Song Of The Sea (2014)
Critic Consensus: Song of the Sea boasts narrative depth commensurate with its visual beauty, adding up to an animated saga overflowing with family-friendly riches.
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Critic Reviews for Song Of The Sea
Song of the Sea is a magical feast of visual delights, narrative intrigue and nostalgic revisionism that will appeal to the inner child of all ages.
Come for the beautiful Carson Ellis like backdrops, and stay for the clever way it weaves traditional tales into a modern day fable.
Making its case that wistfulness is a magical force, Song of the Sea upholds the great Irish narrative tradition of extracting exquisite uplift from heavy sadness.
The animation is stunningly beautiful throughout, deceptive in its simplicity, but producing moments of genuine wonder, most notably in its clever use of light.
A magnificent journey into Irish folklore, beautifully illustrated and full of wonder.
Audience Reviews for Song Of The Sea
After receiving an Oscar nomination for his exquisitely animated film The Secret of Kells in 2009, director Tomm Moore achieved the same again with his unique style of animation for his follow-up, Song of the Sea. In the first instance, he lost the Oscar to Disney's Up and the second time around Disney prevailed again with Big Hero 6. However, it's still good to see Moore's films challenge such big hitters.
After the death of their mother, Ben and his little sister Saoirse are sent to live with their grandmother as their father is still in grieving. They take it upon themselves to find their own way back home by embarking on a fantastical journey across the sea where they are tasked with freeing faeries and saving the spirit world while discovering the magic and ancient legend of the Selkies - mythical seals who can change into human form when on land.
As he did in The Secret of Kells, Moore again focuses on Irish folklore and imbues the whole tale with the same ethereal beauty that he employed so stunningly in his debut. His traditional, hand-drawn animation is a joy to behold and so refreshing in an age of overproduced, computer generated material. Despite having made only two films (and a forthcoming contribution to a segment of Khalil Gibran's The Prophet), Moore has been mentioned in a similar light to the great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki in his ability to create his own magical and enchanting stories. Personally speaking, I think the comparison to Miyazaki is far too premature but Moore is certainly an undoubted talent, regardless. His worlds and imagination can, at times, be breathtaking and Song of the Sea is a wonderful piece of storytelling. Like The Secret of Kells, however, he has slight pacing issues and younger viewers may find their concentration tested. That being said, he's refined a lot the faults that befell that film. His story is stronger and more involving and his decision to stick with composer Bruno Coulais and Irish folk band Kila results in a perfectly fitting score that captures and compliments the essence of Celtic mythology.
A rich and beautifully crafted rights-of-passage fable where the story and imagery interweave with near perfection.
Thoroughly deserving of it's Oscar nomination last year and very unlucky to lose out to Big Hero 6. The Academy are well known for making wrong decisions but it's hugely disappointing that they'd overlook this in favour of something that just happened to make more money. This is a genuine gem of animation.
The only thing that justifies its Oscar nomination is the film's gorgeous visuals, since plot-wise this is a rather weak (and bland) animation that can't escape the fact that too much in it is so poorly elaborated and explained, like the girl not able to speak and her sudden illness.
This mythic tale stars two kids and is pitched at a young audience. However this unfolds at a much slower pace than the cartoons of today. The narrative is more of an experience. It's quiet and gradually takes its time to unfold. That's fitting given the bewitching atmosphere of the production. It's a gorgeous, hand drawn delight that is rich in color. The minimalist design is made up of visually bold shapes. Their simplicity is extremely pleasing to the eye. The soundtrack is haunting which evokes an ethereal mood. Irish singer Lisa Hannigan contributes several exquisite melodies including the title tune. She also happens to be the voice of the mother. With Hollywood studios dominating at the multiplexes these days, Song of the Sea is a beautiful anomaly amongst the current computer graphics landscape. Young children and animation fans will be enchanted alike.
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