German film distribution company Wild Bunch aims to partner with Japanese animators Studio Ghibli once more to release a new type of animated feature film. Each team seems to have ample experience when it comes to the film industry as they have been associated with several award-winning film releases. Wild Bunch was founded in 1979 and aided in the distribution of Oscar-winning titles such as The Artist, Pans Labyrinth and Spirited Away. It seems Spirited Away, a Studio Ghibli film, is where to the two companies previously crossed paths. This May, the partnership between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli prepares to release their latest animated feature, The Red Turtle.
The Red Turtle is written and directed by Dutch/British animator Michael Dudok de Wit, an individual who has previously produced several animated films, such as The Monk and the Fish (1996) and Father and Daughter (2000). Micheal Dudok de Wit was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Monk and the Fish; however, it was 2006’s Father and Daughter which saw him win an Academy Award. In an interview with Michael Dudok De Wit, he revealed the Japanese Ghibli Museum, a museum which specialises in showcasing the works of Studio Ghibli, contacted him requesting permission to distribute his film Father and Daughter in Japan.
Soon after Michael Dudok De Wit was contacted again and asked if he’d be interested in working with Studio Ghibli to develop a feature film. Michael Dudok De Wit partnered with Japanese producer Toshio Suzuki, the former Studio Ghibli president who produced several films including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. Toshio Suzuki’s work with Studio Ghibli saw the Japanese producer winning awards in several categories including Best Animation and Best Picture. Eventually, the teams began working on The Red Turtle, a film which saw an original release in 2016, and an animated feature aims to make its UK debut in cinemas this week.
The Red Turtle aims to tell the story of a man shipwrecked on a deserted island and during his time on the island the man encounters a mysterious giant red turtle. The creators of The Red Turtle set out to create a film without a line of dialogue, opting to tell its narrative completely through visual means. With this unique premise, The Red Turtle aims to tell a captivating animated adventure through its absorbing visuals. The Red Turtle saw its film premiere on the 18th May during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Following this premier, the film saw a French and Japanese release on the 29th June 2016 and the 17th September 2016, respectably. To distribute the film throughout North and Latin America Sony Pictures Classics released The Red Turtle on 20th January 2017.
With this lengthy international release cycle, UK cinema fans may catch The Red Turtle in cinemas this week. Since releasing in 2016, The Red Turtle has been nominated for several awards including an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature earlier this year. Currently, on review aggregator websites such as Rotten Tomatoes, The Red Turtle is ‘certified fresh with a score of 95%.’ It seems the collaborative efforts between Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch may have produced a captivating adventure film. The Red Turtle aims to chronicle one man’s experience through implementing visual imagery and a unique method of storytelling. This month British cinema fans may experience the award-winning 2016 animated feature film from Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch.
How does The Red Turtle aim to tell a modern animation by relying on visual imagery to tell its story?