Merseyside Maritime Museum transport audiences across the Irish Sea for a special free family screening of Song of the Sea as part of this year’s Scalarama.
From Tomm Moore, the Oscar-nominated director of The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea’s gentle, non-antagonistic plotting has earned comparisons to the work of legendary Japanese animators Studio Ghibli. The film follows ten year old Ben, who lives with his lighthouse keeper father, Conor, and his mute younger sister, Saoirse on a remote island. Their mother disappeared shortly after Saoirse’s birth, leaving Ben resentful of his younger sister, who is beginning to display magical powers and an unusual attraction to the sea.
As with The Secret of Kells – which presented a fictional account of the genesis of the intricately illustrated ninth-century Book of Kells – Moore digs into Irish mythology, as it turns out that, like her mother, Saoirse is a selkie (a seal-cum-human rooted in Celtic folklore). Complementing the mythic narrative, is a beautiful hand-drawn animation style, that manages to be both wistful and vibrantly modern; taking in coastal vistas, woodlands, cityscapes and of course, the sea, for a kaleidoscopic vision of Ireland that will delight audiences young and old.