Hereís a first for Studio Ghibli. Itís a film directed by someone who is not Japanese. The Red Turtle is the first feature film from Dutch born animator Michael Dudok de Wit. Itís a fairy tale fantasy about life itself told with virtually no dialog. That is one ambitious effort, and it totally works.
The film begins with a storm at sea. A lone man is washed up on an uninhabited island. His only companions are a colony of clams, which significantly decreases in size as the story progresses. But as we will learn, such is life.
The man tries several times to raft his way off the island, only to be frustrated by a giant red turtle. Eventually, the man gains the upper hand turning the turtle on his back. Revenge is complete. But then comes a totally unexpected plot twist. Is it real or fantasy? I will tell no more.
Technically, I would not consider this an anime. It is not in an anime style, though the background art does show the Ghibli influence. But anime or not, the work is well done. Characters seem real enough as the audience feels for all.
Though there is nothing you probably would object to having a child see, the storyline is a bit complex. Some young kids might get it. Some would not. Regardless of age, the ending strikes an emotional chord for all.
I recommend The Red Turtle, playing now in limited US release.