The Red Turtle review – an enchanting animation

Be transported away with this delightful desert island film

Sometimes the brain needs a holiday, the mind needs to be cleansed and you just want to get away from the world for a while. The Red Turtle is eighty minutes of animated escapism from Dutch director Michaël Dudok de Wit.

Completely free of dialogue, I was immediately drawn to The Red Turtle because the artwork in the film stills looked simply divine. The colours looked stunning and the concept of a film that centred on a desert island and a turtle was already telling me there was going to be something rather special here.

I was not disappointed. The Red Turtle contains some beautiful animation, the characters and creatures are drawn with an elegance and understated detail. Throughout the film my eyes were absorbing the use of shading, shadows and textures within the animation.

Without giving too much away, a man finds himself marooned on a deserted island. His only companions it would seem are some friendly crabs, birds and a mysterious red turtle. Yet The Red Turtle is much more than one man’s survival on a desert island. Themes of love, companionship and the circle of life are awash throughout.  To say anymore would start to unveil key plot details.

The music score is spine tinglingly good, with some choral vocal elements that will no doubt make the lip quiver.

The running time of eighty minutes flashes by, which considering the film has no dialogue is quite remarkable and testament to the film’s ability to involve you every step of the way. There were literally no moments where I wanted to get up and grab a drink and I often get restless during films!

You don’t need to like wildlife to appreciate this film, nor do you need to be a big fan of animation. This is a truly joyous chance to escape to a simpler time and place, where nature presides.


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