Film Review: Blushing | The week Great Britain

“It’s hard to know what’s more impressive about the latest Pixar film,” said Robbie Collin The Daily Telegraph“his boundless artistry, ingenuity, and insane comic panache, or the sheer fact that the studio got away with it.” Directed by Domee Shi, this Disney+ The animation deals squarely with female puberty, “with all the marked physical changes” that it brings. Its heroine is Mei, a 13-year-old from Toronto (“enjoyingly voiced” by Rosalie Chiang) who wakes up one day to find that she has transformed into a giant red panda. When Mei’s mother (Sandra Oh) hears her screaming in the bathroom, she assumes she’s on her period and asks cryptically outside the door, “Has the red peony bloomed?” In fact, Mei has developed a “secret family trait”: In moments “elevated emotions” she becomes a bear. From there, the film sensitively and playfully explores the onset of Mei’s puberty as she struggles to get her “furry alter ego” under control in time for her to attend a concert by her favorite boy band.

To redden deserves credit “for finding comically direct ways to address the biological and emotional awkwardness of female adolescence in a family film,” Alistair Harkness said in The Scot. It’s usually a subject relegated to horror. But once Mei learns to control her panda self, the film seems at a loss for where to go, and ends up feeling lazy and familiar.

“Yes, there is a formula at work here,” and the dialogues could be a bit mundane, said Kevin Maher The times. “But who doesn’t enjoy an exquisitely manipulated scream?” With a premise like that, the film “could have been terrifying and preachy, like a woke reworking of Disney’s actual 1946 public information cartoon, The history of menstruation“. In fact, it’s “brilliant and light and deeply lovely.” Film Review: Blushing | The week Great Britain

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