Saturday, 25 April 2015

Studio Ghibli Co-produces Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle

Paris-based Company Wild Bunch will launch sales on British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle, a co-production between a number of companies that include Studio Ghibli and is the only European project the Japanese studio has ever supported. This will be de Wit’s first animated feature after a series of shorts that include Father and Daughter, which won him Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars.
The film is about “a man marooned on a desert island whose attempts to escape on a raft are thwarted by a giant turtle that sinks the makeshift craft.”
Wild Bunch first started working on the project seven years ago after Hayao Miyazaki asked for help to find de Wit.
“Around the time of Ponyo I visited Studio Ghibli,” says Wild Bunch chief Vincent Maraval. “Miyazaki showed me Father and Daughter and said ‘I want you to find the director for me’. I said that would be complicated. He replied, ‘If one day Studio Ghibli decides to produce an animator from outside the studio, it will be him’”.
“On my return, the head of acquisitions tracked down Dudok de Wit and we visited him in London to ask if he would be interested in doing a feature. He said he wasn’t but we added: ‘Too bad, Studio Ghibli wants to produce it’, and his eyes lit up.”

The result was de Wit's first feature animation, which he also co-wrote. It "shows a deep respect for nature, including human nature, and conveys a sense of peace and awe at the immensity of life," comments de Wit about his film.

Source: Screen Daily, Cartoon Brew

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