The Red Turtle

By: Nick Ferwerda

As a huge fan of Studio Ghibli’s catalogue, it’s hard not to go into their latest co-production The Red Turtle with very high hopes.  I am happy to report that this film does not disappoint.

The Red Turtle begins with a man who has washed up on a uninhabited island.  He works to gather resources and hunt, but his heart is set on getting off the island.  His mind changes after meeting The Red Turtle.

The film has beautifully designed scenes with supreme detail – a hand drawn signature that rings through in all other films by Studio Ghibli (most notably in the expression-filled eyes).  With this being the first Studio Ghibli film not produced in-house, I did notice some differences in the heightened ambition.  Director/co-writer Michaël Dudok de Wit chooses a quiet approach to The Red Turtle by excluding dialogue.  It’s a bold move with lots at risk (especially considering that this is de Wit’s feature film debut), but the decision pays off.  The sounds of surrounding nature help the filmmaker convey the film’s touching emotion to the audience.

The Red Turtle is a film for those who truly love animation.  While it can drag on a little bit towards the end, I can guarantee you will leave the theatre happy with what you’ve just witnessed.


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Nick Ferwerda: @NickFerwerda

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