Turning Red ending explained – will Mei break the curse?
This article discusses the ending of the Disney+ film Turning Red and will contain spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut writer, Adam Lock, called Turning Red “an absolute joy. Family-friendly fun that embraces an awkward part of growing up in a meaningful way.”
Early on in the film, Mei is informed that her transformation into a red panda is actually a family rite of passage, which all females through the generations must overcome. A ritual is to be performed on the night of the next red moon to banish this inner beast from her body. Mei is desperate to live a normal life again and wishes to attend a 4*Town concert with her friends, yet the ritual is scheduled for the same night. The cursed child must decide whether to attend the concert of a lifetime or the ritual that will return her to normality.
Having finally raised the funds to attend the concert, Mei and her friends celebrate on the rooftop of Tyler’s house. The class bully, Tyler, had made a deal with the girls in which Mei would appear at his birthday party as the giant red panda fluff ball in return for cash. Tyler bosses her about and they inevitably argue. She releases her angry inner beast, causing the bully to cry and call for his parents. Mei’s mother is summoned and she blames Mei’s school friends for this emotional deviation. Mei doesn’t defend her friends either and sides with the mother instead.
The ritual begins with the family members singing in unison and Mei starts to levitate. She’s transported to a cane forest, where she sees an apparition of her ancestor Sun Yee. Mei steps through a mirrored portal, sacrificing her new powers forever. However, the teen changes her mind at the last second and breaks the ritual’s spell, deciding to keep the curse. She heads towards the concert with a new resolve and her enraged mother chases her to the Sky Dome.
Disney+ film Turning Red ending explained
Mei’s mother Ming transforms into her red panda, one that towers above the concert stadium like a kaiju. She battles with her daughter in the middle of the crowded show. The concert-goers disperse and Mei’s family attempt a second ritual, hoping to calm Ming and transform everyone back into their original selves. This time, the gang have help with vocals from 4*Town and all of Mei’s supportive friends. It’s an invigorating scene as all the ladies work together to break the spell.
Mei and her mother talk alone in the cane forest. Ming reveals that she too was a perfectionist as a teenager, who fell out with her mother as well. History repeating itself. Mei states that she is worried about losing her bond with Ming. Her mother admits that she may have been too hard on Mei. Her parting advice is to not ‘hold back’, adding that she is proud of her daughter. Ming walks through the portal as the red moon fades away. Mei, on the other hand, is adamant about staying just as she is, embracing the beast within.