Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014): Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, France

Reviewed by Ke Shen. Viewed at the AFI Fest in Hollywood.

This movie was directed by Tomm Moore. It is a story about family, to be more specific, it is a movie about going home. Based on Irish and Scottish legends.

As the only animation for the AFI festival, as well as the only animation I have seen in AFI festival. It surprised me a little bit. As an audience watched lots of animation from Japan and America, director did a great job from character creating, music to cast. It is a movie for the whole family especially for the kids. The characters are really cute and the story is really simple. For adult viewers, it maybe too obvious to see how it will end. Not only from so many classic and typical movies we’ve already seen, but also from the details and all the clues that directors has left to us. it is a movie that can watch and relax. The theme song really played a big role from the beginning to the end. It still stay in my head.

However, in my point of view, I have lots of  Déjà vu during this movie. I believe the director or the character designer watched a lot of animations made by Miyazaki Hayao. But I have to say they did a really good job. You can feel the connection between these animation, but you can tell how the huge difference. It is really hard to do. As we know, Miyazaki is a great master of making animation. He focused on characters, stories and background. Like in this film, great background really amaze and make me feel all the drawers did a hard job. As the director said, they drew all the frame. It is really rare in today’s animation. Even company like Disney and DreamWorks try to do 3D charcters to reduce budget. There are still someone try to present their piece of work in the most original even it is a slow work but can show audience a fresh and classic world that they want audience to see.

As for the theme song, I think people who like the animation “Frozen” will like this one as well. Although this is more like a poem in the song or a more ancient song, it did a great job to hold the whole movie together. You can hear it from the beginning, you also gonna hear it from the end. It is like a loop, but through the journey that this movie has brought to us. You will feel totally different when listen it in the end.

In sum, it is a great animation for a great family trip. Not only children will learn something from the movie and the theme song, but also the graphic, the color and the story can keep them sit in their seats for at least 90 minutes. For the adult parents, it is a movie that you can relax while watching without think about any other things.


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