For film and anime fans, the release of a Studio Ghibli film is a major event. I’ve previously shouted praises for this studio’s dazzling animation and heartfelt storytelling in my review of Only Yesterday. When the studio went on hiatus, there was a fear this would be the end for Japan’s beloved studio. Now those fears are shut down with Hayao Miyazaki coming out of retirement for one more film. Until that film’s released, Ghibli’s distributing animation imports like The Red Turtle, a hypnotic survival story from the Netherlands.
The Red Turtle doesn’t waste any time jumping into the plot, starting with our hero already shipwrecked in the middle of a storm. After hanging onto a capsized lifeboat, the Man finds himself on a deserted island. There’s not even a volleyball to talk to, let alone a human being. So, he’s off to the sea on his makeshift boat. But every time he tries to set sail, a giant turtle comes and destroys it. The Man always returns, furious at his circumstances. When the turtle arrives on the island, he seizes the opportunity for revenge.