As with most /slash-movies, I didn’t really know what this was about. I only knew the title, that it was hand-drawn 2D-animation, the first international production of Studio Ghibli, and without any dialogue. Because of that, I expected some sort of animated nature documentary about the travels of a small, young red turtle, and a movie that’s very much grounded in reality. Instead, “The Red Turtle” turned out to be a beautiful fairy tale that should appeal to audiences of all ages.
I love classic 2D animation, and hope that despite the popularity of 3D-animation, said art form will never die out. “The Red Turtle”, like all Studio Ghibli productions, again is a plea for this particular style, giving us some of the most beautiful images that I’ve seen all year. Absolutely stunning and wonderful. I also liked the story, even though going in expecting something totally different, it took me a while to get used to it. After the screening, I jokingly said that it probably was the most beautiful movie about sodomy ever produced, but in good earnest, it really is a nice, touching love story – albeit a mythical one. I was also really surprised how well it worked without any dialogue. Granted, towards the end, it felt a little forced, if not silly, that they didn’t talk to each other at all, but I didn’t miss the talking, and the fact that it’s without any dialogue makes it easily accessible all around the world, without any need for translation – an approach that I can definitely applaud. It was also very entertaining, and occasionally quite funny (especially thanks to the crabs, who turned out to be my personal highlight of the movie). However, I’m not exactly sure I liked the ending (even though I can understand why they did it). And despite the fact that it was very entertaining, it only managed to affect me emotionally towards the end. That might sound like a weird complaint, since it’s still better than not moving me at all. But there had already been a couple of would-be touching scenes before which didn’t quite affect me the way they probably were supposed to. Nevertheless, “The Red Turtle” tells a sweet, timeless and universal story in stunningly beautiful images, and thus should not be missed.