Monday, April 20, 2015

Currently Watching 4.20.15

Anyone who knows me eventually finds out how excited I get about the ocean. Or lakes. Or swamps. Or condensation on glass, but I'm not telling that story. Water is cool! Drink it! Swim in it! Can't do that with most other liquids more than once (consider: mercury).

I really love the ocean and all the weird, often-ugly animals that live in it, including all the fun myths it inspires. I'm sure everyone is familiar with selkies, mythological creatures who are seals in the ocean and can shed their coats to become humans on dry land, famed for being excellent wives if you can actually snag one. See, that sounds ridiculous. I like to imagine how some of these myths started. Yeah, you know Ted? What a slob, right? What possessed a nice girl like Krissy to marry him? I bet she's actually a seal. He probably stole her seal coat.

Well, Song of the Sea takes a more consensual approach to the classic dynamics. Seal Mom and Human Dad are happily in love and expecting their second child when the movie begins, a scene that takes place six years before the events of the rest of the story.

This is where the story begins and ends, and is the first scene of the movie we get. The colors are beautiful. It's painterly and unrefined. There's a dream-like glow and fuzzy boarders which tell us we've entered a flashback, blurry with sleepy details.

This is the first example we get of the warped perspectives the movie utilizes, as well as some lovely foreshadowing. Each image surrounding the family is a painting on their bedroom wall as well as a scene in the coming story. We see the waves revolving around the lighthouse they live in. It's all very womb-like, warm and happy and, uh, short-lived.

Ben's mother disappears and he has no idea where or why, just that he has a new baby sister named Saoirse.

Saoirse, by the way, makes a very cute seal.

It's like a moving collage. It's just wonderful to watch in action. Honestly, I can't get over how gorgeous this movie is. In lieu of gushing mindlessly, I'll share a few more caps.

You could watch the movie just for the visuals, really, but Song of the Sea is pretty much everything else I could ask of an animated movie: an engaging story, gorgeous music that integrates seamlessly, and a really sweet focus on family, which is my favorite sort of character focus. It's not just about selkies, either; it includes several figures from Irish folklore, including Macha, Manannán mac Lir, and fairy folk. The magic follows them even into the city, where they find a sídhe (fairy mound) in a grassy roundabout. The atmosphere is great, the story is great, the art is phenomenal. I don't know what else to say.

Watch it.

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