The Red Turtle, animation super-house Studio Ghibli’s first non-Japanese-language production, premiered at Cannes this week. And here’s why it’s got our attention.
Studio Ghibli’s co-founders, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, frequently use their films to focus on the beauty of nature and our vulnerable relationship with the environment (think Princess Mononoke and Ponyo), and The Red Turtle is, by all accounts, in a similar vein. The 80 minute film is the feature-length debut from director Michaël Dudok de Wit. The movie features no dialogue, instead relying on the visuals and strongly emotive score, and giving the environment a central role, emphasising our need for, and lack of control, over nature.
It’s a classic castaway story: man gets stranded on a desert island, is at the peril of the wild. Man encounters giant red turtle who continues to foil man’s attempts to escape the island. We all know the deal. Anyway, the trailer looks amazing. I think I’m ready to be marooned on a tropical Japanese island now.