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'The Red Turtle': A Heartrending Animated Fable Without Words

Movie poster for the film The Red Turtle , an animated French/Belgian/Japanese fable

“The Red Turtle” (“La Tortue Rouge”) is an animated French/Belgian/Japanese fable about a nameless man shipwrecked on a desert island who attempts repeatedly to escape upon man-made rafts, only to see each vessel smashed on the open sea by a mysterious creature.

Increasingly desperate and unnerved, the man eventually comes face-to-face with his aggressor: a large, seemingly benign red sea turtle. In a moment of unexpected magical-realism, the turtle transforms before the man’s eyes into a beautiful woman who soon becomes his companion upon the island.

Told without dialogue, “The Red Turtle” is a touching parable about survival and acceptance, aided immeasurably by composer Laurent Perez Del Mar’s ephemeral soundtrack. The animation is simple yet embellished with perspective, displaying many moments of profound meaning and importance in a straightforward yet evocative manner. A real treasure worth seeking out.


View the trailer:


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