redturtle_sony redturtle_sony
Feature Film

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires U.S. Rights To ‘The Red Turtle’

That didn’t take long. Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) announced today that it has acquired Michael Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle for North and Latin America distribution.

The last time SPC released an animated feature was Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist in 2010. The company has also released a handful of other critically acclaimed animated films, among them Persepolis, The Triplets of Belleville, and Waltz with Bashir. SPC also tried to acquire Anomalisa last year, but was outbid by Paramount, which reportedly paid over $5 million for the stop motion feature.

The Red Turtle premiered this week in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival. The European film has benefited greatly from its co-production arrangement with Japan’s Studio Ghibli, generating interest from audiences who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to a dialogue-free French animated feature. A copy of the trailer on an unofficial Ghibli Youtube fanpage has exceeded one million views in less than a week, which is unheard of for an art-house European animated feature like this:

The Red Turtle takes you on an ultimate journey through life,” SPC said in a statement. “It sweeps you up in fantasy, poetry and awesome visual beauty. Artistically and commercially it is a major movie for all ages.”

Prima Linea Productions handled the animation production on Red Turtle; other companies involved in the production and financing of the film include Wild Bunch, Why Not Productions, Arte France Cinema, CN4 Productions, and Belvision.

No release date has been set, but expect SPC to release it before the end of the year so that it qualifies for this year’s award cycle.


  • And hopefully they won’t screw us over like Paramount did with The Little Prince.

    • Cameron Ward

      I doubt they will. In a sense, this is right up their alley. They helped distribute The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, two fantastic animated films that have no actual script. I mean, would I have liked GKIDS to bring this over instead? yeah, but this isn’t bad that we will finally get this movie :D

    • Hopefully Sony wouldn’t be that way with this (the “Sony Pictures Classics” label is usually pretty dependable).

    • David

      I was surprised Paramount did that to The Little Prince and not Anomalisa. But Sony Picture Classics has a good track record, even in animation (Triplets of Bellville, Paprika, Persepolis, Waltz With Bashir, The Illusionist).

  • Inkan1969

    I thought that since this was a Ghibli movie that either Disney or GKids would distribute it.

  • “The European film has benefited greatly from its co-production arrangement with Japan’s Studio Ghibli, generating interest from audiences who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to a dialogue-free French animated feature. A copy of the trailer on an unofficial Ghibli Youtube fanpage has exceeded one million views in less than a week, which is unheard of for an art-house European animated feature like this:”

    And obviously that is the case, simply for having such a big name like Studio Ghibli behind it, it’s getting the eyeballs it deserves.

  • Ed

    Does anyone have any information on the animated film “My Life as a Courgette,” directed by Claude Barras and playing in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival? I’ve seen some stills and clips online. I think it looks very good. Hopefully, we’ll get a stateside release. Anyone else heard anything?

  • David

    Amid Amidi, you also forgot to mention that Sony Picture Classics also distributed Satoshi Kon’s swan song masterpiece, Paprika.

  • I don’t mind that at all, it’s like Streamline Pictures 2.0.