Song Of The Sea


Song Of The Sea

Critics Consensus

Song of the Sea boasts narrative depth commensurate with its visual beauty, adding up to an animated saga overflowing with family-friendly riches.



Total Count: 92


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,321
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Movie Info

In this enchanting new story from the Academy Award-nominated director of The Secret of Kells, Ben and his little sister Saoirse

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Critic Reviews for Song Of The Sea

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (91) | Rotten (1)

  • It's heart-on-sleeve stuff, teetering on the melodramatic, though it never pulls punches in terms of accepting that life involves us accepting and processing a heavy torrent of horror and depression.

    Jul 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The beauty of Moore's animation is astounding - intricate, cheeky and, especially where nature is concerned, as evocative as a painting by Paul Klee or Henri Rousseau.

    Jul 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The first frame of the exquisite hand-drawn Irish animation Song of the Sea is so unexpectedly gorgeous, it made me shiver involuntarily.

    Jul 9, 2015 | Rating: 5/5

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Song of the Sea blends Celtic legends, bravura design and animation, and intelligent storytelling that understands but never patronises young viewers, to create an exquisite and rewarding work.

    Jul 9, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • "Song of the Sea" creates a magical world, one that pulls you in and leaves you, when it's over, feeling changed by the journey.

    Feb 26, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Sweet, aesthetically breathtaking ...

    Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…

    Tom Russo

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Song Of The Sea

  • Feb 26, 2016
    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. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2015
    A visually stunning animation masterpiece that will take you on a magical colourful journey with mythical creatures, folklore and legends.The kind of fairy-tale I'd imagine Celtic grandmas would read as bed time stories to children on a cold winter's night in Ireland and for moments in that film I felt as if I was cast under it's spell.
    Nicolas K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2015
    The film's gorgeous visuals are the only thing that justifies the Oscar nomination it got, since plot-wise this is a rather weak (and bland) animation that can't escape the fact that too much is poorly elaborated and explained, like the girl unable to speak and her sudden illness.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2015
    This is a stunningly beautiful animated movie. And that covers pretty much everything possible. The detail in the animation is absolutely fantastic. I can't even begin to detail how beautiful the animation truly is. Let's just say that it is imaginative, inventive and it perfectly captures the fairy tale-esque tone the film is going for added with some Irish mythology and a heartfelt and beautiful story focused on the relationship between these two siblings and how Ben grows to care for Saoirse after originally blaming her for everything that went wrong in his life. I almost hate to do this, because they're not even comparable, but look at this story about the emotional connection between siblings and look at Frozen. Song is the better film in almost every way imaginable, but both films, at their cores, feature a story about the strong emotional bond between siblings and the lengths with which that love will take them. But the way Frozen went about it made getting to that eventual emotional reunion between sisters an absolute chore to get through. It adheres far too much to Disney cliches and having an annoying number of musical numbers that just dragged the story down for me. The bond between the sisters, at its core, was really strong, but the movie doesn't do a great job at highlighting that until the last part of the movie, instead of building that connection throughout the entire film. This film, however, without any of the distractions, really focuses on the relationship between Ben and Saoirse and the journey they go through in order to save Saoirse herself and all the other mythical creatures that need her. So I thought that worked really well and it helped build that connection between the siblings that was absolutely essential to tell this story. It's obvious that the movie has emotional depth for days. This movie is so great that if it had been released at any other point in time except this millennium, then it would've been considered a modern animated classic. That's how excellent the film is. It's kinda sad that it did come out in this day and age, cause, and I don't wanna say it's gonna be an obscure film, but it won't be as remembered as films that aren't even on its level. Like Frozen or Big Hero 6, which actually won the Oscar for Best Animated Movie the same year Song of the Sea was nominated. Seriously. This was also the same year that The Lego Movie was snubbed. Look, I really liked Big Hero 6, but there's no fucking way that BH6 is anywhere near close to Song of the Sea in terms of animation, storytelling and emotional depth. BH6 was an easily digestible piece of entertainment and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing to that movie that was ever excellent and Baymax felt more like a muppet to sell merchandise to kids. I hate the Best Animated Movie award at the Oscars because it seems like Disney pretty much paid everyone off to win the award. Persepolis lost, The Illusionist lost and now Song of the Sea lost. I don't really care about awards, but this one is really fucking absurd. But, honestly, the amount of awards this film may or may not have won isn't relevant to me, what is relevant to me is that this film is absolutely fantastic. It's even better than Inside Out, which I know some people will hate to admit, but that's what I think. The climactic act of the film is absolutely beautiful, from an animation and storytelling standpoint. It gets over the impact that Ben and Saoirse's mother's death has had on them and their father and how much they all miss her. It's honestly a pretty gorgeous ending to an excellent movie. There's so many little details in the film that only a second viewing will reveal all its details. There's plenty of entertaining characters in the film, but they're not used in the obnoxious 'we need them to sell merch' way that's so prevalent in so many mainstream animated films, they keep its focus right where it should be and the film is better for it. I can't say enough good about this film. I'm sure a lot will like it less than I did, but I absolutely loved this film. It's, easily, the best animated film I've seen since The Lego Movie. They're equally as excellent, but for completely different reasons. I'd highly recommend this film without hesitation. Fantastic movie here.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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