappropriate” for its discussions of puberty and battling your parents’ will, Cronan argued that it’s not Pixar’s job to produce “safe movies” for children.

“It’s our job as parents to create a ‘safe place’ for them to grow up,” she said. “Not every film will align 100% with our own thoughts, experiences and viewpoints. And that’s OK. But there’s no reason to shame and belittle a movie for those who can relate to, relate to, and love that movie.

A CinemaBlend review by general manager Sean O’Connell has been pulled after it was called ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ – further exposing double standards in film criticism. In it, O’Connell asserted that by “rooting turn red specifically in Toronto’s Asian community”, it was “limited in scope”.

Twitter users joked about the ridiculousness of claiming they couldn’t “relate to the experiences of an Asian teenager” in an animated movie, but apparently relate to other Pixar storylines like Ratatouille Where Wall-E.

In 2021, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative examined 1,300 popular films from 2007-2019 and found not only that mainstream films continue to use harmful stereotypes of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community, but that API actors make up less than 6% of speaking roles. Of the top 1,300 films from this period, only 44 films had an API lead or co-lead character – 14 of those were films starring Dwayne Johnson.

API women, in particular, have historically been portrayed as overtly sexualized or dangerous in movies. Studies, like UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report 2021, have shown that this is changing for the better, but there’s still plenty of room for growth when it comes to API representations in media.

Voice actress Rosalie Chiang, who played Meilin, told CBC that despite turn red following a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian, the storyline isn’t limited in its appeal, as some reviewers suggest – like CinemaBlend’s O’Connell.

“It’s a coming of age movie, everyone goes through that change,” Chiang said. “At the end of the day, the basic mess and change is something everyone can relate to.”

But for viewers who finally see themselves reflected in a mainstream Pixar film, turn red means a lot.

“Never felt so good to see my Asian teenager become the hero and learn to forgive him too,” Cronan wrote in his review.

The Post Review: Some of Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ reviews may stem from unconscious API bias, first appearing on In The Know.

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