Starring: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan, Fionnula Flanagan, Lucy O’Connell, Jon Kenny
Directed By: Tomm Moore
Written By: Will Collins
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 33 min
Based on the ancient myth of the Selkie*, Song of the Sea is a beautifully crafted tale of love, tragedy and finding a healthy way to channel one’s emotions. Set mostly on a small island off the coast of Ireland, this touching story follows two siblings, Ben (David Rawle) and his younger sister, Saoirse (Lucy O’Connell). And tracks their grand adventure as they journey home after being forcibly moved away from the lighthouse they grew up in. Along the way, they discover Saoirse’s true purpose, and the connection she has with all the magical characters right out of ancient folklore.
Song of the Sea is one of the most beautiful films it’s ever been my pleasure to watch. It’s simply stunning. I honestly can’t think of any decent adjectives that can truly describe how incredible looking this film is. It’s not just an empty visual extravaganza either, there’s a truly touching and powerful story at the heart of this film too. One that both children and adults should be able to connect with and understand. It’s a story that gets under your skin, and I totally got swept away by its nuanced characters, gorgeously detailed artwork, and superb music.
* Selkies live as seals in the ocean, but become human on land.
This is an animated film the entire family can love. If you saw and enjoyed director Tomm Moore’s first animated feature, The Secret of Kells, then I’m sure you’ll like this too. Song of the Sea is also similar in tone to movies like Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Ponyo.
This film needs to be seen on a theater sized screen. I’m so sad I missed it during its ridiculously limited run in the US. For a rental or purchase, get the HD version and watch it on a nice big TV. Do not reduce this movie down onto a portable screen. It would honestly be akin to passing off a Polaroid of a Turner painting as the real thing – don’t do it!
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
There are some really beautiful moments all throughout this film, and the finale is really moving. I also loved the moment when Ben discovers the truth about his mothers disappearance.