‘The Red Turtle’ on DVD and Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

The Red Turtle is an interesting and imaginative animated film from Studio Ghibli. There is no dialogue in the film, only the story that unfolds in an enchanting way. This movie has caused a lot of buzz and was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.’

The story is about a man who was shipwrecked and managed to find himself on a deserted island. All alone he attempts to survive then decides to build a raft to get back to civilization. He sets off but his raft is demolished by a large red turtle, not far from the island. Frustrated, he tries again and again. Each time the result is the same. Why is this turtle sabotaging his attempts to leave the island?

Then when he sees the turtle crawling onto the island, his irritation with it takes over and he flips it onto its back. Soon the turtle is in distress and dying. This is when the man realizes what he has done. In an attempt to save the turtle he sees its shell split down the center and then is inhabited by a woman. This fantasy continues with the two bonding and forming a life together on the island. Soon they welcome a baby boy. The three have a contented life and all is good.

But when the boy grows and discovers there is a life away from the island, his curiosity takes over. Should he leave and seek the outside world?

Besides the three humans, the other characters in the story are crabs, birds, and turtles. It is a fantasy in every sense of the word and it is endearing in its own way. Without dialogue it relies on visuals to tell the story, which is not the way of a typical film from Studio Ghibli, who brought us many memorable animated films like Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Castle in the Sky, among others.

The Red Turtle is unlike the others from the studio in that it was produced in France. Bonus features discuss this collaboration between Director Michael Dudok de Wit and Studio Ghibli. The three bonus features look at the genesis of the story and the animation. An AFI Fest Q&A with the director adds plenty of background to the film and viewers will understand much more about the making of this interesting fantasy story.

The Red Turtle is rated PG for some thematic elements and peril. It is good for family viewing, however younger viewers might be a little bored without any dialogue.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

Follow her on Twitter