I was reminded, at times, of the painstakingly detailed beauty of “The Triplets of Belleville,” but Moore has a more ethereal, rounded aesthetic all his own. They don’t make movies like this anymore — except when, lucky us, they do.
Folky music and Studio Ghibli-level flights of eerie fancy are obvious pleasures, but even more subtle and entrancing is the way Moore and his team use echoed shapes to suggest hidden patterns in nature and parallels between the real and the mythical.
The picture is beautifully rendered in pencils and watercolors, with some CG, giving it an appropriately timeless storybook look, even though it's set in a mostly modern world of buses and 3-D glasses.
A surprisingly touching ending brings to fruition the idea that “all of us are connected.” Moore manages this life-affirming touch without being preachy and by simply melding unusual old folktales into a new story filled with visually stunning images sure to captivate children of all ages.
Ahh, this movie. It's so refreshing to see something new. Song of the Sea follows Ben and his sister leaving home with their grandmother and they have to go on an adventure to get back home, but on the way a magical shell guides them. They learn they have to save Ben's sister and her voice by getting back the lost robe for her. And this movie is wonderful with the storytelling and characters. But the animation is even better. It's so light, cartoonish, but also very stylistic. Watch it. With your family. Watch it now.
Song of the Sea is a fine example of an animated feature which makes no compromises. Adults and kids will enjoy this epic adventure.
The art-style is unique. Some have likened it to Miyazaki's Spirited Away. It's less classical anime, like Miyazaki's works, and more Gaelic. The climactic scene is where the art-style comes to the fore and will leave your jaw hanging.
The voice work is great and the humour is spot on.
Make no mistake about it, Song of the Sea is a masterpiece.
One of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, I love the work of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), and this is the only animation I have ever seen that is an equal in terms of heart and soulfulness, the story is enchanting, the characters ones you fall deeply in love with, I wanted to watch it again the moment it ended, I haven't felt that way in a long time, it reminded me of why I first fell in love with the art of cinema and story telling.
Too long, too slow at bits and quite boring at times. The story seems to wander at times, and it spends too much time showing off the art style (one of its few redeeming qualities). And the pacing is atrocious... its too slow at the start, too fast in the middle...
Honestly, if you're looking for a good-quality animated film, try Pixar or Studio Ghibli.
First of all, I would like to qualify the rest of this review by first explaining that I enjoy sleepy films about nothing; I'm a massive fan of the films of Bill Forsyth, Wes Anderson, Raymond Briggs and perhaps more appropriate as a comparison here, Sylvain Chomet. I was drawn to this by its aesthetic, and came to it really wanting to enjoy it.
The inlay of the DVD box carried the weight of a hundred stars, from a number of respectable publications, but as I only happened upon this by chance in the supermarket and wasn't even aware of it until today, despite its academy award nominations et al. With this in mind, it isn't like I had massive expectations or been subjected to hype it couldn't possibly live up to.
The film is indeed visually appealing, as expected, with fluid animation and nicely stylised characters and environments. Unfortunately, and quite unexpectedly, that is where the enjoyment ended. The pacing is atrocious, and the film seems directionless as it meanders to a... conclusion, I... guess? Contrary to what other reviewers have said, I fail to see much in the way of empathy or compassion exhibited in the characters, the 'jealous bratty brother who eventually comes good' is over-done to the point of being largely unlikeable and the few 'touching' scenes seem tokenistic. The Illusionist manages to convey a lot of emotion, character and unspoken back-story in a few on-screen seconds, even without dialogue; and our relationship with the elderly couple of When The Wind Blows are built by their keenly detailed semi-detached bungalow, family photo mantles and the cherry tobacco familiarity ****. The characters are puddle deep and storytelling in general is vague, and feels largely like Spirited Away rewritten based on Celtic folklore. Using "largely" in that last sentence is a lot kinder than the "blatantly" I felt it deserved. It feels almost as making the story vague and leaving deliberately large gaps between the lines is not to create healthy ambiguity for your imagination to fill, but a cynical attempt at seeming more interesting than it actually is; creating the illusion that still waters run deep and all that.
This film is visually pleasant, but there are a lot of titles out there that manage to be pretty as well as genuinely warm and charming. I really feel that this is being held in higher regard than it should be, perhaps due to a fiercely loyal geographic thing or a desire to support the underdog, which I would usually be all for but this time, sadly not. I fail to see any good in this beyond its visual appeal and I fail to see an audience for this beyond emperor's new clothes hipsters, as it is pretending to be too cryptic for children and it doesn't wear its heart on its sleeve enough for adults.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann / The Irish Film Board,
Luxembourg Film Fund,
Broadcasting Authority of Ireland,
Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles,
Det Danske Filminstitut,
Orange Cinéma Séries,
Haut et Court,
West Danish Film Fund,