1.8 What’s That Smell?


The Problem With Turning Red by Pixar

In a recent episode of Whose Kid is That?!? Julie shared that her 9-year-old son is beginning to stink. A tell-tale sign that puberty is just around the corner.

The discussion of puberty quickly turned into a discussion of the latest movie from Pixar, Turning Red.

At the time of recording, Val had watched the movie but Julie hadn’t. Since then, Julie started it, but wasn’t feeling well and fell asleep about a third of the way in.

Here are our thoughts on Turning Red from Pixar:


I love all things Disney and Pixar so I knew I was going to watch Turning Red. I watched it with my 2-year-old daughter. Also, I opted not to watch it with my 5-year-old son because I figured he wouldn’t get it anyway. My daughter didn’t get it either, but I figured she wouldn’t have questions about the content. I was aware of some controversy before watching but went into it with an open mind.

I didn’t find anything about it offensive but I was confused about the target audience for the movie. It seemed to be marketed to a younger age group than would have likely benefitted or understood the movie. I think the movie could have been more impactful if it was live-action and targeted kids from ages 9-13 instead of animated and targeting kids from ages 5-10. I imagine if it was presented more like Descendants it would have appealed to the more appropriate target audience.


My family decided to watch Turning Red for family movie night a few weeks after it came out. When we watched it, I had already talked to Val about it, spoken with another friend about it, and read some posts comparing Turning Red to Luca. You can see Val’s opinion above. My other friend and her husband did not like it but their two kids (a girl – 8, and a boy -6) seemed to like it. My boys, ages 8 and 9, hadn’t asked to watch it but also agreed pretty willingly when I suggested it.

I wasn’t feeling well, so – full disclosure – I fell asleep pretty early on. I was still awake to see the scene where the mother takes the drawings to the teenage boy and accuses him of being inappropriate with her daughter. My 8-year-old had questions. He wanted to know exactly what was happening in the pictures, what was wrong with them, and what the teenager was being accused of. Since I didn’t feel well, I let dad handle that convo and fell asleep not long after. I asked the kids later what they thought of the movie and they both just shrugged.

I think that at least what I saw, was not exactly appropriate content for my kids at their ages. I’ve seen criticisms saying that this stance shows fear or unwillingness to discuss female bodies but I didn’t even get to that part of the movie. My opinion is based solely on the scene with the drawings. How do I explain that scene to my very curious kids?

To hear the full discussion, check out the latest episode of Whose Kid is That?!? with Julie and Val. You can listen on Apple or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each new episode is released!


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