Song of the Sea

Film, Animation
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Song of the Sea

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

From the team behind 'The Secret of Kells', this is another gorgeous, visually rich animated folk tale from Ireland

This enchanting, gorgeously drawn Irish animation from the same team as 2009’s Oscar-nominated ‘The Secret of Kells’ mixes heartbreaking family drama with the mystery and wonder of folklore. Perfect for kids, its dazzling craft and sensitive soul should seduce adults too.

Set in the early 1980s – although only a Walkman gives that away – we meet a young couple, Bronagh and Conor, and their son Ben, living on a remote island off the Irish coast. Early on, Bronagh disappears from home after giving birth to a daughter, Saoirse, causing Conor to slip into depression and the kids’ stern grandmother to move them to the city.

The rest of this melancholic but magical tale is coloured with grief and longing, as the children struggle to deal with their loss and a less down-to-earth legacy left to them by their mother. ‘Song of the Sea’ is impressively tuned in to deeply felt childhood emotions, but it’s not all gloom and doom by a long stretch: its real-world problems are offset by some very charming and funny fantasy elements. It feels like a well-worn illustrated children’s book come vividly to life.



Release details

Release date:
Friday July 10 2015
93 mins

Cast and crew

Tomm Moore
Will Collins

Users say (3)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening

When it comes to animations on the 20th century I really feel like they're putting so much thought and emotion behind them. This story was very emotional especially towards the end. If you enjoy celtic or irish music and such then the songs will appeal to you.

The graphics themselves were good and colourful. Honestly we thoroughly enjoyed it ... it's all about the love of a family and how far a sibling goes to save the other.

Staff Writer

This wonderful animation is a refreshing antidote the depictions of childhood we get from mainstream Hollywood where the analysis of feelings by sassy articulate kids becomes the main focus (I'm thinking of TV programmes like The Next Step as much as as films like Inside Out). That's not to say all Hollywood films are bad, just that it's a relief to see an alternative. Song of the Sea is a magical story about an Irish family who live in a lighthouse on a small outcrop of rock. It's weaved through with folk stories, mystery and everyday beauty as they cope with death and loss as well as finding life and love. The animation itself is gorgeous and bursting with imaginative ideas, and there's also an important message here about the power of that close daily connection with the natural world (animals as well as the landscape and seasons). It's a moving story that's not simply for children but something anyone can enjoy. It's my favourite film of the year.

Staff Writer

There's no other way to describe this film than beautiful. I would happily hang any frame of this 2D animation on my wall it's that visually striking. Though the story isn't as rounded as it could have been (with little to no time spent on character flaws and no resolution of growth), this adventure into the emotional, fantasy world of a young boy and his sister is fun, tragic and whimsical. The character design was really quite something as was the surrounding world. But it's the little details that make this film and I can't wait to watch it again to spot even more. Now to watch 'Songs of Kells'...