It’s been five years since Tomm Moore’s “Secret of Kells” pervaded the imaginations of children-at-heart the world over. Now he’s back to give audiences another shot at seeing what the world looks like from eyes of an adventuring spirit.
What looks to be a masterful animated film is coming to theaters next year; it’s called “Song of the Sea“.
This is a tale that hearkens back through the centuries, playing on folklore of the Irish and Scottish ilk. The story jumps around in time, but mainly revolves around Saoirse, a girl who fled home to rescue her mythological friends (a race of trolls who were turned to stone) while her brother Ben struggles to keep up.
For children, they may see watch “Song of the Sea” for its colorful whimsy, but there are also some very “adult” elements to the film.
Man vs. Self
One of the most intriguing aspects of the film is the story. The main character is a selkie. Legend has it, selkies are mystical seal creatures who can shed their skin and walk on land. Some mistake selkies for sirens or mermaids, but Moore is drawing more on Scottish folk tales that speak of maidens who lure men into marriage, then wander off back to the water some time after.
Saoirse is purportedly a mute selkie, which means she can’t fulfill her natural calling as a songstress of the sea. I think a lot of people can relate to the tragedy of being trapped in an environment where you can’t truly be yourself.
Man vs. Nature
From her brother’s perspective, Ben feels isolated and not a little resentful of his sister’s listlessness. When she decides to leave their grandmother’s home to embark on a grand adventure to save her friends, Ben must battle the elements to find his lost little sister.
When “Song of the Sea” comes crashing into theaters next year, you may not recognize some of the voices in the film, but one of the notables is Brendan Gleeson, whose accent is sure to hit home. His most recent feature was “Edge of Tomorrow” and you may remember him from “Braveheart” (a similar Scottish tale of a courageous journey).
Fionulla Flanagan, Pat Shortt, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan and Jon Kenny are also voice actors for “Song of the Sea”.
With an authentic cast such as this, a score like a punch to the gut and animation that is simple and clean, yet skillfully hand painted (rare in animation, these days) “Song of the Sea” is sure to make waves in the indie film industry.
The Tomm Moore film will be playing at Landmark Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis, Minn. starting Jan. 23.