Song of the Sea
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Song of the Sea can be found here.

When Granny (voice of Fionnula Flanagan) insists on taking 10-year-old Ben (voice of David Rawle) and his six-year-old sister Saoirse (pronounce 'Sear-sha') to live in the city, far away from their father Conor (voice of Brendan Gleeson), who lives in a lighthouse off the coast of Ireland, Ben runs away, reluctantly dragging his little sister, who has yet to find her voice, along with him. While on the trek home, Ben learns that Saoirse is a selkie and needs to be re-united with her selkie coat so that she can find her voice and sing the song that will release all the fairies who have been turned to stone by Macha, the Owl Witch (also voice of Fionnula Flanagan). Without her selkie coat, however, Saoirse is growing weaker and won't make it through the night.

Song of the Sea is based on a story by Irish film-maker Tomm Moore, who got the idea from an experience he had seeing dead seals on the western Ireland shore and reading the book People of the Sea: A Journey in Search of the Seal Legend (2002) by David Thomson. Moore's story was made into a screenplay by Will Collins.

Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures that are found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish folklore. They appear as seals in the water but can shed their skin to become human and live onland, some of them even taking a human lover.

The Great Seanachai (voice of Jon Kenny) calls them soilse (pronounce 'sulcha'), Irish for "lights."

A seanachai in traditional Irish lore is a storyteller, a historian of the old lore.

Conor and Ben, having found Saoirse's selkie coat from the ocean depths and given her back her voice, are washed up on the rocks near the lighthouse. They notice Saoirse also lying on the rock, near death. Ben attempts to teach the selkie song to Saoirse, having learned it from his mum Bronach (voice of Lisa Hannigan), (also a selkie). Saoirse sings several lines and quickly comes to life, singing the rest of the song on her own. It releases the sulcha and an aurora borealis that turns all the stones back into fairies. Bronagh suddenly appears but announces that, as selkie, she must depart with Saoirse. Being part human, however, Saoirse decides that she wants to stay with Ben and her dad. Bronagh agrees to take Saoirse's coat and leave her behind to live as a human. After a tearful goodbye, Bronagh tells Ben to remember her in his songs and stories and then disappears. In the final scene, Granny comes looking for Ben and Saoirse, and the family is happily reunitied.

Between the here, between the now 
Between the north, between the south 
Between the west, between the east 
Between the time, between the place 
From the Shell 
A song of the sea 
Neither quiet nor calm 
Searching for love again 
Mo ghr 
Between the winds, between the waves 
Between the sands, between the shore 
From the Shell 
A song of the sea 
Neither quiet nor calm 
Searching for love again 
Between the stones, between the storm 
Between the lea, between the sea 
T m i dtiin

Ben has a flag in his room with "Dn na nGall" written on it, so we can assume that the lighthouse is somewhere off the coast of County Donegal in the northwest corner of the island. Additionally, most Irish selkie legends centre on Donegal. The City is clearly Dublin, as evidenced by several landmarks (including the Molly Malone statue) and the bus driver's accent. Ben also writes "Benbulben" on the map showing his route from home to the city - Ben Bulben is a mountain in County Sligo, and would be visible on some routes from Donegal to Dublin. With regard to when the film takes place, it begins on 31 October 1981, then skips to late October 1987. This setting is also evident by Ben's use of a Walkman-type tape player, rather than an MP3 player. Director Tomm Moore set it in this period because he was 10 years old at the time, and also he saw it as a transitional time for Ireland, between the economic recession of the 1980s and the new wealth of the Celtic Tiger era.


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