Saturday, February 25, 2017

Movie Review: "The Red Turtle" (2016)

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Movie"The Red Turtle"
Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Year: 2016
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

A castaway lost at sea washes up on a deserted island. There, he tries to survive, though an interaction with a red turtle quickly changes the direction his life was heading. 

"The Red Turtle" is directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, who also wrote the film along with Pascale Ferran. It tells the story of a nameless castaway who gets washed ashore on a deserted island. It is about his life and how a conflict with a red turtle changes the course of it forever. It is produced by Studio Ghibli, which is known for producing such incredible animated films like "My Neighbor Totoro," "Princess Mononoke," and "Spirited Away." Dudok de Wit is the first European collaborator to work with Studio Ghibli.

"The Red Turtle" is not your common, everyday animated feature. It deals with many adult themes and it also lacks any real dialogue. We had heard a lot of buzz about this film for some time, and once it was nominated for best animated feature at this year's Academy Awards, we had to seek it out for ourselves. This isn't the first film we have seen with little to no talking. "Shaun the Sheep Movie" and "Boy and the World" both had no dialogue and both were  nominated for Oscars at last year's Academy Awards. Of those two, this is much closer to "Boy and the World" than "Shaun the Sheep" in terms of tone and maturity.

This is a beautiful film with some really stunning animation. The story is touching, and despite being an essentially silent film, apart from a few screams of frustration, it manages to tell an engaging story. This is visual storytelling at its finest. If you're into fantasy animation stories, "The Red Turtle" is absolutely for you. There are some moments here that are downright shocking and others that are completely magical. It will also pose the unanswered question of whether or not what happened, what we saw, was real or imagined. One may expect a movie with no talking to be boring, but it isn't in the slightest. It is a relatively short film, and we remained quite engaged through its simple yet elegant story. "The Red Turtle" is a film for true lovers of animation and those who enjoy Ghibli's more adult-oriented animation.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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