Song of the Sea, the most magical animated film

Graphic Design, Inspiration

Song of the Sea is a unique animation, directed by Tomm Moore and nominated for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year to the Academy Awards 2014. It wins you over through stunning visuals in a way that at the end of the movie, even if you liked the plot or not, you can’t feel anything else than mesmerised by the amazing artwork with deep roots in the Irish mythology and folklore.

Animation style

A nice surprise is that Song of the Sea is a traditional animation made up of hand-drawn illustrations. It strikes by its simplicity of execution with attention to symmetry that flows from natural lines and geometric patterns. As Tomm Moore states in an interview for Vox:

2-D for me just has a timelessness. It doesn’t age the same way that CG does.

Character design

The mythological creatures are as beautifully drawn as the backgrounds. An array of emotions is captured by geometric designs in clean lines. The characters are all built to showcase the legend of the selkies, that are living in the sea as seals but also on land as humans, similar to the mermaids. How not to be fascinated by eccentric and quirky characters that reveal stories of their own and bring emotions in flasks?

Colours

The palette of colours is wide, from pastels to vivid hues of blue and green to paint the sea. It is present the warm feeling of watercolours that draws you more into the story, making it feel “a bit mysterious” like Tomm Moore puts it, ending by saying that “it has a dreamlike feeling”. Dreamlike it is also the genius use of light that creates an even more magical, mesmerising atmosphere. All nicely embellished by the patterns on rocks and tree barks and the textures used on surfaces.

If you’re still not fully convinced, here’s what Tomm Moore himself says about his lovely animated film:

open yourself up to a gentler, modern fairy tale, to see something that’s more organic and handmade and full of heart and not so much of a commercial endeavour

Full of magic and emotion, this tale is visually incredible! Must watch if you haven’t already and please let me know your impressions!

0

4 thoughts on “Song of the Sea, the most magical animated film

  1. I lament that Song of the Sea–and Book of Kells before it–was never shown close enough with enough notice so that I could see it. One of the first DVDs I bought was the Secret of Roan Innis, also about selkies. Sweet film, lovely music. In it, the young’uns leave Dublin and go to the West Coast of Ireland to their grandparents, because the air is healthier for growing kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *