There is a heated debate surrounding Disney Pixar’s latest animated feature Turning Red, a cartoon about a 13 y.o. girl who magically transforms into a red panda [1A].
Many critics have praised the film, calling it a celebration of teen girls [1B]. Others view it as a narrative on intergenerational trauma [1C]. Still others see the film as demonic .
Plot Line of Turning Red
Mei’s mother expects her to work in the family temple which honors the red panda. With puberty, Mei begins turning into a red panda, herself, whenever she experiences strong emotion. She learns this problem has plagued the family for generations. According to Mei’s mother, the cure is a ritual which buries happiness and passion, along with anger and fear.
Intergenerational trauma is a concept used to explain how the traumatic effects of a historical event may be passed from one generation to the next .
Despite having survived a Nazi concentration camp, a grandmother who coped there by repressing her emotions may remain distant from her family for decades afterwards. This will impact not only her children, but their children, and so on. Generations of denial, emotional distance, and defensive behavior can result.
Intergenerational trauma is associated with rape, sexual abuse, murder and other forms of severe trauma. It can be passed on even if the trauma is never identified by name or discussed with family members. Continue reading