Turning Red

#322: Lara, Marc, Link, and Josué discuss Turning Red. We cover the multifaceted representation and the cringe of being a young teen.


Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network, here at Geek Therapy we believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves through the media we care about. My name is Josué Cardona. I’m joined by Lara Taylor.

Lara Taylor 0:22

Josué Cardona 0:23
Link Keller,

Link Keller 0:24
sup party people.

Josué Cardona 0:26
And Marc Cuiriz.

Marc Cuiriz 0:27

Josué Cardona 0:28
Lara, it is your turn this week.

Lara Taylor 0:31
It’s my turn. And there’s a new new Disney Pixar movie

Josué Cardona 0:36
take that Happiest Pod on Earth.

Lara Taylor 0:38
That’s what we’re gonna talk about. We’re gonna talk about turning red.

Josué Cardona 0:45
Yeah, I brought it up at work. And someone was like, what is that? I don’t know what it is. And then we explained and then they were ashamed that they didn’t remember what happened. When we brought it up. As, as he should have been,

Marc Cuiriz 0:59
you know, I had somebody I had somebody else talk about it at work. And they’re like, I fell asleep through that in during that movie twice. And I was like, what? Excuse me how?

Lara Taylor 1:10
It was so good.

Marc Cuiriz 1:11
It really it really was. But I asked them, like, how could you fall asleep? They’re like, I don’t know. I just I just kept falling asleep. And I was like, well

Lara Taylor 1:18
do they have narcolepsy?

Marc Cuiriz 1:20

Josué Cardona 1:21
But what’s so good about it Lara? Hmm, why do you want to talk about it? What’s the what’s great about this movie?

Lara Taylor 1:25
Well, I wanted to talk about this movie before I saw it because they have to not one but two diabetic characters on in the movie. But that was kind of anticlimactic when I watched the movie.

Link Keller 1:38
Were there two?

Lara Taylor 1:39
There were two.

Link Keller 1:40
I only saw the one, Stacy.

Josué Cardona 1:42
So I saw zero I didn’t notice at all. When we talked about it earlier. I even made the diabetes reference. And then I thought, wait a minute. I just saw the movie. I don’t remember, diabetes reference?

Lara Taylor 1:55
To two girls have sensors on their arm. The funny thing is this movie takes place in the early 2000s. When we didn’t have those sensors, that sensor technology

Josué Cardona 2:07
this is taking place in Canada, though. Did Canada have sensors

Lara Taylor 2:10

Josué Cardona 2:10
but they have health care than us right no No, they didn’t.

Link Keller 2:14
the technology did not exist yet.

Lara Taylor 2:16
It did not exist yet. It’s just like, when we talked about on the diabetes podcast episode, we did Josué. When in panic room. The daughter had a sensor on her wrist. And that was not available to anyone under the age of 18. At the time, and she was like 15. So yeah, still representation. Good. They had creators that were diabetic. And that’s why there are two characters, but no mention of what these things on these kids arms are, or anything like that. They were very minor characters, but I appreciated it.

Josué Cardona 2:58
it’s a World. It’s an alternate, you know, parallel world where everything’s exactly the same, except that people can turn into red pandas. And

Lara Taylor 3:08
and they had sensor technology for diabetics earlier. Exactly. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that. I appreciate that. There are so many other things about this movie that I loved. I don’t know. I could go into more of those things now. But I want to hear what other people liked about the movie. And then I guess I can go into more of my, my things, but I just I really liked it. It was a lot of fun. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a while.

Josué Cardona 3:36
Marc, you were defending it now to what’s it? What’s, uh, What’s so great about this movie?

Marc Cuiriz 3:42
Well, I just, I liked how like, it really is giving it from like, the, like, the pre adolescent, like, right into the cusp. It’s giving you that fresh perspective on on what growing up is like it like it reminds like, parents what it was like growing up and understanding that like, hey, as, as your kids grow up and start to discover who they are, like, it’s important that you give them the freedom to make these discoveries because the harder you try to hold on to the chain, the more they’re going to push back at at you and you know, there were some things that I kind of like related to like, feeling good enough and trying to get parental approval. My will say though, I was physically cringing within the first like two minutes of the movie just because of how like accurate it was in terms of like the awkwardness of it but like also owning it and I was like Oh, that’s really cringy but I Okay, I’m here for it. Let’s ride it out. And then it dissipated and I was like, okay, I’m okay, now. That the whole intro sequence. It’s done. All right now now I’m here for the ride.

Josué Cardona 4:56
Link What are your thoughts?

Link Keller 4:58
I really enjoyed it, turning red, I love red pandas. I was very excited to get lots of red panda screen time. I liked the family dynamics. I loved the friend group. And I had several moments where I’m like, oh, it’s me, because I was also in eighth grade in 2002, 2003. So yeah, I was like, Oh, the big example is when Miriam gives Mei, the mixed CD or the burned CD. I was like, oh, like, there was one I still I still have a ton of them. But like there was there’s a period of time where I would just borrow people’s full, like CD binder cases and take them home and burn all of them and then make mix CDs for my friends. Yeah, that one. That took me back even harder than the Tamagotchi did.

Josué Cardona 6:04
The young people in the audience burning a CD means making a copy of it on fire.

Lara Taylor 6:10
not even just making a copy, but making a playlist of your own and then burning it.

Marc Cuiriz 6:16
Listen, I made a burns. I made a mix CD in like 2018 Okay, I know what it’s all about. I made I made one for my now wife. It was really sweet. Really cute. I even like went out and like, bought got like a blank. Like, like a CD, like

Link Keller 6:38
jewel case?

Marc Cuiriz 6:39
Yeah. And like, and I like I made like a custom like cover and like the back with like a plate like the the song lists on it. It was for like an anniversary. So I’m young. I was probably I think I was in like second or third grade in 2002. But I’m not that young. I know these things. I know what a floppy disk is.

Josué Cardona 7:00
I wasn’t I wasn’t saying it for you. And I was saying just in general. Like

Marc Cuiriz 7:04
I felt

Josué Cardona 7:05

Marc Cuiriz 7:07
I felt directly called out.

Josué Cardona 7:08
I’m sorry, you felt that way. A burn on cd means something Yeah, that means different things today than it did back then. It’s just what’s the CD, it’s Look, I’m just, I’m just trying to cover our bases. We don’t lose anybody. I enjoyed the movie a lot, too. I haven’t haven’t talked about my niece in a while. I mean, my niece and nephew. But I thought of my niece a lot during during this movie. Because when whenever I’m with her, or she tells me about her day, she’s telling me about like, like, like, like, mei and her friends. Right? It’s like, it’s like, Oh, right. And like they’re writing stories, and they’re and they’re obsessing about boy bands and stuff. I like it. Like it’s very, it was very, like, evident to me that I that, at least not in disney movies like this, that there is that perspective, like, of, of, of just like, girls who are friends, right, like in these types of movies. And it was it felt very refreshing to get a very, very different, like lens to have an adventure through. And I kept thinking of my niece throughout it. The other thing I really liked about the movie is that the things that are presented in the movie work as metaphors for multiple things. And that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s what we love here. Let’s I can’t wait to dive in to all that. So I’m sure that there are people all over the world relating to this movie in completely different ways.

Lara Taylor 8:47
Which is interesting, because the criticism, there was so much going around the internet about how a reviewer said it’s not relatable, and it’s made for one single audience and I’m like, there’s so many things to relate to in here. oh my gosh.

Josué Cardona 9:02
I mean, the one that I saw it not not to give it more like a more attention than it deserved. But the stupidity was like, oh, like I didn’t feel like this movie was speaking to me. Right. And it just it was like the obvious that it was so funny that the way that people trolled them like examples like oh, I watched Toy Story, but you know, since I’m not a toy, like, it didn’t speak to me. like, like, there’s just like a million versions of that. And it was so good because it just pointed out I mean, that’s a different way of kind of saying what I was saying, right? Whereas like, oh like this, is it this is this. Is that a perspective and we don’t see that often. So apparently this reviewer is like, oh, please like I need I need. I need something that’s like just about me through my lens of the world and it’s not so like, this sucks. It’s like Ah, thank you for pointing out In the worst way what this movie did successfully? Yeah, yeah,

Lara Taylor 10:09
yeah, there’s as someone who was once a preteen teenage girl, I really appreciated this movie for so many reasons. It made me, like Marc said, awkwardness. But like, I’m also going to bring up they, they talked about periods. And that is the thing on the internet that people are complaining about the most. And I’m like, huh,

Josué Cardona 10:36
I want to celebrate how many different pad brands

Lara Taylor 10:43
that was one well prepared mom,

Link Keller 10:47
I would put an asterix on it in that a truly well prepared, mom would have already talked about all this stuff. And I’m applying that to menstruation. And also the fact that you’re gonna turn into a red panda. Like both of those things could have been talked about before the event. But you know, this is a good starting place for that conversation. So this is doing the work. And I props to that I loved I loved the period representation. I thought it was very cool and funny and perfectly timed

Lara Taylor 11:19
and lit perfectly. The mom shows up at the school with the pads. Don’t forget your pads!

Link Keller 11:25
so embarrassing. Oh,

Josué Cardona 11:28
that scene in the in the convenience store.

Link Keller 11:33
So embarrassing.

Josué Cardona 11:35
Time slows down and like

Lara Taylor 11:38
no mom no no.

Josué Cardona 11:39
I stopped breathing

Lara Taylor 11:42
I was like, Is she really going to? Oh, my God. She is? Oh, no. Oh, yeah. And it’s interesting. This movie, I talk a lot about like, missing my mom. But this movie made me the one thing that I can appreciate about my mom passing away when I was 11 is I never had to have any of those experiences with her.

Link Keller 12:11
oh my god!

Lara Taylor 12:12
I get to have a wonderful memory and not have those experiences.

Josué Cardona 12:18
If you change your mind at all, just tell

Link Keller 12:20
your mom respectfully bowed out before the cringe time come.

Lara Taylor 12:25
Exactly. It’s, it’s it’s the truth. I was like, huh, I can I can appreciate that. But there are so many other moments in the movie that I was like, Oh, I wish I had that with my mom. There’s, like, Nina and I were watching it together. And when when Mei says, like, I like boys, and I like loud music, and I like to gyrate Nina, was like I feel like that’s something I said to my mother was something like something I said to my mother. I was like, I hope every preteen girl tells her mom, I like to gyrate now. I think

Josué Cardona 13:10
I’m sure Nina said that. Yeah.

Lara Taylor 13:11
Something like that. Yeah. Something like that sounds like something she would say.

Link Keller 13:16
Mom, everybody grinds at the dance. Shut up.

Lara Taylor 13:20

Josué Cardona 13:21

Marc Cuiriz 13:22
Oh, my goodness.

Lara Taylor 13:24
So there’s so many good moments in this movie, dealing with all kinds of relationships and friendships, family relationships. Get into the grandma and the aunties. And it’s all so good. It’s all so good. I don’t even know where to start. Other than what we’ve already talked about for 15 minutes.

Josué Cardona 13:49
Link, you got notes.

Link Keller 13:51
I do have notes. Okay, the scene in the beginning when dad is cooking is so sexy oh my God. I love that very, very Studio Ghibli vibes with the cooking. Fantastic. Studio Ghibli and I love the callback. At the end when mom invites the friends over for dinner and they’re like, Oh, we get to eat his food. Yes. I loved that. That was fantastic.

Josué Cardona 14:28
Why was it fantastic?

Link Keller 14:31
Because it was sexy as fuck. Because dad was cooking because it looks so good. Oh my gosh. it’s beautiful

Marc Cuiriz 14:43
Like the Anime glasses like shine, and then it just was like, oh, no, it’s just the fog. Let me just wipe that off real quick.

Link Keller 14:51
Yes, yes. I love that. I do want to point out that this is the first Pixar film that is led by a woman Domee Shi, which is very cool. She’s been working with Pixar for many years. But this is this is her project. She’s She is the showrunner, the leader. And I think that’s really cool. And I’m very excited about that. There was so much representation of different types of people just milling about in this school, which I loved. I don’t know if Toronto was actually like that in 2002. But I like to believe that it was because it was beautiful to look at seeing all sorts of different types of people even even at the at the concert that like, when they’re all running away from the giant Pandas. There’s a girl in a wheelchair, I was like, Oh, that’s so cool. I didn’t notice it the first time. The second time. I got very excited. But yeah, lots of lots of great representation. Even within the friend group. Like Miriam and Abby, and Priya, and Mei, it was all so unique and special, and they loved each other so much. It was beautiful.

Lara Taylor 16:03
I am waiting for Miriam to realize that she likes girls. I’m just saying.

Link Keller 16:08
I also got that vibe. Big time.

Lara Taylor 16:12
And I said to Nina when she was like, what is the tomboy want to always gotta be queer. And I was like, because that was me. And I was obsessed with boy bands. My first concert was the Backstreet Boys. So that was

Link Keller 16:25
I also I also think, Priya gave off some some queer vibes to and they, they sort of danced around it in how she interacted with the goth girl whose name I can’t remember. But they were vibing. And I thought it was very cute. And I was like, oh, oh, are there queers in this friend group. Because if there’s one, there’s probably more than one just statistically speaking.

Lara Taylor 16:53
Mm hmm. Good movie, good movie. One thing that I liked, I saw this meme that was talking about the relationship with with Mei and her mom. And it basically says, Ming Lee put a lot of pressure and smothered made to the point where she was terrified of ever making a mistake, getting a bad grade, or disappointing her in any way. And there was not a single doubt or implication that Ming Lee didn’t love her family, she loved mei more than anything in the world and constantly showed it. And those are statements that can and should coexist. And I really liked that sentiment that like, parents are imperfect. And they show love in different ways. And maybe, maybe they learned just like Abeula learned in Encanto. Just maybe,

Josué Cardona 17:58
maybe, maybe,

Link Keller 18:01
yeah, I really liked the, the relationship that we see between Mei and her mom, and then her mom, and grandma, and how they’ve all sort of dealt with turning into red pandas and also being immigrants, and how the need to fit in has changed over time. And so the standards that grandma held to Mingare different than the ones that Ming held to Mei. But even then, it’s coming from the experience that she had. And so she’s reenacting the same sort of like, No, you, you need to do the ritual to bind your red panda, because that is what we all do now. And Mei being like, you know what, I don’t want to do that. I don’t, I don’t want to do that. I don’t have to do that. I have acceptance here. And maybe you didn’t and that’ssad. But I do. And I don’t want to bind that aspect of me. And that part of who I am. I think that that was really beautiful.

Marc Cuiriz 19:14
I do also like, like, sort of like the parallels, like you were talking about, like, between, like, mei and her mom, especially like at the end when they’re all in the ritual. And then, like, mei has that interaction with her mom when she was her age or roughly around that time. And they’re both having pretty much the same exact thoughts of like, I want to be good enough. I have to do these things. I have to be essentially perfect. And then and she’s essentially trying to comfort her mom. Almost like, like she’s talking to one of her friends. It’s like yeah, I get that. I know how that feels. And it’s not always like that. And then they they walk through the forest together and until they get to the this point like this, you know, the back to the grove. And it’s like this sense of understanding between the two of them. And even though the mom still wants her to try to conform, and try to, like, you know, still do the things that they’ve, like they’ve done for so long. She also is now more understanding and more willing to accept her for the direction that she wants to go. So like, you know, she doesn’t want to give up her panda and wants to keep that part of her. Then she like, Okay, well, I, I’m still going to try this. However, regardless of what you do, I’m going to support you, I’m always going to be proud of you. And I’m always going to love you, which I thought was nice.

Link Keller 20:42
I thought it was really important that Mei explicitly said, Look, I want to do this thing, but I am scared that it is going to take me further away from you. And how like how, how very, like open and honest and vulnerable it is to actually say something like that of like, look, I this is the choice I need to make to be true to who I am. But I’m not doing it. As a way to like act out against you, I am afraid of losing our closeness. But it is important for me to be who I am. And I hope that you can accept that and mom being like, I’m fuckin scared too but all right, I’m in I’m in and I want to watch you grow, even if that means that you’re gonna grow away from me, I want to I want to witness your growth. And I think, Oh, that’s so good. It’s definitely something that every teen probably needs to hear.

Lara Taylor 21:23
And probably and every parent needs to hear to see this and see that. Yeah, it’s normal will be scared that your kids growing up, it’s normal for a kid to be scared of growing up or separating from a parent. It It just is. And we don’t talk about it. We just yell at our teenagers. Yeah.

Marc Cuiriz 22:11
No, yeah. I mean, this is where like, I started drawing a lot of parallels, because, like, at least for me, growing up, like, I also had like a really close relationship with my mom throughout all of my teen years. And while obviously, there are some things that like we didn’t quite have conversations about, like, this idea of growing up and kind of growing apart from my mom was something that was a really big source of contention. Like, it didn’t really hit for me until I was probably like, 17, 18 ish or so. But I remember specifically having a conversation kind of similar to Mei and Ming like, Listen, I’m growing up, and I need to do these things. And I’m not doing it out of spite, I’m not doing this because I don’t want to be around you or I want to get away from you. I’m doing this because this is where I feel I need to go. And my mom trying to gather that courage of saying, Oh, listen, I don’t agree. yet. I’m gonna let you sort of like, do your thing. And just know that if for whatever reason what you do doesn’t work out. Know that I will gladly let like, open like, open my arms to you no questions asked. You just come home. And that was like some of the nice things and, like made me sort of remember the kind of relationship that I did have, and the fact that I was grateful for it. Because I know that there. If I look back on it, there are times when I’m like, oh man. My mom was being heckin’ rude, trying to try to try to get me to not do the things that I wanted to do. And then watching this, I look back and I’m like, she was doing it from a place of love and trying to be a protector at the same time. She was also scared and trying to do her best as basically a single parent. So

Lara Taylor 24:20
at least she didn’t turn into a giant red panda and embarrass you in front of all your friends and half the city.

Josué Cardona 24:28
You don’t know that those things happened. Marc hasn’t told us everything.

Marc Cuiriz 24:33
I have a secret guys. I actually turned into a giant polar bear.

Lara Taylor 24:39

Marc Cuiriz 24:41
So the secret’s out now

Josué Cardona 24:43
what what emotions cause that

Marc Cuiriz 24:48
intense intense anger which is why I never get angry. Or maybe I’m like the hulk and I’m just always angry

Link Keller 24:57
I was literally just thinking that

Lara Taylor 25:01
I mean, Josué you ask what feelings but the thing with turning red is her panda comes out with any intense emotion. And she has to get Zen and I thought that was interesting. The use of like, brushing her hair as a coping strategy. And the when she goes to this visualization place in her head of being with her friends, yes, she lies and tells her mom that like, it’s your love, that makes me calm. It’s beautiful to see her friends calm her in that way. And it’s something that I point to, to all my clients about, like, who’s your support system? Finds we it’s important to have somebody to be able to rely on and or even they’re just, even if it’s not people having a place you can visualize it, and it feels safe and calm to you. I love that.

Josué Cardona 26:00
Yeah, also, like different types of grounding, right things that you can, you can find to anchor yourself. There. Yeah. It emphasizes the, the importance of the, of her friendships. And also, I think, of how that’s reading a lot on attachment theory. So I think that’s very much like, like, like, safe haven type of thing, right? Like, like, her, she loves her family. Sure. But like, the place she goes to the people she would go to, if she was not feeling well, she needed help if she needed support. Like, that’s, that’s where she’s going right? Mentally, but also in reality, and it’s the only place where she can more of a safe haven than the homebase thing, right? It’s like, I can be myself

Lara Taylor 26:57
she can fully be herself

Josué Cardona 26:57
it’s the only way that I can be myself. And that’s the biggest, like, the biggest metaphor for the for the red panda, right being that when she’s when she’s going through the ritual, she knows that she’s, she would be rejecting and literally, removing from herself and locking away parts of herself that she’s not ashamed of, and she doesn’t hate. Actually, I hadn’t thought about this, but one of my childhood traumas I mean, there’s a series of things, but there’s this one moment where my, my, my mom had sent me some he-man toys. I don’t know, if I’ve told this story before. And so she sent me like a big he-man sword and a Skeletor staff. And my family is very religious. So they had, they were not comfortable with this staff with a skull on it. Right. And like, they were like, clash and like, make sounds, and it was, it was so awesome. And it was a gift from my mom, whom I did not live with at the time, my parents were divorced. So so my mom had sent me this as a present as a birthday present, I think. And so then my grandmother basically had a ritual, where, like, she invited other people over. And then like, like, while she was like, praying and shit, like, made me like, break this toy that my mom had had given to me. And, yeah, and so it’s, it felt very much like, even though I love this thing, like, that’s not okay here. And and we’re gonna make, like, it’s not just because like, Mei’s the situation is that she, she’s not allowed to be herself when she’s with her family. And then the extreme version of that is I actually, we’re going to have a whole ritual. Right, and the families are here. And we’re going to do this publicly, and in a flashy way. And like, symbolically, we are going to remove this piece of you. And I mean, there’s even the more twisted version of a piece of it is that like, it’s actually it is somewhat voluntary. Right. Like, apparently, every single person goes through this ritual and has the has is like making a choice

Lara Taylor 26:58
they have to choose to do it.

Josué Cardona 26:59
Yeah, yeah. So you feel super, like, when I was a kid at that age, I don’t know that I really had a choice. Right. But I mean, technically, I could have I could have not done it. But I didn’t feel like I had a choice right and so to Mei’s adventure through the movie allows her to get to a point where when it comes to that ritual, and all of that pressure, like literally generations of pressure going all the way back to her ancestor, right like she had been raised on this stuff. You know, it’s like, this is your duty, this is what you do we work at the temple, like, but she has such a good time. And everybody is so accepting at school, even the kids, even the kid who like, bullied her, like, wanted a red panda at his birthday, right? Like, everybody accepted her. Nobody, nobody was scared, like just so much acceptance to then get to that point. And then it’s like, guess what it is what it’s all been about, you need to reject, you need to reject yourself right now. It’s like, sorry, but like, the other people in the world really loved me. And I kind of love me now too, because of that. So I’m not I’m not going to do it. That is that is a hell of a powerful story that we see play out there. And it’s like, so it’s something that we go through. So internally, and I love that, like, all of the visual aspects that we have for it, and all the different pieces that we can, that we can see and, and play with and conversations like this and relate to

Lara Taylor 31:06
I, I am amazed at how close your story is to this story in this movie. And somewhere along the line while you were talking, I thought about the idea of the framework and the frame of reference that someone is working from. So Ming had this experience of being like, the dad describes her as like a monster like as like destructive. And so her read,

Josué Cardona 31:36
she was big,

Lara Taylor 31:37
very big, giant, angry, and she hurts her mom. And that framework makes her scared of like, oh, not necessary. I don’t know if it’s about, say mei hurting her. But there is an experience of like, I don’t want my child to go through this guilt of hurting somebody, I don’t want her to have to be this,

Josué Cardona 32:02
to carry that

Lara Taylor 32:03
and not seeing her and her panda and who her panda is her I’m talking about Mei where the dad sees the video of her goofing off with friends and having fun. And like saying, you know, this is done, you look pretty happy. This looks just just fun and nice.

Josué Cardona 32:25
You know, I love the way that that played out. Because he didn’t say, You look happy here. It was like,

Lara Taylor 32:31
No, it was like, you’re having fun it made me laugh.

Josué Cardona 32:32
it made me laugh. It was like, see, like, he framed that as like, This brought me joy. You know, not just like, I see that you’re because there’s no

Lara Taylor 32:43
your joy made me like he didn’t say that. But the the essence of your joy brought me joy.

Josué Cardona 32:48
Right exactly like that. It was such an accepting way of talking about that. Because he could have said, You’d look happy. And then maybe a part of mei would have still been like, yeah, like, obviously I look happy. But obviously you’re not happy about it or you don’t approve, right and like without, like, just I don’t know what you’re feeling. I’m not gonna put words on it. But it made me happy to see this. Like, like I, I’m, I’m not only on board, like I like this, whatever this is, like I that that was a choice that they made to present it that way. And I think I think that that that that part really stood out to me.

Marc Cuiriz 33:29
I thought that was the really big power move of having the deadline not only like having it be the dad but just the fact that it’s a family member for herself. Because her whole thing is I need to do this for the family. This is all about for the family. And yet now here is someone from her family saying this made me happy and I’m on board with this. You know, you decide and you decide to do whatever it is you want to do like like in he’s referring to simply just keeping the video or deleting the video. But then that applies to the actual ritual itself like you decide to do whatever you want to do and then that’s kind of like what starts are like, really like thinking back

Lara Taylor 34:15
thinking she has a choice.

Marc Cuiriz 34:17
Exactly. And I just thought it was great.

Link Keller 34:21
I would submit that the dad’s support is not being like you should choose the panda versus you should choose what mom wants. I think that his stance is very much like this is all a part of who you are. You need to incorporate this thing that clearly look at his video. This is this is part of who you are. This is part of your joy. And you should incorporate that into your full self and I think that it is very easy to pit the mom against the friend group but I think it is less of that and more have an overlap. And I think a visual example of that is when we see the the period scene and the mom is like, I’ve got all these pads, I’ve got Advil, she sends her with snacks and herbal tea. And then when she gets to school, when she gets to school with her friends, her friends were like, Hey, you’re kind of stinky and Priya has deodorant to give her which is like a total bro move. 100% love priya for that. But I think that that shows that they’re not these are not opposed forces. This is about learning how to incorporate where you’ve come from your history, honoring your family and your traditions. And also being your own person exploring who you are. And combining those things together. She is not rejecting her mom.

Josué Cardona 35:44
acceptance left and right there

Link Keller 35:46
Yes. And I think that is such an important thing to show to kids, it’s like, there are going to be times where you are going to push against what your parents want. But it’s not, it’s not always like that. And most of the time, I would say it is some sort of shade of gray between those things. It is learning to differentiate who you are and the choices you make while accepting and honoring where you’ve come from and how you got there.

Josué Cardona 36:15
I was thinking of the exact same scene as the father coming in with the camera, the equivalent to that scene in Encanto, where the father comes in to the room and sees the like the glass, right? Like it’s playing out in a similar way. And I haven’t thought this through completely, but but I was thinking back to that, like the like, Marc, you call it a power move, right? It’s like it’s like, it was just, it just represented like there was no nuance there was the only message was acceptance and not rejection, right. 100% There was no, there was no room for interpretation. I was just like, I accept this period, we’re done. And then in Encanto, right, it’s like, the father comes in, and he’s supportive in a way. But he’s still there’s still this rejection of all these things.

Lara Taylor 37:06
He’s like, sticking with the status quo,

Josué Cardona 37:08
he’s hiding it. He’s hiding it from everyone else. He’s like, look, we can pretend that this isn’t happening, you know. And here, even Yeah, I mean, link to take that point even further, like, even the moment that they realize that she’s turning into a panda that’s like, oh, already, right? It’s like, oh, yeah, I guess we’ve been waiting. Right? That there’s no, there’s never the things sure that the mom is constantly rejecting things that that mei likes, and her friends and things like that, but mei hasn’t never made the case for those things being like, important to her. Right? And she just kind of plays along with that. She She didn’t try. But of course, as the movie progresses, we see. And then again, that idea of acceptance just keeps going growing and growing and growing. And every single, like, at the end, it’s just exponential, right? Because then every woman in the family is just like embracing that part of themselves as like, oh, it’s not just a negative thing. We can also we know that we can do good things with this actually even before that, when when, for mei, it basically becomes a superpower. Right? Like she gets a she started double jumping. She figures that out and it’s like, oh, oh, and then it’s like just see she has that spider man moment, right? Like miles morales. where he’s just like, Oh, like this is so free right like and she’s falling in that part was so good. Again, accepting just like this is it’s all me this is this is a good thing. The mom comes in kaiju mode, breaking things apart, and they and still everybody accepts her right? It’s like no, we’re still going to help her It’s okay. We’re just going to just get to you know, we’re here to help her out. And we’re going to use ours be our version of it and it’s okay like it’s just just acceptance acceptance, acceptance keep going through and even four town at the end is just like we’re joining in, we accept what’s happening we’re going to sing too and just

Lara Taylor 39:08
and then they eventually take photos with all the whole family and everybody everybody it’s great.

Josué Cardona 39:13
Yeah, that’s very satisfying. I

Link Keller 39:15
really love the blending of the four town song and the the ritual music in the final number was so good like, thematically but also like it sounded great. So good and oh my gosh, I

Josué Cardona 39:31
she does boots and what she’s goes like boots and

Link Keller 39:33
boots and cats and boots. And cats

Josué Cardona 39:35
boots and cats and boots and cats

Link Keller 39:37
I had to look up what the instrument is called, but a wooden fish or they’re called idiophones. That’s the round wood thing that you knock on to do the drumbeat that the one that was red panda themed Oh my God, I want that so bad. I want one of those. Anybody makes instruments out there that’s that’s what I would like. Thank you.

Lara Taylor 40:03
I’m sure someone on Etsy is gonna be all over that.

Josué Cardona 40:07
I thought it was so funny that when you know they’re doing the beatboxing and Tyler’s there like with drumsticks like keeping the beat to like he’s all in at that point. Oh, that’s the thing. Like, he’s the bully and all this stuff. And the moment that they see him at the concert, they’re just like, ah, and they hug him. It’s like, you’re one of us. Like, he thinks he’s gonna get rejected and he’s not, They accept him! immediately

Link Keller 40:27
Did you guys notice that each of the girls had one of the five four town members. They each had one that they were interested in. And then Tyler came in and he was the he completed the group they each had one he was so cute and I loved it!

Josué Cardona 40:42
in the picture he’s he’s like back to back with with the one with the headband. Just like him that has like, yeah,

Link Keller 40:49
the, the joke Aaron T and Aaron z in the band made me laugh. I’m like, oh, it’s like Spice Girls. I love that the boy band stuff was spot on.

Josué Cardona 41:04
Yeah, that’s the there’s an after credit scene where the father it’s just the father listening to four town too

Link Keller 41:12
it’s very cute. Yeah. I actually when I was when I watched the first time, it’s like the credits were rolling. And I started doing something else. And then I was like, there’s an after credit scene! I got so excited. Only a few seconds it’s very cute. I got I got real stoked on that after credit scene.

Josué Cardona 41:35
But but it was, I mean, I I kind of liked that they didn’t like sure the mom didn’t accept the you know, the music and the gyrations but like there was there was no making fun of the fact that people liked boy bands, right? Like it’s so easy to just make that thing and it didn’t like no like everybody lives four town Shut up. You know, like

Lara Taylor 42:00
one of the moms said that the daughter was listening to stripper music

Josué Cardona 42:06
what’s wrong with that?

Marc Cuiriz 42:07
yeah what is wrong with that?

Link Keller 42:10
I did love that detail of the three girls are like our parents said no. And the Miriam’s like Oh, my mom said Yeah, but I have to pay for myself. Like I don’t think there was anything else that gave like, her name is Miriam and then that interaction with her mom. I’m like she’s Jewish

Josué Cardona 42:34
representation Yeah. Yeah, lots of stuff to

Lara Taylor 42:44
the the mermaid crush art, I swear was on point. It was beautiful.

Josué Cardona 42:55
I don’t I have no comment. I dunno what to say.

Lara Taylor 42:57
It is so awkward. So awkward.

Marc Cuiriz 43:02
Yeah. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having your parents find either your journal your hidden drawings. And then then having to try to have a conversation either a have a conversation about it, or in this case, freak out.

Lara Taylor 43:23
So I’m going through something like that. So we’re moving into we bought a house, we’re moving into a house and I finally have room for all the things that my dad has been saving from my childhood bedroom. And there’s a file cabinet in my garage right now with I opened it up and I was like, Oh, God, please tell me no one has looked at this. Because there’s stuff in there. From like my roleplaying days on AOL. There’s like games of mash from like middle school. Like, there’s like, I found a bunch of teen like, bought magazine, Tiger Beat magazine, and then a Victoria’s Secret catalogue

Link Keller 44:12
the signs were all there. Oh my god. I’ve got I’ve got

Lara Taylor 44:17
I’m just like, I can’t I can’t No one. Nina can’t look at it. No.

Link Keller 44:22
forbidden zone. I have a file folder full of like old doodles from high school. And some of them are wildly inappropriate. Like Harry Potter sex stuff. I can’t I don’t want to get rid of it. Because it’s very representative of that time in my life. And it’s art from my friends who I none of whom I’m still in contact with. But at the time I deeply loved it is like, beautiful to keep that stuff but the idea of my parents like finding it and it’s like you said Marc is like is one thing the discomfort and cringe of having to have that conversation with your parents, but the idea of them like showing it to other people, Oh God, I would have died. I would have died

Lara Taylor 45:08
I feel really bad for a friend of mine, my dad and he’s also been cleaning up things and he was cleaning off a hard drive from an old computer. And he found a poem that my best friend in middle school in high school wrote about a friend of ours. And it’s very embarrassing. He texted me a photo of it, and then I texted it to her and my dad found this and he read it enough to see your name at the bottom. Good times,

Marc Cuiriz 45:43
I have a time capsule type bin that’s upstairs and one of the closets. And it’s just a lot of my stuff from back in back in my grade school days. And there are things that that like my friends and I remember going through like the yearbooks and middle school and like making comments on people and like doing all these things and I look back on it and it’s just turned into a cringe capsule at this point. Like I hope to god I like I’m I can’t get rid of it. I don’t wanna look at it

Link Keller 46:14
No, because if you ever get a really big head and very egotistical is like you need something that can just pop that pop that open deflate your deflate you a little bit

Josué Cardona 46:26
a form of grounding.

Link Keller 46:31
You came from cringe we all came from cringe.

Marc Cuiriz 46:37
You know, I was actually having a thought of like, I remember drive I was driving home from from class. And I kept I had a random thought about how I acted in like sixth grade through middle school. And I was just thinking back on all the things I’ve said all the things I’ve done or didn’t do. And I just wanted nothing more than to just crawl into my bed and never see the light of day ever again. I was like oh my god I was so cringe. I was so awkward. I was so embarrassing.

Lara Taylor 47:09
All of us were

Marc Cuiriz 47:11
It was awful.

Link Keller 47:12
it’s an important part of development.

Lara Taylor 47:15
Especially the ones who thought they weren’t they were

Josué Cardona 47:26
there’s one scene kind of related to this. I’m wondering how you all felt about it. When she’s drawing in the notebook? She’s like, Who What did I do that I just draw is that is that? What was his name? Devon?

Marc Cuiriz 47:42

Josué Cardona 47:42
Devon Is that Is that am I

Lara Taylor 47:45
I don’t even like him

Josué Cardona 47:46
wait a minute I don’t do or do I wait what? and then realizing or at least starting to realize or question whether or not like what’s happening to her No, no, no no one relates to that one? I can see your faces no one else can see them but I see your faces.

Lara Taylor 48:12
I don’t know

Link Keller 48:13
no, I related to that. But more so to after she gets caught and she is returned to her room after the very embarrassing experience with her mom and she’s like yelling at herself in the mirror about like how could you do this? This is gross. You draw on your stupid sexy pictures? Because like oh yeah, no, I’ve been there. It’s like no, it is cringe but accept it. It’s important is part of who you are. Part of you is cringy. it’s beautiful

Josué Cardona 48:43
when she’s running past the convenience store and she sees him as she goes awooga that was the funniest

Marc Cuiriz 48:51
and her feet go like dun dundun dun

Link Keller 48:59
I feel like I definitely did that out loud. Genuinely in middle school like that’s feel something I did for sure.

Josué Cardona 49:12
No, I taught at a middle school for a while that is all middle school teachers. My just mad respect to all of you. That’s all that’s all I’m gonna say.

Lara Taylor 49:28
Josué can confirm. Middle schoolers are cringe.

Josué Cardona 49:32
I don’t want to say cringe I don’t know what’s the right word for it, but they’re there. There’s something it’s it’s, it’s nothing makes sense during that time. It’s it’s definitely a middle school.

Link Keller 49:50
Existence is awkward, but it is never more clear than when you were in the 11 to 14 age range.

Josué Cardona 49:58
That is A hell of a thing. Yeah. Yeah. it’s incredible. Oh, yeah, yeah. All right, did we hit all your notes link

Link Keller 50:10
uhh pretty much I did want to touch on I really, I mean, it’s a beautiful, beautifully animated movie, they did some really cool stuff with color

Josué Cardona 50:19
the fur!

Link Keller 50:21
most most specifically is that Mei is red, she wears red. Or when she’s got her panda powers, her hair is red. Obviously, the panda is red. And her mom is always in green, teal colors. And I think it’s really important to note that they both have a piece on their outfit that reflects the other mei has the green hair clip, and mom wears the red panda pendant. And so they both have a little bit of each other. And I think that that’s so beautiful. It’s really illustrated in that scene where she’s doing the drawing is when she’s at her desk, the lighting is green. And then when she goes under the bed, the lighting turns red, and I thought that was so beautiful. Great, great color stuff. Love that shit, mmm!

Josué Cardona 51:09
yeah Yeah.

Lara Taylor 51:11
Each of the friends even has their color. Right? Yeah. And then,

Link Keller 51:18
including Tyler,

Lara Taylor 51:19
including Tyler, who brings another color to the group. It’s great.

Josué Cardona 51:24
Yeah. Marc, have we hit all the notes that you wanted to hit?

Marc Cuiriz 51:29
Yeah, yeah, I’d say so.

Josué Cardona 51:32

Lara Taylor 51:33
We definitely hit all the notes I wanted to hit.

Josué Cardona 51:37
No, more, nothing else on the diabetes front?

Lara Taylor 51:41
I want I want more.

Josué Cardona 51:44
You should start up a podcast. Yeah. Specifically about diabetes

Lara Taylor 51:50
but that doesn’t get me diabetes content.

Josué Cardona 51:53
But then you you’d be looking for it harder. And then maybe, maybe people will listen and start making more diabetes content,

Lara Taylor 52:00
but I am already I am already looking for it. Because I have the the like, confirmation bias or what I found. I’m looking for it constantly. And that’s how I was like, in the art in the clip screenshot they sent out. I don’t know how released it last year. I was like someone who’s diabetic, and then I sent you when they confirmed a second character, a picture. So I’m always looking for it. I’m usually disappointed.

Josué Cardona 52:36
Two steps forward one step back.

Link Keller 52:39
Based on maybe the next, the next Disney movie will be diabetes representation.

Lara Taylor 52:47
The thing I thought was interesting is they put this patch on the arm and insulin pump would have been accurate. So

Josué Cardona 52:54
I knew you had at least one more diabetes note.

Lara Taylor 52:58
No more diabetes yeah an insulin pump would have been accurate.

Josué Cardona 53:01
Yeah, yeah. Good, though. Historic. Hollywood. If you need a diabetes expert consultant for your films. You got one

Lara Taylor 53:14
I’m right here.

Josué Cardona 53:15
Come on.

Lara Taylor 53:15
I’m right here.

Josué Cardona 53:16
what are you doing

Lara Taylor 53:17
call me

Link Keller 53:18
Lara is available for consultation. Make sure you got money for those rates, though, doesn’t come cheap.

Josué Cardona 53:28
Because insulin they’ll come to you.

Lara Taylor 53:31
no it’s not. even the generic brand

Josué Cardona 53:36
will you accept insulin as payment.

Lara Taylor 53:40
huh that’s a thought

Josué Cardona 53:42
up for negotiation, contact Lara

Lara Taylor 53:46
probably cost more than my going rate but

Josué Cardona 53:49
maybe to contact Lara or any of us. Check out the our information in the show notes along with links to find all of our community spaces where you can talk about this movie, or other media that we discuss on this show. And all our other shows on the network. I’m sure that the happiest pod on earth our Disney podcast will also cover this movie. And I’m very curious to see you what Ariel and, and Stef think about about it as well. Thank you so much for listening. Go to Geek therapy.org For more Geek Therapy. Remember to geek out and do good. We’ll be back next week.

Link Keller 54:29
mmmm buhBye.

Josué Cardona 54:32
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Turning Red (2022)
  • Encanto (2021)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
  • Miles Morales / Spider-Man
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Attachment Theory
* Change
* Cultural representation
* Diabetes
* Difficult emotions
* Family
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Honesty/Lies
* Making new friends
* Resilience
* Strong female role models
* Standing up for oneself

Relatable Experience:

* Acceptance
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Friendship
* Making Others Worry
* New Life Event (New Rules)
* Periods/menstruation

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

Tell us how you related to Mei’s experiences in Turning Red.

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