Song of the Sea Screen 7 articles

Song of the Sea

2014

Song of the Sea Poster
  • Even as it entertains increasingly far-fetched detours, the film's folkloric narrative offers an ideal vehicle for this pictorial play... Even adults will find themselves lost and adrift in all this whimsical detail (which edges at times into incoherent plotting), but the emotional core of Song of the Sea is fully realized throughout.

  • Just as gorgeous as Secret of Kells, with a slightly stronger narrative. I'm a sucker for Moore's animation style, with its geometric precision and expressive curlicues; there are images here, like Macha's emotions represented as weather patterns enclosed in little vials, that made me literally chortle with delight.

  • Moore’s love for nature remains consistently evident in the gorgeously layered images, many harboring a visual complexity and density on par with anything in the Pixar universe. The underwater sequences are especially luminous, like one wide shot of seals swimming underneath the belly of a massive sperm whale. Primary colors are magnified through the heightened purview of children being awakened to tradition and folklore.

  • Inspired by the myth of the selkie — which, as fans of John Sayles’s 1994 jewel, “The Secret of Roan Inish,” know, is a seal-like creature that can shed its skin and live for a time as a human —“Song of the Sea” moves delicately but purposefully from pain to contentment and from anger to love. On land and underwater, the siblings’ adventures unfold in hand-drawn, painterly frames of misty pastels, sometimes encircled by cobwebby borders that give them the look of pictures in a locket.

  • The film is every bit as rooted in Celtic lore as its predecessor, but it branches and blooms into something less straightforwardly linked to a particular time and culture. The colours, forms and emotions are individually familiar, but they’re combined in ways that aren’t quite like anything you’ve seen before. If it hadn’t been bagsied by Disney in 1940, the perfect word for it would be fantasia.

  • It’s heart-on-sleeve stuff, teetering on the melodramatic, though it never pulls punches in terms of accepting that life involves us accepting and processing a heavy torrent of horror and depression. That all of this is articulated with such immense and playful visual splendour, levity, and not to mention arch humour, makes it truly a joy to behold.

  • The visual experimentation of The Secret of Kells has hardened into a style... The novelty is gone but the technical accomplishment is greater: the background landscapes, and the clouds in particular, are more beautiful than anything I’ve seen recently outside Studio Ghibli’s work.

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