The semi-realistic world evoked in Moonrise Kingdom has very precise coloration. The use of pastel hues in the sky, buildings and characters' outfits, makes it seem that the setting is fairytale-like. The retro quality from the muted hues creates nostalgia for a time that could have been. The typical colors seen throughout the film are a mixture of desaturated, muted and more sumptuous hues in the coastal backdrop such as muted yellow-green, pale light blue and desaturated red-brown colors. The purpose of the different desaturated light colors is to demonstrate the setting of New England in 1965.
A particular color that Anderson uses to evoke emotion is red. In Figure 2, one of the protagonists, Suzy Bishop, wears a pink outerwear with a red beanie. She is the only character that uses significant red clothing, and the small doses of red are more effective than large amounts of this strong color. In terms of the visual hierarchy composition, it is obvious that the focal point is Suzy because she is the only one in red and pink colors throughout the film. The pink outfit has a tint (light value) of red and red invokes the strongest reaction of all colors. Since red does not easily blend into the background, it grabs attention quickly, which makes the wearer appear heavier and bolder. Red also depicts her aggressiveness, which can be seen from when she stabs a boy scout with a scissor. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing does not help Suzy in negotiations or confrontations. .
In Figure 2, Anderson implements strong contrasting complementary color scheme of a warm red color against a cool green color in the characters' outfits. Even though muted red and green outfits are intrinsically high-contrast, the outfits still draw attention to the audience due to a stable figure and ground relationship with the dark background. Anderson has made it clear that when using the complementary scheme, it is important to choose a dominant color (red) and use its complementary color (green) for accents.