Tomm Moore's SONG OF THE SEA
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This charming, lyrical, and exceptional animated film is a reminder of the power of folklore and myth and how the visual arts and music can be combined to tell a powerful and emotional story.
Many cultures historically have evolved with belief in magic and spirit creatures linked closely to the natural world that are threatened by onslaughts of modern technology and society.
The last film I saw that dealt effectively with such themes was Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke. Now we have Song of the Sea where the focus is on a young girl whose mother was a “silkie,” a magic creature who can switch between human and animal form.
The animal, in this case, is a seal, one of many who populate the rocky coast of Ireland where the story takes place. The little girl is six years old and lives with her big brother, her widowed dad, and her dog in a lighthouse by the sea.
The father, still grieving the loss of his wife at the birth of the daughter, calls his aging mother to take the children back to the city. That’s where the real quest begins for the children to reawaken their link with magic, the sea, and long dormant mythical creatures.
The fabulous artwork in this movie is a constant kaleidoscope of color and shape. It’s as if a beautiful oversized and detailed book of fairytales has come to life. Lines and shapes flow throughout the film and pulsate with energy and music.
The climax is simultaneously epic, emotionally satisfying, sweet, and sad. This is definitely one of the best films I have seen so far this year.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald.