New Irish animated feature, Song of the Sea, was released in Ireland on Friday 10th July. From the same people who created The Secret of Kells (2009) comes a beautiful story about the Irish legend of the selkie.
Saoirse is a young girl, not yet able to speak, who discovers her mother left her a secret locked in the form of a musical shell. She and her brother (somewhat disgruntledly) venture out to save the fairy kind, and possibly their own family, on All Hallow’s Eve.
Not only is this beautifully animated but it is a well thought out story of cultural mythology whose narrative doesn’t exclude any audiences, even though it could be considered ‘very Irish’. The legend of the ‘selkie’ is a Gaelic tradition (Scotland, Ireland, Wales) and is one many of us hear growing up (especially if you grew up seeing the mid-90s film The Secret of Roan Inish! Anybody?!) Yet I feel this production opens that up not only to a wider audience, but also to the youth of today. In the same way that Studio Ghibli offers a glimpse into another world, a world our culture and upbringing doesn’t offer, and makes you feel a part of it so you can experience the magic too, Song of the Sea does the same thing. The story may be simple and very much a family-orientated execution, but it is a great example that Pixar are not the only ones that can create wonderful animation that will no doubt tug on your heart strings.
Lisa Hannigan also lends her voice, both speaking and singing, so you know it’s gonna sound good too!
See it if you like; Spirited Away, The Secret of Roan Inish, any Pixar short.
Words by Aoife