The Red Turtle
Oscar-winner (for his 2001 animated short Father and Daughter) Michaël Dudok de Wit’s exquisite wordless animation – his first feature – is a co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli and premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year where it won universal acclaim.
It tells the story of a man marooned on a desert island populated by turtles and crabs but devoid of any other human life. He tries desperately to escape until one day he meets a strange, giant red turtle and begins a friendship that will change his life.
Dudok de Wit mixes hand and computer-drawn animation throughout and it’s as beautiful as you would expect from a film on which Ghibli’s Isao Takahata served as artistic producer, with imagery of the sea and the island’s flora and fauna brought vividly to life. Its daring lack of dialogue adds to, rather than subtracts from the rich ideas that permeate the film: about nature, human expectation and acceptance, and the power of companionship. Unforgettable.