Thanks to Madman, we had the chance to see Studio Ghibli‘s first-ever international collaboration as the highly acclaimed animated film “The Red Turtle” arrives on DVD.

Directed by Michaël l Dudok de Wit, the films follows a shipwrecked mariner who washes ashore on a desert island.

After exploring the island, the lonely man builds a boat. However, each attempt to leave fails as a mysterious underwater creature sinks the boat each time. To the mariner’s surprise a red sea turtle is behind it all.

Everything changes when the turtle goes to the beach and is taken down by the frustrated mariner. A chain of magic events is triggered that commences with a beautiful girl emerging from the turtle.

Magical and clever – those two words can perfectly describe “The Red Turtle”, a film capable that is able to tell a meaningful story despite featuring almost no dialogue. The simplicity of the drawings and the richness of each character are superb, from the mariner to the tiny crabs around the place.

The story’s core may be interpreted in a number of different ways. It evolves from a man vs. nature plot into a soulful tale about family values in which an enemy becomes a life partner. There are also struggles involving kids leaving the nest to become part of the circle of life.

Overall, “The Red Turtle” is a poetic tale at its best. However, it might not be for every viewer, as it’s far from being a typical Ghibli film. In fact, it has a European feel, from its drawings through to its final cut. One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to stop wondering what it all means, which was clearly one of the goals of its creators.

The home entertainment release includes an inside look at the creation of the film and a fantastic walkthrough of the concept art and character design.

“The Red Turtle” is now available from Madman. Get your copy here.

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