While proving that animation can evolve outside California, the Belgian studio and director behind Fly Me To The Moon and this lovingly crafted follow-up also deserve credit for raising those levels of sophistication for strictly pre-teen audiences.
A Turtle's Tale is exactly that, as narrated by John Hurt as the old greenback himself (with Cooper voicing the young Sammy) from his roost overlooking the beach where he was born.
And what a day that was, snatched as he was by a marauding seagull before falling to Earth with Shelly, the little beauty who would forever be the love of his life (and go on to be voiced by Gemma Arterton).
Taking us around the world in 50 years, Sammy's adventures are a series of friendships, trials and separations, unwittingly created by man or by the will of Mother Nature.
Some are scary (Piranhas! Sharks! Trawlers!), some groovy (a bunch of beach hippies and their French moggy), some weird (octopus merry-go-rounds), but all somehow wonderful... and always with Shelly in mind.
While the X-Factor level soundtrack and nudges to environmental awareness are pitched squarely at nippers, great care has gone into making it a visual experience to immerse everyone.
From teeming reefs to sunken wrecks, it's an eye-opening scuba-dive with no need for equipment (well, apart from 3D specs).
A colourful distraction for kids and a pleasant dip in the ocean for those with a few more knobbles on their shell.