Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a modern-day Irish fairy tale with a 20th-century setting and roots in Celtic and Irish mythology – the folklore of selkies, the seal-people who can shed their seal-skins and become human.

Ten-year-old Ben and his six-year-old sister Saoirse live with their widowed father Conor in a lighthouse on a lonely island on the Irish coast. The father and devoted lighthouse-keeper is distraught and empty after the loss of his wife, Saoirse has not yet uttered any word and is thought to be mute, and Ben would sooner be in the company of his loyal dog Cu than watch after his little sister like he is supposed to. When their grandmother tries to ‘rescue’ them by taking them to Dublin, the children quickly escape on a journey to find their way back to the lighthouse. Along the way, Ben and Saoirse find themselves engulfed in many of the fantastical stories their mother used to talk about.

The world of the movie’s mythology stands alongside the everyday world. The film depicts the cultural legacy of Catholic piety and pagan imagination as simply part of the landscape, without setting the Catholic and mythic dimensions against one another. The mythic themes become a metaphorical meditation on the paralyzing power of grief to drain us of vitality and our sense of connection to the world.

Key to the film’s enchanting atmosphere is its slow pace and low-key tone, inviting the viewer to savor moments of peace and beauty and open the door to wonder and mystery. The visuals are very beautiful and simplistic in design, while the music is well-balanced and integral to the plot. The film is heartfelt and earnest, and the story is easily accessible to children.

Song of the Sea has been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.


  • Original title: Song of the Sea
  • Author and director: Tomm Moore
  • Original language: English
  • Genre: Long animated film
  • Release date: 2014
  • Public: Adults, teenagers, children
Song of the Sea