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: