Michael Dudok De Wit Interview: The Importance of Acceptance

The Red Turtle received the nomination for Animated Feature Film for Oscars 2017 and recently won an Annie Award. With the 89th Academy Awards coming up next week, I decided to translate another interview with director Michael Dudok de Wit, with another one coming up later on. In this interview Dudok de Wit talks about the theme of acceptance in the film. It’s a rather personal interview, which touches upon his childhood, among other things.

De Lagarde originally conducted this interview and published it on their website on July 7, 2016. If you can read Dutch, please click here to read the interview in its original language.

Interview: Michael Dudok de Wit (The Red Turtle)

The Importance of Acceptance‘In elementary school, my teacher called me Karel Appel1)Karel Appel (1921-2006) Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet., because I always drew. My three brothers did the same as well, but perhaps a little less obsessive. I could immerse myself in it, forgot everything around me, including what was being said and taught. I wasn’t very good at school. Fortunately, my parents weren’t too upset about it. My mother herself was artistic. I still remember – I must have been very young then – that she once made a drawing of one of our bantams2)A small variety of poultry, especially chickens.. I can still see it before me, so beautiful and detailed. She was an artist at heart. But she chose to be a good spouse and mother. It had been very nice for me, but there’s no doubt that she must have struggled with that choice sometimes.‘

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Notes   [ + ]

1. Karel Appel (1921-2006) Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet.
2. A small variety of poultry, especially chickens.

The Red Turtle Director: “It Had to Be an Auteur Film”

I created Story Unlocker with an intention of translating Japanese interviews with Japanese creators, but I want to make an exception for the director of The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit. This Dutch news article was originally published at NRC.nl on May 11, 2016. The article provides an insight on the role of Studio Ghibli in the production process.

It’s a rare opportunity for me to translate from my native language on this site. This news article is quite short, so please consider it as a “preview” to a translation of a longer interview which will be posted later this month. Of course, if you can read Dutch, please head over to NRC.nl to read the news article in its original language. I also highly recommend watching the documentary “Het verlangen van Michael Dudok de Wit“.

Dutchman debuts in Cannes with an animation film

Michael Dudok de Wit comes to Cannes, which starts tonight, with his animation film ‘The Red Turtle’.

The Red Turtle
In Michael Dudok de Wit’s Japanese-French animation film ‘The Red Turtle’ a stranded man on an uninhabited island attempts to return to civilization.

May 11, 2016: How he started working for the legendary animation studio Ghibli? It all began with a somewhat complimentary letter in 2006, Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit remembers. He shook the hands of maestros Isao Takahata (80) and Hayao Miyazaki (75) once. Now they asked if he wanted to make a feature film with Ghibli. “I asked: why me? Who else did you ask? But they wanted me.”Continue reading