For the past couple of years I have made quite the mission to watch the movies nominated for an Oscar best movie. But I have to admit, with shame, that I kind of ignored the animation category. Ultimately, I did see this year’s winner, Big Hero 6, but there was another animation that caught my attention even more. The animation named “Song of the sea” charmed me instantly after seeing the trailer. It is a lovely story inspired by Irish and Scottish mythology about selkies:
“Selkies (also spelled silkies, selchies; Irish/Scottish Gaelic: selchidh, Scots: selkie fowk) are mythological creatures found in Scottish, Irish, and Faroese folklore. Similar creatures are described in the Icelandic traditions. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, (from Old English seolh meaning seal). Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend is apparently most common in Orkney and Shetland and is very similar to those of swan maidens.”(Wikipedia)
It is mostly about the brother-sister relationship between Ben and Saoirse, who are cared for by their dad only, as their mom appears to have died after giving birth to little Saoirse. Their dad, saddened by the loss of the women he loved and still grieves her even after 6 years have passed, is very protective of Saoirse, who can’t speak, and often puts Ben in charge to care for her, around the house. Ben obviously isn’t very pleased about the arrangement. After a fairly dramatic turn of events, without giving too much detail and spoiling the story for you, both the kids and their loyal dog friend Cú, begin the journey of searching the voice of Saoirse and also searching for something very special that Saoirse needs in order to fully become herself.
As in any story there are several obstacles to overcome in order to reach the final destination and there is personal development involved and also villains and helping other creatures (mythical) towards fulfilling your destiny. “Song of the sea” is a very beautifully made animation, visually and also pretty different to what I watched or am used to watch. You have to put aside the multitude of Pixar animations you might have seen recently because this one is different in many ways. Took a bit to get comfortable, but it was an easy adjustment as the story is lovely and has a lovely, ethereal at times, soundtrack to get you into the magical mood.
I wouldn’t say it is directly aimed at children because the story can strike certain cords with adults too. This will be particularly enjoyable if you still enjoy fairy tales as an adult and like a good story beautifully animated and also like discovering new mythology. I personally love it. And I loved “Song of the sea” a lot, so much I think I will watch it again soon and try to get as many people possible to watch it. This is one that will stick with you, lingering in your mind long after seeing it.