The Red Turtle (2016)

Original Titles

La Tourte Rouge レッドタートル ある島の物語


Animation | Fantasy


Michaël Dudok de Wit


France | Belgium | Japan


A nameless castaway attempts to leave a desert island but a red turtle stops him.


In times when 3D animation is a must - or at least that's why Hollywood is trying to say -, Studio Ghibli yet again amazes the entire world with "The Red Turtle", a spectacular 2D animated film that touches more serious, mature themes than usual and therefore ends up being more of an adult film than one for kids.

With a dialogue-less story - because this is the kind of story that doesn't need words - about nature and human beings being part of it, the film magically blends reality and fantasy and beautifully captures the life stages of a castaway - he could be each one of us, though. And the ending, oh my, it is so poetic and moving; it also gives the film so much more meaning - showing that humans always look for a reason to do something - and it's the reason why everyone should give this film a try.

The other (obviously) outstanding aspect of the film is the animation. Some may argue it is too minimalist, too repetitive and lacking in action; I saw a great mixture between European and Japanese styles. Dodok de Wit does not fill his film dazzling special effects and that's why the film works so well. The animation, especially the character movements and settings, are so realistic it will blow you away. The colours are also wonderful.

However, "The Red Turtle" isn't perfect. The director is known for his short animations and maybe he should have kept doing that. What I'm trying to say is that the story doesn't feel written for a feature film, and sitting through the film for 80 minutes feels a bit tedious at times. 

Anyway, if you are a fan of Studio Ghibli, or survival movies, this makes for a great watch.

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