Song of the Sea: Ireland’s Answer to Studio Ghibli

Went to see Song of the Sea a few days ago:

Song of the Sea – Official US Trailer from GKIDS on Vimeo.

It’s by an Irish production company called Cartoon Salon. Didn’t know at the time I saw it that Song of the Sea was an Oscare nominee last year, but it was well worth that nomination. The trailer really doesn’t do it justice, I don’t think: a rare(ish) case where the actual film is way better than the trailer makes it look. It’s gorgeous to look at, loaded with emotion and mythic resonance.

Like a vast army of folk, I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli – the Japanese wonder-workers behind things like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro etc. etc. The thing about Song of the Sea is, I was completely gobsmacked by how much it reminded me of the tone, feel and thematic weight of Studio Ghibli’s output. It’s not copying the Japanese style or preoccupations, but it’s the only Western animated film I’ve seen in years – maybe ever – that matches Ghibli’s artistic ambitions, mythic aspirations. It’s really good. You should check it out sometime if you like that kind of thing.

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