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1,120 Ratings

The Red Turtle

La tortue rouge

Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit
France, Belgium, 2016
Animation, Drama


A man finds himself castaway on a deserted tropical island where he struggles to survive. Slowly he develops the skills to support himself, but when he attempts to leave on a makeshift raft, a large turtle that lives offshore thwarts his escape. This turtle will change his life.

Our take

A simple story spectacularly told, Michael Dudok De Wit’s existential and emotional animated drama is yet another impeccable entry in Studio Ghibli’s unparalleled canon. Magnificently minimalist, a film both serene and splendidly crafted—without words, dialogue, music or special effects.

The Red Turtle Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2016 | Winner: Un Certain Regard - Special Jury Prize

Academy Awards

2017 | Nominee: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

César Awards

2017 | Nominee: Best Animated Film

I haven’t heard a lot about slow animation before, nor am I really a fan of animation. But it’s different with Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle. . . . A lot of movement, comparatively quick cuts – there was something that made me wonder why some people have described this film as being slow or contemplative in the past. Just over an hour later, I agreed with those people and it is, funnily enough, the aspect of movement that, in parts, contributed to my change in thinking.
January 05, 2018
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A spare, graceful film about what a rather louder animated feature once termed ‘the circle of life’, The Red Turtle is a thoughtful anomaly in an era where animations are often breathtaking blizzards of images and pop-culture gags. Tumbling its shipwrecked protagonist out of dark Hokusai waves on to a deserted tropical island, it unfolds his story with beguiling visual and narrative restraint.
May 26, 2017
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With no dialogue beyond grunts and the occasional shouted ‘Hey!’, events here are orchestrated only by the sounds of the environment, Laurent Perez Del Mar’s score and by the beautiful imagery. It lends de Wit’s film an admirable back-to-basics purity (in formal terms) that matches the reduction of its protagonist to the simplest subsistence. The result is a parable of Darwinian drudgery and survivalist routines that is every so often disrupted by freak occurrences of nature.
May 25, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • anarresti's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    A sensibility shared both with "Princess Mononoko" and the best stranded-in-a-island narratives. As usual with Studio Ghibli's productions, the visual narrative is quite awesome. There is an universality as much as a simplicity appeal that really moved me. And no, I will no say a word about the story: enjoy it unspoiled.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    Pretty much the perfect film to watch after Thanksgiving, as I did, surrounded by an initially dubious but eventually won-over and teary-eyed extended family, for whom, I think, the sudden replacement of a red turtle with a female human worked better than it did for me. While I wasn't unmoved by the parable of fragile, fleeting intimacy that developed, I had expected wilder wonders.

  • Chichago_'s rating of the film The Red Turtle

    A very moving film that depicts life in a simple way. I particularly love the scene in which it portrays the idea of moving on in life. In addition, the grainy texture and muted colours of the animation beautifully enhance the mood of the film.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    Just stunning!! A love note to nature with such a refreshingly adult attitude towards death and the cycle of life. The attention to detail around light and colour is phenomenal. I found the music a little mismatched in parts but on the whole I thought it all worked beautifully to create an emotional world that lingers. 4.5 stars Recommended

  • Huey McEvoy's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    I confess I found this slightly disappointing, having set huge expectations. The animation is gorgeous, but having spent time building up its world, it ultimately drifts without purpose - perhaps there was an allegory that I missed?

  • EdieMaas's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    Profound in its simplicity - its pared-down animation style & lack of dialogue... There's this sense of entering into something magical or wondrous or even almost sacred. Like we're being invited to have this *experience*, rather than to just consume a film. Which is great. Except that the *experience* wasn't actually that magical at all. It was more like some weird Fable of Normativity. With questionable messaging..

  • Yasser Azmy's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    it is rare to find such raw moments in life in animation ,everyone is going toward perfection and balanced movies that we see over and over, the red turtle is amazing by it is rawness and discovery i was attached with the characters and the island from the very beginning, such a great film and great world he creates with the silents and screams and pains and peace, i hope it wins the oscar not only a nomination

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Red Turtle

    Initially succinct and crushing metaphors; an island doubling as a place of personal defeat and surrender, the subjugation of other life as an expression of our own pain... That beautiful turtle on its back had me crippled and then...? Anthropomorphism, the sin Ghibli usually steers clear of, is the big misfire for me, making a great short film followed by some more questionable stuff.

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