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La tortue rouge (2016)

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A man is shipwrecked on a deserted island and encounters a red turtle, which changes his life.


(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,335 ( 261)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
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Director: Michael Dudok de Wit


Cast overview:
Emmanuel Garijo ...
The Father (voice)
Tom Hudson ...
Baptiste Goy ...
The Son (child) (voice)
Axel Devillers ...
The Baby (voice)
Barbara Beretta ...
The Mother (voice)


Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles all alone for his life with the relentless towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man set adrift by the raging tempest washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but graceful swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet, determined to break free from his Eden-like prison, after foraging for food and fresh water and encouraged by the dense forest, the stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to the wide sea, however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping. Each day, the exhausted man never giving up hope will attempt to make a new, more improved raft, but the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures and the island's only red turtle won't let the weary survivor escape that easily. Is this the heartless enemy? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Grade A+! A touching animated ode to the cycle of life. A masterpiece of images! See more »


Animation | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements and peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

20 January 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tortuga roja  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,010, 22 January 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$920,057, 19 May 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$787,712, 19 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Only six animators from Studio Ghibli worked on this film. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Studio Ghibli logo is red instead of the traditional blue, to honor the title character. See more »


Featured in Het verlangen van Michaël Dudok de Wit (2016) See more »


L'au revoir
Conducted by Oleg Kondratenko
Performed by F.A.M.E.'S. Project (aka The Macedonian Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Music By Laurent Perez Del Mar
See more »

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User Reviews

Man always needs a purpose.
24 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

Since the Hollywood upgraded to the 3D animation, the rest of the world took over and given some incredible films in the last one and half decades. The Japanese animes are undoubtedly the best, but the European animation, particularly the 2D animation started to boom in the recent times with special mention goes to Tomm Moore. So basically I might miss some Hollywood animations, right now, but I'm very watchful over this kind of films. That's how I watched it, but anyway I would have seen it.

This is the director's first feature animation film, but he was known for his awesome short animations which one of them won him an Oscar. It was jointly produced by three countries, including Japan's Studio Ghibli. It's their first non-Japanese production and a great beginning and timing to expand the production in other continents. Especially after their legend, Hayao Miyazaki retired from the filmmaking.

The film was short like the 80 minute stretch without a single word spoken in its entire narration. There's no even sign language used, everything's actions and reactions. So you would find empty in the film's cast section which is kind of weird. I mean there are characters in the film, but all were imaginations without names and what year it takes place, where with so many questions like that. Basically to say, a film without the cast, but the crew members managed to give the best to the viewers to get it without any struggle.

One thing is for sure, that the film is very enjoyable. It is a fantasy film, so whatever you see, you have to accept it. Because that's how things happen in a theme like this, all fictional. Though, the first thing you have to keep in your mind is not the entire film was an hallucination event. There are some dreamy events and that's fine since the film character is coping with loneliness.

A man who had lost at sea, wakes up in a small island. It's a life supporting land mass with fresh water and fruits, but he also has to put some effort for fishing. His notion is to leave the island as soon as possible to go back to where he had come from, the civilised world. In his every attempt to sail with a raft he had made using bamboos, fails to cross after a certain stretch of the island coast. He later comes to know what stopped him and with an anger reaction he commits a mistake. So now he has to come out of the guilt and to do that he chooses what seems the right.

It was like a simple story without any meaning about everything that's shown in it. So in my entire watch I thought the same and said it was an okay film with great animation. But the ending changed my stance. That twist, I don't think everybody would understand. But one thing I want to make sure if you yet to see it, that it was about the purpose. The man always looks for a reason to do things and even to live or die. That's where the red turtle comes in.

Although my biggest question is, is this film a follow-up or in any way connected to the director's previous short animation 'Father and Daughter'? Because it seems the man who got lost in the sea is from that short film. But it never revealed the reason why he was stopped by whomever from return home. Also, both the conclusions syncs. It's just a my theory, so only the director can explain that.

I'm very sure this film is in the Oscars race. If it fails to make, then its not my prediction was wrong, but the Academy Awards people got it all wrong. I'm also sure it won't win as 3D animation dominated world, particularly 'Zootopia' 'Finding Dory' and 'Moana' are taking the first three frontrunner spots. Except the technical differences, only the grown ups can say this one has a better and meaningful story. It is very similar to 'Ponyo', but a grown-up's version. Anyway, it is a must see film, especially the adults and in particular those who always think animation is for children. If they see it, they might change their mind. Highly recommended!


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