Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles for his life with the relentless towering waves. On the brink of demise, eventually, the man will find himself washed ashore on a deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants, and a gracefully swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet determined to break free from this Eden-like prison, the stranded sailor summons up the strength to build a small raft, and sets off on a perilous journey in the wide open sea; however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping. Never giving up hope, each day, the exhausted man attempts to make a new, sturdier, and more improved raft; nevertheless, the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures, and the island’s only red turtle won’t let the weary survivor escape that easily. Could this be the heartless enemy?—Nick Riganas
Studio Ghibli sent Michael Dudok de Wit an email with two questions: if they could distribute his short film Father and Daughter (2000) in Japan, and if he would make a feature film for them. Dudok de Wit replied answering the first question and saying he did not understand the second, as he was baffled and could not believe it.