Man at His Best

Studio Ghibli Returns This September With A New Film, The Red Turtle

It's also the first time the animation company has ever collaborated with filmmakers outside Japan.

BY BEATRICE BOWERS | Jul 14, 2016 | Film & TV

Studio Ghibli

Will Studio Ghibli be the same post-Hayao Miyazaki? The auteur has set the tone for the animated film house, and was the man behind films that are now definitve of Japanese movies, like My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Miyazaki may have delayed his retirement plans for now, but his signatures are very much absent from the blueprint of their upcoming feature film, The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle's plot runs in the same vein that Ghibli-crafted films take. During an intense storm, a man is marooned on a desert island, where islandic creatures thrive. He tries to escape, but is constantly pulled back by an unseeable force. A woman appears shortly after, alleviating his misery.  It's whimsical, possesing instances of magical and animal encounters, and toys with the notions of love and family—all elements that tie the bastion of Japanese animation together. 

What's different is that The Red Turtle is the first time the studio is collaborating with creatives outside of Japan. The film is directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, a Dutch animator based in London, and a French film production house is touted as its co-producer. The entirety of the film is also dialogue-free, relying heavily on scores to carry the story through. 

Whether the Academy Award-winning de Wit can carry on Miyazaki's torch remains to be seen. The Red Turtle debuts in cinemas September 17.