|Song of the Sea|
|Created by||Tomm Moore|
|Years on Air||2014|
Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated fantasy film. Directed and produced by Tomm Moore, it is the second feature-length film by Cartoon Saloon. Song of the Sea follows the story of a 10 year old Irish boy named Ben (David Rawle) who discovers that his mute sister Saoirse, whom he blames for the death of his mother, is a selkie who has to free faerie creatures from the Celtic goddess Macha. The hand animated film, which began production soon after the release of The Secret of Kells (2009), premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on 6 September in the TIFF Kids programme.
The film received worldwide critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
One of the characters in this movie, though, is Saoirse, The resident young selkie-themed mute Magical girl, along with her late mother, Bronagh.
Airdate: September 6, 2014
In October 1981, on an island off the coast of Ireland, lives Conor, a lighthouse keeper; his son Ben; his wife Bronagh, who is expecting their second child; and their sheepdog Cú. Bronagh suddenly disappears late one night-- presumed to have died during childbirth-- leaving behind her newborn daughter Saoirse behind. Six years later in 1987, Conor is a broken man, Saoirse has yet to utter a single word, and Ben has grown to despise his sister and grew jealous at her, associating her with his mother's disappearance. The family are then visited by their grandmother, Granny, for Saoirse's birthday. That night, Ben scares Saoirse with a story of Mac Lir, the giant, and his mother Macha, the Owl Witch, who stole his feelings and turned him to stone. Later, Saoirse plays a seashell horn given to Ben by their mother, and it leads her to a white sealskin coat hidden in Conor's closet. She puts the coat on and is coaxed into the ocean by a group of seals. It is then revealed that she is a beautiful white Selkie. After swimming with the seals, she is found washed up onshore by Granny, who insists upon taking the children back home to the city for their own safety. Conor reluctantly agrees despite Ben's protests, especially that Cú cannot go with them, and throws the chest containing Saoirse's coat and its key into the sea.
The following night on Halloween, Saoirse plays the shell, alerting a group of Faerie creatures to her presence. Ben and Saoirse begin attempting to travel home, but encounter the Faeries who hope that Saoirse will sing the Song of the Sea and allow them and all their brethren to travel home to Tír na nÓg. Unfortunately, they are attacked by Macha's owls, who turn the Faeries to stone. The siblings take a bus into the country, where they run into Cú, who had originally been following them to the city. Unfortunately, without her coat, Saoirse is rapidly growing deathly ill, shown by her hair turning white. They come across a sacred well that Saoirse falls into. Ben tries to follow her and meets the Great Seanachaí, who tells Ben that his sister has been kidnapped by Macha's owls, he also tells Ben that Saoirse is mute because she does not have her coat and will soon die without it. He gives Ben one of his hairs that will lead him to the witch's house. However, in the hair it shows the story that the night his mother left, (which revealed that she didn't die, she went to the sea to save Saoirse and stayed in the sea as a seal for six years) she departed into the sea and left Saoirse with their father, and tearfully realizes how selfish and unfair he has been to Saoirse in these years. Ben then meets Macha, who is not the villain he imagined. She claims that when her son, Mac Lir, suffered from a broken heart, she took away his suffering, turning him into the small island near Ben's home. She is determined to do the same for everyone, even herself.
Ben manages to rescue Saoirse and the shell's song releases Macha's feelings back into her, which helps her recognize the gravity of her actions that aren't helping people by turning them stone just made their problems worst. The witch helps Ben, Saoirse, and Cú fly back home with the spirits of Mac Lir's dogs. The children arrive home during a storm, and Conor attempts to take them back to the mainland to get Saoirse to a hospital; at the same time, Granny is on her way to their island in search of her missing grandchildren. Ben dives into the sea in search of Saoirse's coat, which he recovers with help from the seals and his father. The group is then washed up on Mac Lir's island, where Saoirse, reunited with her coat, is restored to health and sings her song. Faerie creatures from across Ireland rise and travel to Mac Lir's island, and Mac Lir himself emerges with Macha and his dogs as they head to Tír na nÓg. Bronagh appears with the sad news that she and Saoirse must depart as well. However, since Saoirse is part human, Bronagh is able to take her coat and leave her behind to live as a human while she departs. After a tearful goodbye, the Faeries depart across the sea, and Ben and his family happily return home to their island, where Granny finally arrives, and decides the children can stay with their father. During the ending, Ben and Saoirse's friendship is now formed and grew stronger and stronger during their family times together.