Quite simply, animated films, unlike their live-action counterparts, are hard to get right. Select titles, like Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Pixar’s Inside Out, prove that animation has a unique power with audiences, connecting with them in a way that no other medium could possibly do. Song of the Sea is the latest project from director, Tomm Moore, acclaimed director of the award-winning The Secret of the Kells (2009).
Song of the Sea is a refreshing sight: a film that boasts poetic imagery and a simple story instead of phoned-in celebrity voice overs and wise-cracking furry creatures.It’s plot is firmly cemented in Irish mythology and folklore, in a fantastic opening sequence, a lighthouse keeper, Conor (Brendan Gleeson) watches helplessly as his wife rushes into the sea and disappears beneath the waves, after giving birth to a baby girl. The story picks up years later, when Conor and his young family, Ben (David Rawle) and Saoirse (Lisa Hannigan), are separated from each other. Ben, the feisty hero of the picture, learns that his sister is not as she seems and is revealed to be a shape-shifting selkie, and he must protect her from the clutches from Macha the Owl-Witch and her feathered minions.
Director Tomm Moore is clearly proud of his Irish heritage and has a deep, invested interest in the rich culture of his country. Song of the Sea has a such a wondrous story that is so imaginative and well-plotted that it owes the viewer repeat viewings. The visual style of the film resembles epic paintings and is far more eye-catching and memorable than any CGI backdrop, Song of the Sea really deserves to be seen on the biggest screen that you can find, a film that will be wasted on the screens of mobile phones and tablets.
The film has enjoyed rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide and has even been shortlisted for an Oscar under Best Animated Feature, hopefully, after a well-deserved win, Song of the Sea will be seen by more and more people, it deserves to be a classic.