“Song Of The Sea” could be one of the cutest movies I’ve ever seen. Most of the credit for that goes to the adorable little girl character Saoirse and the coy humor she presents. Along with this incredible character, every frame of the film is gorgeous, with deep, rich colors and a dynamic, hand drawn animations that catch the eye. Telling the story of brother and sister, Ben and Saoirse, a few years after their mother mysteriously dies, mute but nosey, Saoirse finds new ways of accidentally tormenting her irritable brother. Stumbling upon a locked chest containing a white coat, Saoirse finds she has a unique gift when she jumps into the sea. But when their grandmother catches wind of this, she forces both the siblings to move to the city with her. Despite her efforts, they eventually head out on a journey to get back to the lighthouse and along the way, Ben becomes privy to his sister’s amazing abilities, tying both of them even closer to their late mother.

Much like Tomm Moore’s previously Oscar nominated work, “The Secret Of Kells” (2009), the Irish lore weaved into the film, as well as the visuals, gives this a distinct style all its own. Moore’s abilities are reminiscent of the handle Miyazaki had on his craft. The story is full of Celtic lore delivering it in a way that is both informative to the layman and deep enough to honor those who have heard the tales before. There is rarely a lull in the adventure and the animation is so pristine, you get the sense that there is a true artist at work. Spanning the emotional spectrum, the film allows for complex emotion while never shying away from tougher subject matter.

What’s its competition? With no “The Lego Movie,” this category feels wide open. As brilliant as I find “Song Of The Sea,” a more commercial animated film like “How To Train Your Dragon 2” could catch the eye of many more Academy members. Also, with Studio Ghibli on the brink of putting away their brushes for good, “The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya” could gain the support it needs to win as well. But do not completely count out “Song Of The Sea” as Tomm Moore has been nominated before, showing that he does have some standing supporting in this category.

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// Produced by Paul Young & Claus Toksvig Kjaer // Directed by Tomm Moore //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, January 24th, 2015 // The Landmark //  37 films – 31 days //

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