THe reD TUrTLe
released 25 sepTemBer (out 18 september on download) 2017 | pG | Blu-ray & dVd (doubleplay)/dVd/download Director michaël dudok de Wit
It’s easy to see why so many people rushed to watch The Red Turtle when it was released in cinemas this spring. Touted as a Studio Ghibli co-production, it was catnip for audiences raised on the charms and fantasy worlds of Japanese cartoons.
But The Red Turtle is something else entirely, starker than the usual Ghibli film and more harrowing. There are moments of joviality, from a group of inquisitive crabs to a lush, leafy forest, but this hushed fable will leave you reeling.
The premise is simple. After a seafarer’s boat is destroyed in a storm, he wakes up on a deserted island and discovers a giant turtle guarding its waters. Unable to escape, the man soon forms a companionship with the creature.
This is a fairly short film, and one devoid of speech, but that doesn’t make it any less moving. Though it’s aimed at children, the emotions are achingly adult, exploring love, loss, loneliness and a yearning to belong. Absolutely ravishing, the film’s last moments may be the most powerful of 2017.
Extras Featurette “Secrets Of The Red Turtle” (17 minutes), in which director Michaël Dudok de Wit demonstrates how he began animating the film’s backgrounds and characters, starting with faint charcoal lines on white paper. It’s a fascinating peek behind the scenes, but feels too brief. Kimberley Ballard
Hayao Miyazaki asked to see Michaël Dudok de Wit personally after watching his short film “Father And Daughter”.
It’s all very romantic until a turtle poos.