Discovery

The Red Turtle

Michael Dudok de Wit

The first international co-production from renowned Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli enlists the talents of Oscar-winning Dutch animator Michaël Dudok De Wit for a wondrous story about the unlikely friendship between a castaway on a deserted island and an enormous sea turtle.

Another extraordinary work from famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, The Red Turtle is also the studio's first international co-production. Academy Award–winning Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit has collaborated with Ghibli to make his first feature-length film, a tale told with a classic simplicity that belies its emotional power.

Shipwrecked on a deserted island, a lone man struggles to find his place in this new world. The basics for survival are abundant yet frustratingly out of reach, and danger lurks in the smallest of crevices; every isolated grotto is also a potential grave. The man cleverly uses the forest's resources to support his raft-making efforts, but his every escape attempt is thwarted by an enormous sea turtle who seems intent on having him stay. Enraged, he attacks the turtle, intent on killing it. What happens next is the beginning of a new chapter in the man's life, one that will instruct him in the ways of companionship and lead him to understand that nature must take its course.

The Red Turtle luxuriates in the magic of life and the cycles of nature. Its languorous, entirely wordless storytelling arouses the senses, inspires wonder, and invites viewers to cast themselves in the central role. All the hallmarks of a Ghibli film are here — not least of all, the studio's compassionate treatment of humanist themes — rendered in de Wit's singular animation style. It's an artistic partnership that has given us one of the year's finest cinematic experiences.

JESSE WENTE

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