Starring: Brendan Gleeson, David Rawle, Lucy O’Connell
Young Irish boy Ben still holds his mute sister Saoirse responsible for the death of their mother. After the two of them are forced to live in the city with their grandmother they escape and embark on a magical journey where Ben discovers the true identity of his sister and mother, and that some mythical characters are indeed real.
In this day and age where the big animation studios throw vast amounts of money at their films and we all praise them for the detail of their animation, ultimately the most important aspect of what makes any animated film engaging is its story and how this story, and the characters in this story, are presented. It is also refreshing to be reminded that beautiful animation is not all about budget, but also about style, and there are some visually gorgeous animated films that come out that cannot compete with Pixar or DreamWorks for immaculate detail, but bring their own unique style.
Song of the Sea excels in both aspects; it has beautiful and immersive, but also unique animation, and it also has a captivating, magical and uplifting story to tell. To sum up its plot in words is almost impossible, the main plot strands are only given the true justice they deserve by the overall tone that the narrative is presented in and all the themes it encompasses.
Director Tomm Moore creates beautiful, immersive visuals that are just as magical and captivating as the story itself. When done well (and budget is not necessarily a factor in this), animation can appeal to viewers of all ages, and Song of the Sea certainly has universal appeal as it contains at its heart universal themes of loss, loyalty, love and the importance of family as a story that will capture the imagination of all.
To say too much about the plot details will of course risk spoiling everything, and it is best to watch Song of the Sea with little knowledge of it or the folk tales it is based on, but there is no denying that from start to finish it is a captivating, emotionally engaging and unforgettable tale that should be watched and enjoyed by all.
Not only one of the best animated films of the year, but one of the best films of the year; Song of the Sea is an unforgettable film that is beautifully put together both in terms of narrative and animation that will capture the imagination of viewers of all ages.