Song of the Sea is the second animated feature film written and directed by Irish filmmaker Tomm Moore. The Academy Award-nominated film was first released to U.S. audiences in December 2014 and has finally made its way to Ireland.
Song of the Sea is a story that follows two precocious young siblings, Ben and Saoirse. Little Saoirse feels utterly rejected by her brother after the disappearance of their mother and tries desperately to win his acceptance. Ben refuses, until his sister turns into a magical seal, and they are forced to make the world right by saving the fairies.
The beauty of the film is that it captures the spirit of classic animated films. The honesty of the storytelling is enriched by the mythological spin. There is death, sacrifice, harshness and sorrow. It’s not a happy-go-lucky fluff film. There are real deep-rooted themes about family and illustrates (literally and figuratively) how children react to difficult situations. But the film is delicate and elegant enough that it is appropriate for children of all ages.
It’s also refreshing to see a story about Irish mythology. Ben and Saoirse encounter fairies, giants, owls and mystical sea creatures that are based on characters passed down thousands of years. Moore first gave the world a taste of the these ancient stories in The Secret of Kells. It is something that he is extremely passionate about. I interviewed the director right after he won the "Best Irish Film" award at the Galway Film Fleadh. He stressed the importance of re-introducing these stories to younger generations. Moore also spoke about his background, his love for hand-drawn animation, getting the Oscar call and his next project with the production company Cartoon Saloon.
In addition to the stunning animation, Song of the Sea exceeds in artistic excellence thanks to the breathtaking soundtrack. Songstress Lisa Hannigan and the band Kila enhance the magical journey.
Song of the Sea and Secret of Kells are available on Blu Ray and DVD in the U.S. and currently in theaters in Ireland.