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The Red Turtle(La tortue rouge)

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France, Belgium, Japan · 2016
Rated PG · 1h 20m
Director Michael Dudok de Wit
Starring Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy, Axel Devillers
Genre Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy

A silent film about a castaway who finds himself shipwrecked on a small tropical island populated by exotic birds, fish, and a magical red turtle. After a series of foiled attempts to leave the island, the castaway slowly begins to engage with the island and its infinite mysteries.

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What are people saying?

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

A simple and beautiful story about the cycle of life. The absence of dialogue is noticed but not missed; the sound design more than sufficiently fills the space. Don’t think too hard about the plot itself, and you may even shed a few tears.

What are critics saying?


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

This is a quiet little masterpiece of images, each one rich with meaning, that collectively speak to a universal process.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

While the plot can sometimes feel too lightweight for feature length, with a score by composer Laurent Perez del Mar (Now or Never) that tends to overdo it on the gushy side, The Red Turtle benefits from the beautiful animation work of Dudok de Wit and his team.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

The Red Turtle nevertheless remains throughout a simple, gripping story of survival, deriving its sense of adventure from the most basic plot imaginable: Here’s a human being, stranded in a strange place, using his strength, intelligence, and courage to forge some kind of a life for himself.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Michael Dudok de Wit’s hypnotizing, entirely dialogue-free The Red Turtle is a fable so simple, so pure, it feels as if it has existed for hundreds of years, like a brilliant shard of sea glass rendered smooth and elegant through generations of retelling.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Though there isn’t a single word of dialogue in the film’s 80-minute running time, the big questions it asks, about ambition, acceptance and the beauty of companionship, ring loud in every heart-melting frame.


The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

Despite there being no dialogue and very few characters, the film consistently celebrates the excitement of exploration and invention while also keeping the audience aware of the man’s growing frustrations.

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