We blogged about Song of the Sea earlier this year. Unfortunately it didn’t get the Oscar, but we think it’s well worth a look and it’s still in the cinema! Here’s what we said in February…

The 87th Academy Awards are coming up on February 22 and we’re delighted to see the Irish animated movie Song of the Sea is in the running for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature Film category. Director Tomm Moore uses traditional animation techniques to explore the idea that grief, mourning and loss are something that all children must experience as part of the process of growing up. The movie tells the story of Ben and Saoirse who live in a lighthouse with their father Paul (Brendan Gleeson) who is unable to come to terms with the death of his wife several years earlier.

Ben is frustrated with his little sister Saoirse who refuses to speak, despite the fact that she is nearly six years old. When they are sent away to the city to live with their grandmother Ben realises that he must work together with Saoirse to find their way back to their home – and to their father. We’re all familiar with the universal myth of leaving home, crossing the ocean, slaying the dragon and setting up our own castle. But growing up also means leaving things behind.

Song of the Sea tells us that we can be strong within limitations and that remembering family connections is an important way of coming to terms with the loss of a parent. Because grief can become complicated, talking may offer the best way of repositioning ourselves. Coming to terms with loss is not about forgetting – rather it’s about finding another space to remember. Saoirse learns that by overcoming her fear and ‘finding her voice’ she can find the power and life contained in her mother’s stories. So while grief can be overwhelming, continuing to ‘live’ and following our desire offers a way forward – especially with the help and support of family members.