Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Meet the star of Oscar nominated animation Song of the Sea.

The movie, which comes out in the UK this week, is based on an Irish folk tale.
It follows the story of a boy called Ben and his little sister who meet selkies, giants and faeries on their adventure.
It was made using traditional drawing techniques, and was nominated for the biggest film awards in the world, the Oscars, earlier this year. (CBBC newsround)

Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated fantasy film by Cartoon Saloon that is directed by Tomm Moore. The traditionally animated film, which 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 program The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards (2015). (in Wikipedia)


In October of 1981, on an island off the coast of Ireland lives Conor, a lighthouse keeper, his son Ben, his wife Bronagh, who is expecting their second child, and their sheepdog Cú. Bronagh leaves unexpectedly late one night, leaving behind her newborn daughter Saoirse. Six years later, Conor is a depressed alcoholic, Saoirse has yet to utter a single word, and Ben has grown resentful of his sister, associating her with his mother’s disappearance. The family are then visited by Granny for Saoirse's birthday. That night, Ben scares Saorirse with a story of Mac Lir the giant and his mother Macha the Owl Witch, who turned him to stone and stole his feelings. Later that night, Saoirse plays a seashell horn given to Ben by their mother, and it leads her to a white sealskin coat hidden in Conor’s closet. She puts the coat on and is coaxed into the ocean by a group of seals. It is then revealed that she is a beautiful white Selkie. After swimming with the seals, she is found washed up onshore by Granny, who insists upon taking the children back home to the city for their own safety. Conor reluctantly agrees, and throws the chest containing Saoirse's coat and its key into the sea.

The following night on Halloween, Saoirse plays the shell, alerting a group of Faerie creatures to her presence. Ben and Saoirse begin attempting to travel home, but encounter the Faeries who hope that Saoirse will sing the Song of the Sea and allow them and all their brethren to travel home to Tír na nÓg. Unfortunately, they are attacked by Macha's owls, who turn the Faeries to stone. The siblings take a bus into the country, where they run into Cú, who had originally been following them to the city, and come across a sacred well. Unfortunately, without her coat, Saoirse is rapidly growing deathly ill, shown by her hair turning white. She falls into the well, while Ben tries to follow her and meets the Great Seanachai. The Faerie tells Ben his sister has been kidnapped by Macha's owls, and he gives the boy one of his hairs that will lead him to the witch’s house, and in the process sees that the night his mother left, she departed into the sea and left Saoirse with their father, and realizes how unfair he's been to Saoirse all these years. Ben then meets Macha, who is not the villain he imagined. She claims that when her son, Mac Lir, suffered from a broken heart, she took away his suffering, turning him into the small island near Ben's home. She is determined to do the same for everyone, even herself.

Ben manages to rescue Saoirse and the shell’s song releases Macha's feelings back into her, which helps her recognize the gravity of her actions. The witch helps Ben, Saoirse, Cú fly back home with the spirits of Mac Lir's dogs. The children arrive home during a storm, and Conor attempts to take them back to the mainland to get Saoirse to a hospital; at the same time, Granny is on her way to their island in search of her missing grandchildren. Ben dives into the sea in search of Saoirse's coat, which he recovers with help from the seals and his father. The group is then washed up on Mac Lir's island, where Saoirse, reunited with her coat, is restored to health and sings her song. Faerie creatures from across Ireland rise and travel to Mac Lir's island, and Mac Lir himself emerges with Macha and his dogs as they head to Tír na nÓg. Bronagh appears with the sad news that she and Saoirse must depart as well. However, since Saoirse is part human, Bronagh is able to take her coat and leave her behind to live as a human while she 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. (in Wikipedia)

Song of the Sea
Song of the Sea (2014 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster

Facts File

Directed by
Tomm Moore
Produced by
  • Paul Young
  • Claus Toksvig Kjaer
Written by
Will Collins
Story by
Tomm Moore
  • David Rawle
  • Brendan Gleeson
  • Fionnula Flanagan
  • Lisa Hannigan
  • Lucy O'Connell
  • Jon Kenny
  • Pat Shortt
  • Colm Ó Snodaigh
  • Liam Hourican
  • Kevin Swierszcz
Music by
  • Bruno Coulais
  • Kíla
Edited by
Darragh Byrne
  • Cartoon Saloon
  • Mélusine Productions
    Big Farm
    Super Productions
  • Noerlum Studios
  • Irish Film Board
  • Film Fund Luxembourg
  • Eurimages Fund of the Council of Europe
  • Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
  • Film and Audiovisual Centre of Wallonia Brussels Federation
  • Inver Invest
  • Versus Productions
  • Magellan Films
  • Tax Shelter Programme of the Federal Government of Belgium
  • Belgacom
  • Danish Film Institute
  • West Danish Film Fund
Distributed by
  • StudioCanal (Ireland)
  • O'Brother Distribution(Belgium)
  • Haut et Court (France)
Release dates
  • 6 September 2014 (TIFF)
  • 10 December 2014(France/Belgium/Luxembourg)
  • 19 February 2015 (Denmark)
  • 10 July 2015 (Ireland)
Running time
93 minutes
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Luxembourg
Box office
$841,122 (US)


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