If you have yet to be acquainted with Studio Ghibli productions, please take a look through our collection now. (You’ll find that The Red Turtle is quite different from the rest of Studio Ghibli’s productions though, as the story and screenplay were by Michael Dudok de Wit, and the style makes me think Studio Ghibli played a slightly more minor role in this production than in their other animations. That being said, the moment I saw the trailer for The Red Turtle, I immediately recognized those waves – Ghibli had its hand in there somewhere, even if it was so very different from what I had come to expect in terms of style. )
While this film will likely leave you with more questions than you entered with, as well as make you wonder if you’re overanalyzing the plot, and possible symbols, or if you should simply take it as it is, it’s well worth watching this slow and quiet epic, and it ages quite well as you return to it. There are no words throughout, though there is some frustrated screaming into the ocean – and I know that Shaun the Sheep was much praised for the same thing (being wordless, that is, not for its screaming into the ocean), but this is a different use of wordless animation that will probably appeal more to adult audiences – so you end up relying a lot on the beautiful soundtrack, though even in the moments with neither music nor words, the sound of the trees rustling, hurried breathing, a panicked noise, are more than enough to relay the emotions within each scene.
The Red Turtle hasn’t been released on DVD/Blu-ray yet, but it’s still playing (at the time of writing this post) at the TIFF, so go see it if you get the chance!
Here are some other films that you might like if you’re either thinking of seeing this or enjoyed it: