Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is the best movie I've seen this year. The animation style is unique and captivating; the main characters are surprisingly charismatic for being animated children; and the plot is both whimsical and poignant.

I knew about Song of the Sea when it came out, but it didn't seem like anything I needed to see. I was skeptical about the animation style when I first started watching it, but it got better, and I wound up liking it a lot. It's one of those styles that kind of becomes a character of its own.

They do a good job of making Saoirse likeable right from the start; you feel bad for her because her brother's such a jerk. And they establish the pull that the ocean has on her straightaway, which is good. They managed to make her really expressive without talking, and it made it more powerful at the end when she finally sings and speaks.

It was a nice story. I liked how you never really knew what was going to happen next; or at least I didn't, because I had completely forgotten anything the movie was about, other than "a selkie and an antagonist." It was kind of weird that Macha was so much like the grandma. It kind of made you start going down a "maybe the kids are just imagining this stuff" thought path, which I don't think was the intention.

It does deal with some pretty heavy stuff. Bronach leaving is basically an analogy for someone dying in childbirth; Macha's whole deal represented medicating your feelings away, which really could be achieved through any type of drugs or alcohol; and even the faerie in the cave could've represented someone with Alzheimer's. They really only resolve Macha's issue, and she learns that you're not helping anything by not dealing with your feelings, but that's a solid enough message.

It was funny when Ben was talking and the faeries thought it was the statues. I loved how bright and glowy they made all the magic stuff, like Saorise's coat and the faerie lights. And the song she played on the shell was pretty. I liked the kind of "swooshy" animation they did for Cú, and there was something about those two trees on the hill they lived on that was really distinct and interesting. I liked the grandma's little bird, and the imagery of the ferry.

The ending scene with the faeries turning into the Northern Lights and Saoirse singing her song and everything was beautiful, and it was touching when Bronach had to leave again. I didn't get why she and all the other selkies and faeries had to leave, though. I guess it's just that classic "the modern world isn't for us" problem. I don't know why Bronach couldn't have just sung the selkie song and freed all the faeries a long time ago. And it was kind of weird that saying goodbye to Bronach was all it took for Conor to start being happy again.

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