A pointed simplicity governs Michael Dudok de Wit's The Red Turtle, one that’s traditional of many survival tales.
Stream The Red Turtle
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
This is a quiet little masterpiece of images, each one rich with meaning, that collectively speak to a universal process.
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 movie has the proportion of a fable but the scope of a mythical lifetime.
The Red Turtle is a visually stunning poetic fable, but there’s more on its mind than simply beauty.
This is, quite simply, thoughtful and ultimately moving animation at its best.
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.
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.
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.
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.