[No spoilers. No worries!]
Just a few days ago The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences revealed the 20 animated features that have been submitted for nominations in the Best Animated Picture category of the Oscars. The nominations will not be announced until Jan. 15, 2015. When I saw that Song Of The Sea had been submitted AND that Cartoon Saloon released a new trailer this week it was pretty obvious I had to write about it this week.
A few months ago I was granted the opportunity to attend a private screening of Song of The Sea. Prior to the screening I had no knowledge that Tomm Moore was making another feature film. If you are not aware, Tomm Moore is the Director of The Secret of Kells. It is visually enchanting, well designed and has an obvious significant Keltic/Celtic influence in its designs.
In it's own way, the treatment of magic and mythology in Song Of The Sea reminds me of the way Miyazaki often handled magic. I really appreciated that the magic and fantasy elements were not overly done and cheesy. Instead it was used as an agent to ensure that the story kept progressing forward.
As you know, not too long ago I read Directing The Story, so when watching Song of The Sea I tried my best to pat attention to the story arc. It was difficult mainly because I found myself too involved in the film to observe from the outside.
Song Of The Sea definitely follows the traditional story arc of animated features however, its execution is what I found to be extremely refreshing. Tomm Moore and his story team did an exceptional job of withholding information and varying the pace at which it was revealed to the audience . There is a main plot but within that are a few stories operating within it and not once did I feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed by what I was experiencing.
(If you have not seen the concept trailer then this may be a bit of a spoiler.) I thought it was great to show the various stages of production as apart of the end credits. I really enjoyed seeing the arwork outside of the film itself.
As Studio Ghibli takes a break from creating the kind of magic and fantasy features that differs from the standard Disney/Pixar film, I firmly believe that Tomm Moore and the team at Cartoon Saloon will continue to demonstrate that traditional animation is still alive, captivating and can deliver. I cant wait to see it again!
Check out the trailer below