The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)

Certificate PG

(2016) 80 mins

Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Writer: Michael Dudok de Wit, Pascale Ferran
Music: Laurent Perez Del Mar


A shipwrecked sailor’s survival on a tropical island becomes dependent on his complex relationship with a giant red turtle in this wordless animated feature, a first-ever international co-production for Japan’s esteemed Studio Ghibli (makers of Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro).


As the solo castaway learns the hard way that he must respect his new environment, no dialogue is needed to spell out the film’s reverence for the natural world, and the understanding that mankind is not its master. The course of 80 minutes brings us nail-biting drama, a touch of romance (!) and a profound engagement with the cycle of life, all rendered in an exquisite line-drawing style that’s elemental in its simplicity. If all that makes it essentially art house animation, then so be it, but this beautiful, handcrafted movie is a one-of-a-kind viewing experience that will linger long in the imagination.  Radio Times

“Some may find the movie a bit obtuse in its innate lack of drama (though a devastating natural disaster occurs over midway through the film), while others may find poetic beauty in its guileless lack of complication. Whatever your perspective, there’s one thing for sure: The Red Turtle is unlike anything else you’ve seen in a while.”  Austin Chronicle

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