Review: Turning Red is another rich, captivating crowd-pleaser

Pixar couldn't make a bad movie even if they tried and their latest Turning Red is yet another rich, captivating crowd-pleaser.

It's also the best kind of family conversation starter.

Lead character Mei Ling has that special kind of dorkiness that she owns like the tween queen she is. Ling and her squad - Miriam, Abby, and Priya - are as irrepressible as they are obsessive about one thing: the boy band 4 Town.

Then one morning Ling wakes up and her life changes forever. And not just in the usual teenage way. Ling's mum Ming leaps to action, convinced her daughter is freaking out at having her first period.

But Ling has far bigger issues than just menstruation. She has turned into a giant, red, panda.

Panda-modium (cough) of course ensues. While Ling embraces her inner giant red panda, there's a lot she doesn't know about her mum and their family secret.

But there's one thing she does know. She wants to see her favourite boy band live, and come hell or red panda she will do anything to make that happen.

Definitively classic Pixar, Turning Red is something else again. A genuine opportunity to validate the challenges of puberty and sexuality, and to normalise the conversation around periods.

And as Pixar never fails to do, the story mainlines straight into the heart and the humanity of the characters and by extension, the audience - in all our marvellous, rebellious, complicated glory.

Four-and-a-half stars.