Elegant, beautiful, magical and affecting, Tomm Moore’s Song Of The Sea is a touchstone for the continued importance of hand-drawn animation.
Álainn by Dave O’Flanagan
Director Tomm Moore’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells is a beautiful and seamlessly crafted animated feature. Haunting visuals are matched by a similarly haunting score from Bruno Coulais, in collaboration with Irish musicians Kíla and Lisa Hannigan. The fluid animation is emphasised by striking watercolour backgrounds that enable the beautifully realised hand-drawn characters to pop from the screen. The sheer variety in the textures, shadows and form of everything that appears on screen is captivating. Much like Kells, Moore’s second feature builds upon the reputation he’s gained as a champion of Irish culture, language and mythology. While it falls ever so slightly short of having the same age group blanket-appeal of a Disney film – it’s a children’s film first and foremost – it does cater adequately for adults and animation lovers alike. The predominant themes of loss and love in writer William Collins’ story are joined by several particularly interesting metaphors; including the importance of the perpetuation of Irish language, culture and mythology as well as our pharmaceutically dependant solutions to mental illness (in one scene, characters are encouraged to lock their emotions in ‘jars’). Song of the Sea is a touching story of loss on a multitude of levels; the loss of innocence, the loss of a loved one, and the loss of the rich and deep culture that the film ultimately celebrates.
Song Of The Sea is showing on Oct 18th & 19th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival