Song of the Sea (2014)
Rated – PG
Directed by Tomm Moore
Once in a while there are films that remind me how imaginative and creative feature animations can be. They’re not always about talking animals cracking jokes, or overwhelming amounts of cute creatures and bright colors. Sometimes, they can transport your mind to a place you never could’ve imagined on your own. Song of the Sea does exactly that.
Inspired by the Celtic folklore tradition of the selkie, director Tomm Moore invites us through a journey with some incredible characters and even more incredible narrative. Beginning like plenty of animated tales we’re used to, a family has to deal with the loss of a mother after she gives birth to her daughter, Saoirse. We flash forward six years later and the family is still having difficulties dealing with the tragedy. Ben, Saoirse’s bigger brother, resents his baby sister and father Conor can’t help but celebrate Saoirse’s birthday with a pint at the local bar, mourning his wife’s death.
We soon find out that little Saoirse cannot speak and that is because she is a selkie, a being who can turn into a white seal when she enters the sea. Throughout the movie, we watch Saoirse and Ben learn about the magical myth of the selkie and how the stories his mom once told him are actually real. There is plenty of obstacles along the way that makes Song of the Sea a marvelous ride from start to finish. Just as the family drama becomes too heavy, the plot dives into a mystical tale with faeries and a woman named Macha who traps bad feelings into jars while turning those into stone.
Seeing so much CGI-animations nowadays made me forget how intimate hand-drawn animations can be. This style really brought me into the film as it dazzled me with contrasting colors and abstract images, yet everything was still extremely detailed from the children’s faces to the surrounding in every setting. Don’t miss out on this enchanting film. Your heart will be overwhelmed with warmth as you sing the Song of the Sea during the credits.