The Red Turtle

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Red Turtle Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Beautiful word-free drama about castaway who finds love.

PG 2017 80 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 4 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 7+

Poetic, lovely film

First of all, this film may not be for every parent... my hubby “didn’t get it”. But my kids really liked it (boys, ages 7 and 9), and have the taste for your typical Pixar action/cartoon blockbuster. Which is exactly why I picked this movie and watched it with them. It’s a slow, poetic and completely dialogue-free story of a man living on a deserted island, and the imaginative gift he receives from the sea (a woman, emerged from a sea turtle that he has killed). We paused the movie often to talk about what the man and the woman (and eventually their child) might be communicating in the subtle body language, eyes, and other imagery in the movie. It was a bit intense at times (a tsunami, the raft being destroyed by an unknown animal under the sea), but it was so rich with subtle story-telling, and I felt it gave me an opportunity to talk about feelings and overcoming struggles and fears. My boys soaked it up. If you’re planning to chat-it-up with the adults in the kitchen while your kids are locked in the play room with the DVR, skip this movie. If you’re feeling engaged and receptive, and the kids are up for trying something new, I think most families would love this movie.

This title has:

Great messages
age 2+

Great for curious children and engaged parents

We don’t typically let our 2 year old daughter watch films, so I was interested in finding something that doesn’t constantly flash to different scenes. This is a slow, beautiful animation with zero dialogue and a wonderful soundtrack. There is one scene that is violent against a turtle, but my daughter immediately said “no no don’t do that”, and we discussed that the man had done a bad thing. It’s helpful to discuss what’s going on throughout the movie, and to ask a lot of questions to keep a very young child engaged in understanding and learning. There isn’t a clear over arching relatable narrative, but the value is in the slow emotive moments that a child can understand and discuss.

This title has:

Great role models

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