Song of the Sea (2014): Beautifully Animated, Sparkly Soundscape, Makes me Cry | Film Review

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Saoirse and Ben live isolated in a lighthouse with their father and a big sheep dog. Ben feels resentment towards Saoirse because their mother disappeared after she was born. Saoirse cannot talk.

One night Saoirse is drawn to a coat in the closet & wearing that coat she is drawn to the sea. When her father discovers her out in the pitch black surf he is terrified.

Their grandmother comes to take the two children away to live some place more civilized. She plans to keep them safe. But Saoirse still hears the song of the sea & its making her sick to be so far away. Ben realizes this and they set out on a journey back to the sea.

Will they get there before it's too late?


I loved everything about this movie. SO. VERY. MUCH. The artistic direction and timeless message make it a perfect watch for children & adults alike.

The story is wonderful. It utilizes Irish folktales of the selkie and the Fairy Folk. Even The Great Seanachai, the storyteller, makes an appearance.

I was emotionally invested in the characters right from the start. I did want to punch Ben a couple of times in the beginning, but I also hoped his character would grow. Cu the Sheepdog was a wonderful alternative to a friend for Ben. And your heart can't help but break for their father.

The enemy in this story is acting from a more vague motive than I am used to seeing in children's films. I was pleasantly surprised by the philosophical questions she brings up by turning beings into stone so they won't have to feel. Which is better? Crippling grief or feeling nothing at all?

While the story is interesting and sympathetic, the movie really shines in the animation department. The colors, patterns, and textures on screen created the whimsical watercolor feel of a picture book. While the flatish, heavy lined, style reminds me of Madeline and Persepolis. The portrayal of distance or the passage of time is very clever.

The music is emotional. Even just the sound-scapes and twinkling effects are perfect.

On the surface this is a movie about a family trying to get on after suffering a traumatic loss. But the moral is about the importance for humans to feel their feelings rather than lock them away.

Or else, you might just find you've turned yourself to stone.

In Conclusion

Rating: 5/5

Categorization: Children's Animated Movie, Folklore

Length: 1 hour 33 minutes

Plans to Continue: I would like to watch the Secret of Kells by the same studio

What This Film Has to Offer You

  • Celtic Folklore

  • Life in a Lighthouse

  • The Rocky Irish Coast

  • A Missing Mother

  • An Angry Boy

  • A Little Girl With No Voice


  • Big Fluffy Sheepdog

  • A Crazy Grandma

  • Wild Forests & Country

  • Halloween!

  • A Timeless / Ageless Theme

Watch the trailer here:

Let me know what your thoughts on this film were.

Thanks for reading! Amanda

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