Title: Song of the Sea
Release Date: 10 December 2014
Director: Tomm Moore
Production Company: Cartoon Saloon | Melusine Productions | Big Farm | Super Productions | Noerlum Studios
This movie has been on my list since I loved the other productions from Cartoon Saloon, The Secret of Kells and Wolfwalkers. Song of the Sea is a worthy member of this trilogy. Like the other films, Song of the Sea is built on Irish folklore, incorporating traditional art styles into the animation. In this case, the story deals with the legend of the selkie, magical beings who can transform from human to seal.
Two children, 10-year-old Ben (David Rawle) and 6-year-old Saoirse (Lucy O’Connell) grow up on a remote island off present-day Ireland where their father Conor (Brendan Gleeson) is the lighthouse keeper. Their mother Bronagh (Lisa Hannigan) disappeared at the time of Saoirse’s birth, and the family grieve her absence. On Halloween, Saoirse follows fairy lights to the sea and is revealed as a selkie. Unfortunately, her Granny (Fionnula Flanagan) finds her on the shore and convinces Conor that the children need to move with her to the city.
Ben and Saoirse thus must make a journey across Ireland to return to their island home and save the Faeries. Along the way they meet Faeries who live in a roundabout, a holy well that is home to The Great Seanachaí (Jon Kenny), and the giant Mac Lir (Gleeson). Their main antagonist is Macha (Flanagan), the Owl Witch, who traps the emotions of Faeries in jars and turns them into stone (Is there nothing more Irish than literally bottling up emotions?).
It’s a beautiful movie with a touching and inspiring story. And Saoirse is the cutest thing ever.