In the interest of fairness, I have not seen TURNING RED. That’s because Disney made the unwise decision to release the film straight to livestreaming, cutting out its previously promised theatrical run. (Liars, liars, pants on fires!) I can, however, read, and I’ve read a good bit about all the kvetching going on about TURNING RED. It would seem that parents, lots of them, have suffered from twisted knickers over the film. Not because of the theme of lycanthropy it explores, but because it, as a film about a teenage girl, is too realistic in its depiction of a teenage girl. Such matters as a teenage girl getting her period or misbehaving are surely too patently adult for the very audience for which they were intended! So says the twisted knickers crowd. It’s ridiculous. I can’t even enjoy seeing Disney have to wrangle with the controversy, either, since any publicity is good publicity and will only benefit the studio. (I wouldn’t normally wish any controversies or wranglings on the House of Mouse, but they made me mad by refusing to release TURNING RED to theaters like they said they would.)
The whole thing about lycanthropy serving as a metaphor for the changes taking place inside the body of a young person, though, is nothing new. In fact those themes are about as far from new as one can get. Having your body transforming on you without your permission can be scary, and it can be frightening for those around you, too. TURNING RED is merely the latest in a long, long line of media exploring the topic.