Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgThe setting is Ireland but this period piece sort of exists in a magical land that seems almost otherworldly. The environment relies on folklore as it concerns the ancient legends of the selkie, mythological creatures that live as seals in the sea but become human on land. Song of the Sea is the second film from Cartoon Saloon and Tomm Moore, the creators of The Secret of Kells. Like that film, it received a nomination for Best Animated Feature.

This fantasy involves a little girl names Saoirse (Lucy O’Connell) who lives in a lighthouse by the sea with her brother Ben (David Rawle). Six years after the child’s birth, their father (Brendan Gleeson) still laments the loss of their mother (Lisa Hannigan). Saoirse herself has yet to utter a word. But they have other issues. After the girl is found sleeping on the beach one night, she and her older brother are sent to live with Granny in the supposed safety of the city. The story is fashioned as an epic journey where Ben and Saoirse must embark through a mysterious world of Giants, Rock Fairies and an Owl Witch to get back to the sea. The latter creature is named Macha and her ability to turn people to stone has foreboding qualities. At one point the two become separated. Young Ben’s journey to find her is rather touching.

This mythic tale stars two kids and is pitched at a young audience. However this unfolds at a much slower pace than the cartoons of today. The narrative is more of an experience. It’s quiet and gradually takes its time to unfold. That’s fitting given the bewitching atmosphere of the production. It’s a gorgeous, hand drawn delight that is rich in color. The minimalist design is made up of visually bold shapes. Their simplicity is extremely pleasing to the eye. The soundtrack is haunting which evokes an ethereal mood. Irish singer Lisa Hannigan contributes several exquisite melodies including the title tune. She also happens to be the voice of the mother. With Hollywood studios dominating at the multiplexes these days, Song of the Sea is a beautiful anomaly amongst the current computer graphics landscape. Young children and animation fans will be enchanted alike.


16 Responses to “Song of the Sea”

  1. I’m really looking forward to this one, Mark. I was quite impressed by The Secret of Kells and loved the animation. Hoping for of more of the same here but to hear the pace is slow, is the very same reason that Kells wasn’t quite as good as it could have been. Still, I’ll catch it when I can.


  2. Arielle Sorensen Says:

    Our family really enjoyed this film, as it had beautiful artistry, with magical elements. I love the music and its a nice change from typical animation like Disney. I love this film and we watch it every day since purchase!


    • It’s a great film for the entire family. I wish it had gotten a wider release. It’s currently playing in 48 theaters now. That’s the most it ever reached, and now it’s on DVD.


  3. I really want to see both Kells and this one, I honestly mistook this one as a Studio Ghibli picture. Which would have made no sense because The Wind Rises was the last one from that legendary company, I do believe. As Wind Rises was actually my intro to SG, I think I’ll be okay with the slower, deliberate pacing. For me it’s all about getting lost in the animation.


    • Cartoon Saloon is to Ireland what Studio Ghibli is to Japan.

      Studio Ghibli has actually done 2 pictures since The Wind Rises. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya & When Marnie Was There. The former was nominated for an Academy Award this year as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was pretty original and kinda magical. I liked it. I’m glad it was nominated for Animation, it deserved it. 3 1/2 stars


  5. smilingldsgirl Says:

    I loved this movie too. It actually is one of my favorite animated movies I’ve seen in a long time because it reminded me of my cousin’s little boy after she died and the longing on the part of the boy for his Mother really got to me . I don’t know how great it is for little one’s but older kids and teens it is certainly fine for. It was just great.


    • This recalled genuine feelings of grief. I can understand how it touched you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • smilingldsgirl Says:

        I think whenever a movie can hit on or perhaps even explain our real life it is especially meaningful to me. Granted escaping one’s problems is nice too but the big pictures at least for me tell a little of my story.


  6. This story tells us all the emotions feelings we have make what we are.Never kill the emotion even though it isn’t positive .I like your comments 🙂


  7. I don’t know if I would love the deliberate pace of Song of the Sea. But the poster looks really cool, so I think I’d appreciate the style of animation, minimalist design that you metnion and haunting etherial mood created by the music.


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