Director – Michaël Dudok De Wit – 2016 – France / Belgium / Japan – Cert. PG – 82m
From the get-go, this is not your usual 2D animated film. The Red Turtle is slow-paced, has no dialogue and is certainly not aimed at children. Yet there’s nothing here you wouldn’t want kids to see, as its PG certificate testifies. Whether young minds would be spellbound or bored I wouldn’t like to say. Nor is it Studio Ghibli’s usual home-grown, Japanese fare being a French-Belgian production by a Dutch director based in London. Nor does it start off where you might expect.
A man adrift in a powerful, stormy grey sea is separated by some distance from his overturned, small boat. There is no indication of how he got there, and no flashbacks explain later on. Rather, the character reaches dry land and must survive there alone.
The story functions as an effective fable about adulthood and life. Michaël Dudok De Wit and his team brilliantly develop the character of the man through the various challenges he must face… [Read the rest]
Review originally published in DMovies.org, May 2017, to coincide with the film’s UK theatrical release.