A film that has been literally making waves in its film festival run is Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and won over audiences at TIFF, and soon will be making its way to the states where it will be shown at Fantastic Fest, where I’m sure it will be just as well-received.
But for a film that lacks dialogue makes up in everything else. That’s because British animator MichaÃ«l Dudok de Wit‘s film doesn’t have any dialogue, and explores the circle of life through the beauty of simplicity and animation. Check out the full trailer below.
Unlike most trailers that give a lot of the movie away, The Red Turtle seems to be more concerned with selling you the beauty of the circle of life through animation, which is gorgeous, to say the least. Sure enough, in a day and age where CG animation is at the forefront, seeing traditional hand-drawn animation is a bit of fresh air.
It’s as though the film is a play on the classic conflict of man vs nature, and a bit of a twist on Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, where the lone man in the film is pitted against the giant titular Red Turtle who is preventing him from escaping his island imprisonment. But through failure, we see this lone man adapt and accept his fate, and as the years go on the lone man isn’t so lonely anymore. Going a bit further would only venture into spoiler territory, but again, while the trailer does give a lot of plot points away, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that the story has a deeper meaning that what is on the surface.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
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 forestâ€™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 manâ€™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 will open in limited theaters in LA and NY on January 20, 2017, then expand to more theaters the following weeks.