Studio Ghibli collaborates with animator Michael Dudok de Wit on ‘The Red Turtle’


Studio Ghibli’s newest co-production is with French production and distribution company Wild Bunch for the award-winning The Red Turtle. Created by Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit, The Red Turtle is about a man stranded on a deserted island struggling to survive and find his way home, until he meets a red turtle that foils his attempt to escape off the island and starts life anew. The storyline is a bit reminiscent of Life of Pi or Robinson Crusoe, with a bit of the Miyazaki twists integrating unique and unexpected twists into the film. It is Studio Ghibli’s first major non-Japanese production and features no actual dialogue in the film.

The film has been selected to screen in several locations in the next few months, including the Cannes Film Festival, the 40th Annecy international Animation Film Festival, and later in Japan. Other notable people who have worked on this film include artistic director Isao Takahata, and scriptwriter Pascale Ferran.

De Wit was originally approached by Miyazaki a few years ago with a proposal to collaborate on a film. According to Wild Bunch, de Wit impressed Miyazaki so much with his short film “Father & Daughter” that the infamous Japanese co-founder of Studio Ghibli sought him out. De Wit relocated to Japan in Koganei to work with Studio Ghibli on this project, and has also created other award-winning animated shorts, such as “The Monk and the Fish.”

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