A synopsis and the first piece of artwork has emerged from The Red Turtle, the feature directorial debut of celebrated Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit (The Monk and the Fish and the Oscar-winning Father and Daughter). Co-written by French director and screenwriter Pascale Ferran, the dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds.

Dudok de Wit, who is using the charcoal drawing and watercolor wash techniques that he used on Father and Daughter, has said that the film “shows a deep respect for nature, including human nature, and conveys a sense of peace and awe at the immensity of life.” His name alone should be reason enough to get any animation fan excited, but if you’re not convinced yet that this will be a special film, you may be interested to know that Studio Ghibli has signed on as a co-producer, marking the first time that the famed Japanese studio has attached their name to a Western film project.

Animation production is being handled by French animation studio Prima Linea, which has produced animation on films like Fear(s) of the Dark, Loulou l’Incroyable Secret, and Zarafa. The other co-producers are Why Not Productions, Wild Bunch, and Arte. Red Turtle is expected to be completed by 2015. In the meantime, let’s revisit Dudok de Wit’s Father and Daughter:

(via Catsuka)

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