Song of the Sea

In this gentle ink and paint animated feature, Ben, voiced by David Rawle and Saoirse, voiced by Lucy O’Connell, are two siblings living in a lighthouse on a remote island off the coast of Ireland in the 80’s with their father Conor, voiced by Brenden Gleeson. Their mother seemingly died giving birth to the younger Saoirse and Ben has never forgiven his sister for this. Yet they are united when their grandmother, voiced by Fionnula Flanagan, takes them away from their childhood home to live with her in the city.
Saoirse discovers that her mother was a selkie, a being that is a seal in the water and a human on land. It turns out that when there was trouble with the pregnancy the mother, Bronagh, voice by Lisa Hannigan had to return to the sea and deliver Saoirse as a seal. The girl was born with a white coat that marks her as a selkie as well. Her father keeps it locked away in a trunk.
It also turns out that Macha, some kind of Gaelic god has been turning the faery folk into stone by stealing their souls so they can’t feel emotion. Saoirse can turn them back if she wears the coat and sings a special song. The problem is that she is six years old and hasn’t spoken yet. The children must find their way home to retrieve the coat and save the faeries.
This is a pleasant enough confection, very much for children. The animation is basic and stylized, using blocky shapes and sharp edges. The children are sympathetic and the villains are not too scary.
It didn’t really leave much of a mark on me but I’m not the intended audience.


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