Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Song of the Sea 2014

Directed by Tomm Moore

An enthralling reinterpretation of Irish folktales… Sophisticated enough to appeal to adults and packed with enough humour and adventure to work for youngsters, Song of the Sea is a real animated gem.

90 minutes DCP
PG (cert)

Director

Producers

Tomm Moore
,
Ross Murray
,
Paul Young
,
Stephan Roelants
,
Serge Umé
,
Marc Umé
,
Isabelle Truc
,
Clément Calvet
,
Jérémie Fajner
,
Frederik Villumsen
,
Claus Toksvig Kjaer

Screenplay

Will Collins. Based on an original story by Tomm Moore

Editor

Darragh Byrne

Production designer

Adrien Merigeau

Music

Bruno Coulais
,
Kíla

Voices

David Rawle (Ben)
,
Brendan Gleeson (Conor/Mac Lir)
,
Fionnula Flanagan (Granny/Macha)
,
Lisa Hannigan (Bronach)
,
Lucy O’Connell (Saoirse)
,
Jon Kenny (Ferry Dan/The Great Seanachaí)
,
Pat Shortt (Lug)
,
Colm Ó’Snodaigh (Mossy)
,
Liam Hourican (Spud/bus driver)
,
Kevin Swierszcz (young Ben)

Festivals

Toronto
,
Busan
,
London 2014
,
Sydney 2015

Elsewhere

Here’s something super special with all-ages appeal. Years in the making, Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated, handmade animated feature serves up a heady brew of Irish folklore in a dazzling procession of story book images. Its story of a motherless boy and his speechless little sister finding their place (and her voice) in a world of restless spirits is fraught with adventure and imbued with emotions anyone might recognise.

“This visually stunning animation masterwork, steeped in Irish myth, folklore and legend, so adroitly mixes the magical and the everyday that to watch it is to be wholly immersed in an enchanted world. Those who saw director Tomm Moore’s previous film, 2009’s The Secret of Kells, will hardly be surprised. Like Japan’s transcendent Hayao Miyazaki, Moore has a great gift for diving deeply into his culture and coming back with treasures for all…

Song of the Sea begins with the myth of the selkie, a creature who manages to be a seal in the ocean but a human on land. That legend and others from Ireland’s great treasure house of tales come to play a major part in the lives of a young brother and sister and their family… A whole flotilla of lively and colorful supernatural folk appear… including energetic fairies, unpleasant elves, a disconcerting witch called Macha, the legendary storyteller the Great Seanachaí and the sea god Mac Lir…

One of the messages of this emotional film is the power of song to change worlds. So it’s appropriate that Song of the Sea’s music, composed by Bruno Coulais in collaboration with the Irish group Kíla, is exceptionally melodic and pure pleasure to listen to.” — Kenneth Turan, LA Times