8.1/10
44,602
107 user 159 critic

Song of the Sea (2014)

Trailer
1:49 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world.

Director:

Tomm Moore

Writers:

Will Collins (as William Collins), Tomm Moore (story by)
Top Rated Movies #249 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.

Directors: Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey
Stars: Evan McGuire, Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.

Director: Nora Twomey
Stars: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

Director: Travis Knight
Stars: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of an unlikely friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.

Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.

Director: Mark Osborne
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their teenage daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Ponyo (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A five-year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a young goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
David Rawle ... Ben (voice)
Brendan Gleeson ... Conor / Mac Lir (voice)
Lisa Hannigan Lisa Hannigan ... Bronach (voice)
Fionnula Flanagan ... Granny / Macha (voice)
Lucy O'Connell ... Saoirse (voice)
Jon Kenny Jon Kenny ... Ferry Dan / The Great Seanachaí (voice)
Pat Shortt Pat Shortt ... Lug (voice)
Colm Ó'Snodaigh Colm Ó'Snodaigh ... Mossy (voice)
Liam Hourican ... Spud / Bus Driver (voice)
Kevin Swierszcz Kevin Swierszcz ... Young Ben (voice)
Will Collins Will Collins ... Additional Voices (voice) (as William Collins)
Paul Young ... Additional Voices (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Saoirse is a child who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy creatures trapped in the modern world. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild peril, language and pipe smoking images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

20 November 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le chant de la mer See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

€5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,910, 19 December 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$857,524

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,190,672
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

An animated version of director Tomm Moore can be briefly seen in the background in the scene where Ben and Saoirse walk past the statue of Molly Malone. See more »

Goofs

When Granny finds the ghosts in the bin on Halloween, she threatens to call the police. Being Irish and living unmistakably in Dublin, she would not use the term police, but would instead threaten to call "the Guards" (or "Gardaí" in Irish), the usual term for police in Ireland. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bronagh: Come away oh human child, to the waters and the wild, with a fairy, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Behind the scenes" wireframes and animatics from the production are shown beside the credits as they roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the cinema release, the words 'Feic Off' are written on a wooden door. On the UK Blu-ray release they have been removed. See more »

Connections

References The Princess and the Goblin (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Song
Performed by Lisa Hannigan & Lucy O'Connell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the best animated features of all time
6 March 2015 | by letuotterSee all my reviews

I guess the title kind of gives it away, doesn't it? Still, I'm not one who's given to hyperbole when describing movies, and I'm enough of a critic that I want to nitpick to insane degrees from time to time, but I just can't do it with Song of the Sea. There's just nothing to point out.

This movie is from the same studio that brought us The Secret of Kells (2009), an almost beguilingly charming movie that brought together elements of Druidic myth, passionate Christian faith, history, and Celtic grandeur in a way that I don't think anyone had ever really seen before. When a studio with such a good first effort under their belt takes five years to come out with a second film, you can bet that it's because they're doing something magical.

The only real comparison that's able to be drawn is to the work of Hayao Miyazaki, simply because there's not another animated filmmaker out there who's as honest and earnest with their culture's folklore to compare to. Where Miyazaki-san's work is steeped in spiritual fantasy and a love for his home country not really seen since the Romantic movement, Tomm Moore is a bit more grounded in Western storytelling and keeps his myths well interacted with daily life. His stories are a whimsical blend of magic and the mundane, and it's all carried so well that you wish it could all be true.

The story of Saoirse and her brother Ben is cut from the classic Hero's Journey so closely that you can practically see Joseph Campbell's fingerprints on the screen. In the back of my mind, I was pointing out each and every plot point as it went by, like an eager sightseer out the side of a tour bus. While the story is formulaic, sure, it's executed brilliantly and engagingly. As we so often forget; Tropes Are Not Bad. It's fantastic to see the tools of storytelling so perfectly implemented. It's like watching a master painter or musician craft their art.

Speaking of which, Song of the Sea doesn't lack for anything in the artistic departments. The visuals are jaw-droppingly beautiful, simplistic in design, true to the Celtic roots of the story, and should almost be listed as a character in and of themselves. This story simply couldn't have been told as well with a different art crew, the dynamic is so tied into the feel and flow of the tale. The score is, similarly, simplistic and heartfelt. It doesn't overshadow anything. There's no bombast or leitmotif to be found, but the music is so integral to the plot that you can't imagine the movie without it. Or not even with more of it, the balance is so fine.

And to cap it all off, the voice acting is absolutely brilliant. This is what I long to hear, a return to the days when people were matched to roles that they could play, not a parade of Hollywood "talent" who tries to buy viewers with recognition and star power. Song of the Sea is loaded with people who can actually ACT in their voices alone, and from the adults straight down to the child actors who play the roles of the protagonist pair, every one is a standout.

Honestly, I haven't seen an animated film this heartfelt and earnest since The Lion King, which is probably one of the last times that a studio really just threw their cards on the table and said "let's see what we can really do to tell a story". Song of the Sea hasn't and won't gross well at the box office by Hollywood standards - which is a true shame, because I can't think of a film from 2014 that more deserves to be seen.


124 of 141 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 107 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed