There's no use in denying it. Song of the Sea, made by Cartoon Saloon and directed by Tomm Moore, has everything you need for a charming and compelling story, along with animation and visuals that are just eye-candy! All while teaching us about Ireand's folklore.
The story is about a boy named Ben (David Rawle) who lives in a lighthouse with his father (Brendan Gleeson), his dog, Cú, and his mute sister, Saoirse (Lucy O'Connell). Ben hates his little sister because she's a constant reminder of how their mother is gone. That'll change when they move to the city with their grandmother and he discovers that his mother's stories about fae and selkies are far from being just legends and his little sister might be one of them.
Animation And Music
The animation is absolutely beautiful — every shot is full of details and the colors only add to the magical and calm atmosphere. Besides, with all the CGI going on, it's great to see pencil animation at this time!
Should I talk about the music? I'm not an expert, so I try to avoid talking about it, in case I say something incredibly stupid and make people that actually know something about it, cringing.
But seriously. I haven't heard a soundtrack that impacted me so much in a while. It could put you to sleep (in a good way) and I tend to find myself humming one of the main songs ''Amhrán Na Farraige''. Even if you the movie doesn't row your boat, you'll probably like the soundtrack.
Story, Characters and Voice Actors:
It's easy to follow and charming. It gets more emotional with each character we met and it keeps raising the stakes. The audience also starts putting the pieces of the story together, as well discovering the ''whys'' of each character.
One of the most interesting things in the movie is the parallels. Everyone but Ben, has a parallel, a connection between the real world and the fae world. And even the worlds seem to mirror each other in some parts.
The characters are very interesting! There can be some debate about them, and I love it! Not to mention this film doesn't have an actual villain. The two characters that could be considered such, have the best intentions in mind but just make things worse. Thankfully, they both end up realising it.
I have to say, all the voice actors did a magnificent job! Even though Lucy O'Connell seamed to squeak her last line a little. But that's just me nitpicking!
Brendan Gleeson, already voiced Abbot Cellach in The Secret of Kells and it's great to hear him again in another Cartoon Saloon production!
In the end, this is a wonderful film and that everybody should watch at least once. The mystical journey mixed with breathtaking animation makes this film simply unforgettable. I give Song of the Sea a 10 out of 10.
I have to note that all the kids I watched this movie with really liked it and didn't find it scary but I've heard some stories of children who were scared or overwhelmed with all the emotion going on. It's not the same as The Secret of Kells, in terms of violence, but remember to know the children before you show it to them. And please, try not to be like those parents that are scared that their kids will display strong emotions, it only means they have empathy.
Thank you for listening.