SONG OF THE SEA (American Film Institute Film Festival Release, Los Angeles, California USA 2014)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.7|5.0 Starsìì

Song of the Sea
performs better than Secret of the Kells due to deeper heart built into the story as well as high imagination. But, Song of the Sea, as its predecessor Secret of the Kells, is plagued by the assumption that Irish/Scottish folklore and fairy tales are universally familiar and understood—not needing background information or detail/explanation. Confusion, due to this error, detracts from a film that should have been a winner from the get-go.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


The woman, Bronach (voice of Lisa Hannigan), is a white seal from the ocean who marries a man named Conor (voice of Brendan Gleeson) who runs a light house on the beach. They have a son and name him Ben (voice of David Rawle). Bronach and Conor produce another child, Saoirse (voice of Lucy O’Connell), a mute girl. When Bronach disappears. Ben blames the disappearance of his mother on his new sister. His father, Conor, somewhat detached from life in general due to mourning over his wife’s ‘death’ does not recognize the problems between Ben and Saoirse. Saoirse plays her brother’s shell flute, a gift to him from their mother, and it leads her to a locked chest in her father’s closet. She opens it and finds a glistening white sealskin coat and walks outside of the light house wearing the coat. She is revealed as a young Selkie, a creature who can live on land, if not wearing the sealskin coat, or in the water, if wearing the sealskin coat.  When the children’s grandmother finds Saoirse in the ocean, she demands that the children come to live with her in the city. The rest of the story details the adventures of the two children as they encounter fairy and other mythological creatures while working their way back home.

Additional Thanks

Fair Work for Director and Producer Tomm Moore. Thank you to Producers Claus Toksvig Kjaer and Paul Young for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Mac Lir (voice of Brendan Gleeson), Macha (voice of Fionnula Flanagan), Ferry Dan/The Great Seanachaí (voice of Jon Kenny), Lug (voice of Pat Shortt), and Mossy (voice of Colm Ó’Snodaigh).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Do some background research about Scot/Irish folklore involving Selkies, Mac Lir, Tir na nÒg, Seanachaí, and Macha, before you go, to enhance the experience.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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