Song of the Sea (2014 film)
|Song of the Sea|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tomm Moore|
|Screenplay by||Will Collins|
|Story by||Tomm Moore|
|Edited by||Darragh Byrne
Darren T. Holmes (consulting editor)
|Box office||CN¥15 million (China)
Song of the Sea (Irish: Amhrán na Mara) is a 2014 animated fantasy drama film directed and co-produced by Tomm Moore, co-produced by Ross Murray, Paul Young, Stephen Roelants, Serge and Marc Ume, Isabelle Truc, Clement Calvet, Jeremie Fajner, Frederik Villumsen, and Claus Toksvig Kjaer, and written by Will Collins from Moore's story. It was an international co-production from Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Luxembourg, and is the second feature film by Cartoon Saloon.
Song of the Sea follows the story of a 10-year-old Irish boy named Ben (David Rawle) who discovers that his mute sister Saoirse, whom he blames for the apparent death of his mother, is a selkie who has to free faerie creatures from the Celtic goddess Macha.
Like other Saloon films, the film was hand-drawn. The film began production soon after the release of The Secret of Kells (2009), premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on 6 September in the "TIFF Kids" programme. The film had a limited release in certain countries, but received acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
Conor, a lighthouse keeper, lives on an island with son Ben, his pregnant wife Bronagh, and sheepdog Cú. Bronagh disappears late one night, presumably dying after childbirth, leaving behind daughter Saoirse (pronounced SIHR-shuh).
Six years later, Conor is broken, Saoirse is mute, and Ben is antagonistic towards Saoirse, blaming her for Bronagh's disappearance. On her birthday, she is visited by Granny, their grandmother. That night, Ben scares Saoirse with a story of Mac Lir and his mother Macha, the Owl Witch, who stole his feelings and turned him to stone. Later, Saoirse plays a seashell horn given to Ben by their mother, leading her to a white sealskin coat in Conor's closet. She wears the coat and walks to a group of seals in the sea, revealing her as a selkie. After swimming, she is found by Granny, who insists upon taking the children to the city. Conor reluctantly agrees despite Ben's protests, and locks the coat in a chest, throwing it into the sea.
On Halloween, Saoirse plays the shell, alerting Færie to her. She and Ben attempt to go home, but encounter the Færie, hopeful that Saoirse will allow them to go to Tír na nÓg. However, they are attacked by Macha's owls, turning the Færie to stone. They take a country bus, where they run into Cú, who had followed them. However, Saoirse is growing ill. They come across a sacred well that Saoirse dives into. Ben follows and meets the Great Seanachaí: They learn that she was kidnapped by Macha, and that she is mute because she needs the coat, otherwise she will die. He gives Ben one of his hairs that will lead him to Macha. As he follows the hair, it shows him that Bronagh - a selkie herself - had to return to the ocean when Saoirse was born, remorsefully watching.
Ben then meets Macha, who explains that when Mac Lir suffered from a broken heart, she turned him into an island near their home. She is determined to do the same for everyone, even herself. Ben manages to rescue Saoirse, giving Macha back her feelings and allowing her to recognize that taking away feelings doesn't help. She helps them fly them back home, and Conor attempts to take Saoirse to a hospital; simultaneously, Granny is near the island to find them. Ben dives into the sea in search of Saoirse's coat, and recovers it with the seals and Conor. The group is then washed up on Mac Lir's island, where Saoirse's health is fully restored and she sings the song of the sea. The Færie rise and travel to Mac Lir and he emerges with Macha and his dogs as they head to Tír na nÓg.
Bronagh appears preparing to depart with Saoirse, but Ben pleads to let her stay with them. Since she is half-human, the choice rests with Saoirse, who elects to remain behind with her father and brother, even if it means giving up her selkie powers. Bronagh takes her coat and departs. After a tearful goodbye, the Faeries depart across the sea, and Ben and his family happily return home to their island, where Granny finally arrives, and decides the children can stay with their father. Ben and Saoirse reconcile and become friends.
- David Rawle as Ben
- Brendan Gleeson as Conor and Mac Lir
- Fionnula Flanagan as Granny and Macha
- Lisa Hannigan as Bronagh; Ben and Saoirse's mother
- Lucy O'Connell as Saoirse
- Jon Kenny as Ferry Dan and The Great Seanachaí
- Pat Shortt as Lug
- Colm Ó Snodaigh as Mossy
- Liam Hourican as Spud and Bus Driver
- Kevin Swierszcz as Young Ben
- Will Collins as Additional voices
- Paul Young as Additional voices
|Song Of The Sea|
|Soundtrack album by Bruno Coulais & Kíla|
|Released||1 January 2014|
|Label||Universal Music Group|
The original music for the film was composed by Bruno Coulais, in collaboration with the Irish group Kíla. The film also features songs by Nolwenn Leroy. A soundtrack album, consisting of 25 songs from the film, was released digitally on 9 December 2014 by Decca Records.
|Song of the Sea (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|1.||"Song of the Sea (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||2:42|
|2.||"The Mother's Portrait"||2:26|
|3.||"The Sea Scene"||2:42|
|4.||"The Song (performed by Lisa Hannigan and Lucy O' Connell)"||5:16|
|5.||"The Key in the Sea"||0:59|
|6.||"The Derry Tune"||1:58|
|7.||"In the Streets"||1:05|
|8.||"Dance with the Fish"||2:05|
|10.||"Something Is Wrong (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||2:04|
|12.||"Head Credits (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||1:44|
|17.||"I Hate You"||1:33|
|18.||"Who Are You"||1:19|
|21.||"In the Bus (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||0:44|
|22.||"The Thread (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||2:24|
|23.||"Amhrán Na Farraige (performed by Lisa Hannigan)"||2:45|
|24.||"Song of the Sea (Lullaby) (From "Song of the Sea") (performed by Nolwenn Leroy)"||3:46|
|25.||"La chanson de la mer (berceuse) (Extrait du film "Le chant de la mer") (performed by Nolwenn Leroy)"||3:47|
Song of the Sea premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on 6 September 2014 in the TIFF Kids program. Theatrically, it was released in France, Belgium and Luxembourg on 10 December 2014. It received a limited release in North America on 19 December 2014, which qualified it for an Academy Award nomination. It was released in Ireland on 10 July 2015.
Early reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Todd Brown, founder and editor of Twitch Film, gave a highly positive review of the film, saying that "a tale that weds absolutely gorgeous artwork with beautifully nuanced characters and a deep but natural rooting in ancient folk tales and magic, Song of the Sea has an assured and timeless quality to it. It is the sort of story that feels as though it always existed somewhere, just waiting until now to be told". "Song of the Sea is not about selling units, it's about story and heart and emotion and wonder and craftsmanship and because of that it becomes timeless, a beautiful piece of art that will delight audiences old and young and confirms what many suspected of Moore after Kells: The man's a master storyteller, and we can only hope he has many, many more stories to tell." 
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 99% and an average rating of 8.4/10 based on 77 reviews. It also has a score of 85 out of 100 on Metacritic from 24 reviews.
Writing in the Toronto Review, Carlos Aguilar said of the film: "Watching Song of the Sea it is easy to assert that this is one of the most blissfully beautiful animated films ever made. It is a gem beaming with awe-inspiring, heartwarming magic".
Sara Stewart from the New York Post said "If you want some real cinematic magic this holiday season, don’t miss this enchanting Irish film about a pair of siblings and a piece of Celtic folklore that turns out to be true".
An animator Ken Priebe found in the film a lot of influence of Hayao Miyazaki, in particular, the scene on the bus is similar to the scene on the train from Spirited Away, and the owl witch looks like Yubaba from the same film.
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Results|
|2014||Festival International des Voix du Cinéma d'Animation (Port Leucate, France)||Prix Spécial du Jury||Song of the Sea||Won|
|2015||42nd Annual Annie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Tomm Moore, Paul Young||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Tomm Moore, Marie Thorhauge, Sandra Anderson, Rosa Ballester Cabo||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Tomm Moore||Nominated|
|Music in a Feature Production||Bruno Coulais & Kíla||Nominated|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Adrien Merigeau||Nominated|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Will Collins||Nominated|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Darragh Byrne||Nominated|
|19th Satellite Awards||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Song of the Sea||Won|
|40th César Awards||Best Animated Feature Film||Song of the Sea||Nominated|
|87th Academy Awards||Best Animated Feature||Song of the Sea||Nominated|
|12th Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Film||Song of the Sea||Won|
|Best Film Script||Will Collins||Nominated|
|28th European Film Awards||Best Animated Feature Film||Song of the Sea||Won|
|2016||6th Magritte Awards||Best Foreign Film in Coproduction||Song of the Sea||Nominated|
|21st Empire Awards||Best Animated Film||Song of the Sea||Nominated|
- Debruge, Peter (21 September 2014). "Film Review: ‘Song of the Sea’". Variety. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "SONG OF THE SEA (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Debruge, Peter (21 September 2014). "Film Review: 'Song of the Sea'". Variety. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "海洋之歌（2016）". cbooo.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved August 24, 2016.
- "Song of the Sea (2014) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (19 August 2014). "Cartoon Saloon's 'Song of the Sea' to Premiere at TIFF". Animation World Network. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- "Awards Season: Irish film Song of the Sea nominated for Oscar". Scannain. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Irish film Song of the Sea nominated for Oscar". Scannain. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Monji, Jana (20 November 2014). "AFI FEST 2014: HAUNTING STORIES FROM ABROAD". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "'Song of the Sea' Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "European Release of Song of the Sea". Cartoon Saloon. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "GKIDS Announces North American Release Date for 'Song of the Sea'". Animation World Network. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Irish Animation 'Song of the Sea' Wins a Satellite Award in the Run Up to the Oscars". Irish Film Board. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Song of the Sea". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Brown, Todd (7 September 2014). "Toronto 2014 Review: SONG OF THE SEA Is A Timeless Delight For All Ages". Twitch Film. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Song of the Sea". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Song of the Sea Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- Aguilar, Carlos (7 September 2014). "Toronto Review: "Song of the Sea" is a Blissfully Beautiful Journey Into Irish Folklore". Toronto Review. Indiewire.com. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "'Song of the Sea' is this season's animated masterpiece - New York Post". nypost.com/. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- Overstreet, Jeffrey (18 March 2015). "Song of the Sea (2014): A Conversation With Animator and Author Ken Priebe". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "un Prix spécial du Jury a été attribué au Chant de la mer de Tomm Moore". voixdetoiles.com. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "42nd Annual Annie Award Nominees". Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Pond, Steve (December 1, 2014). "'Birdman' Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". Yahoo!. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "César nominations 2015". www.allocine.fr. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Oscars 2015: nominations in full". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "The IFTA 2015 Winners' List". entertainment.ie. May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "European Film Awards Winners 2015: Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Scoops Best Film, Director & Actor For Michael Caine". Deadline.
- "Magritte du cinéma : pluie de nominations pour Jaco van Dormael et Savina Dellicour". Le Soir (in French). January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
- Nugent, John. "Jameson Empire Awards 2016: Star Wars and Mad Max lead the nominations". Empire. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Metro.co.uk, Rebecca Lewis for. "Mad Max: Fury Road leads the pack at the 2016 Jameson Empire Awards". Metro. Retrieved 2016-03-15.