The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

Critics Consensus

The Red Turtle adds to Studio Ghibli's estimable legacy with a beautifully animated effort whose deceptively simple story boasts narrative layers as richly absorbing as its lovely visuals.



Total Count: 161


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,437
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Movie Info

Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, The Red Turtle recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.

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Critic Reviews for The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

  • Dec 03, 2018
    An allegory about the arc of life, a reminder that we live in a world much larger than us, and a lesson in compassion and forgiveness â" and all of that wrapped up in beautiful, haunting animation. I love how immersive this film is, especially early on. The sound, light, shadow ⦠the way the wind blows, the colors in the sky, the way the water moves ⦠it really puts you on this island. The red turtle element which follows can be interpreted many ways: as simply magical realism for a charming childrenâ(TM)s story, a symbol of the oneness of all things in nature, or maybe as representing that extraordinary partner one finds to share oneâ(TM)s life with, facing its adversity together. There are several lovely dream sequences interspersed through the film which add to the feeling of this being a shamanistic tale. The plot is relatively simple which may put some people off, but at the same time I found it quite philosophical. At least a part of the messages is the need to accept oneâ(TM)s fate. We have practical limits here on our little island, including our own mortality, and everyone around us will ultimately fade away; we do our best by living simply and in harmony. There is a deep, primal meaning here, one that I felt in my gut during that powerful ending.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2017
    A gorgeous animated film that doesn't need words to profoundly move us, making it really hard to keep our eyes dry while watching it. Full review on filmotrope. com
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2017
    A gorgeously animated fairy tale. The lack of dialogue is wonderful as I'm tired of animated films screaming nonsense at me.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2017
    The Red Turtle coasts on ambient noise and wildlife sounds. Assisting the atmosphere is the sumptuous score of composer Laurent Perez Del Mar. By itself, the music is lushly atmospheric, but when paired with the gorgeous spectacle it occasionally veers to excess as it overly emphasizes the emotional cues. When a tsunami hits, the music swells. The visual splendor is enough. There's no need to gild the lily. Nevertheless, the exhibition is certainly a delight for aesthetes who prefer mood to plot and a languid pace over action. While The Red Turtle feels like a short expanded to feature length, it's undeniably pleasant and serene. Its simple joys are pure.
    Mark H Super Reviewer

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