Pop quiz: How many animated films out there tell the story of an island castaway surviving the trials of life and mother nature without the use of any dialogue? If you said, “One,” you’d be right, and if you knew it was The Red Turtle, you’d win bonus points. The 2016 Cannes Film Festival award-winner–it took home the Un Certain Regard – Special Jury Prize–celebrates a truly international work: It’s Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit feature-film debut, and is a French-Belgian-Japanese co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli.
It’s hard to say just how much the official U.S. trailer for the film gives away without having seen the full film, but it’s clear that the castaway’s journey exists both on a magical and very mortal planes. The title turtle seems to be more of an obstacle than a savior, and the decision to display this story in an animated form brings out its inherent beauty and peril in equal measure. It’s certainly gorgeous and just intriguing enough of a hook to make you anxious to see the full work.
The film will play at this year’s Fantastic Fest, which kicks off on Friday, September 23rd. It will then move to the Athens Film Festival this weekend in Greece and the BFI London Film Festival in early October. Look for The Red Turtle to open Stateside on January 20, 2017.
Check out the official U.S. trailer for The Red Turtle below:
Here’s the official synopsis for The Red Turtle, along with a few choice images:
Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, The Red Turtle recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.