Exclusive ‘Song of the Sea’ images tease magic, folklore

Jan. 08, 2015 | 10:21 a.m.

“Song of the Sea,” an animated film inspired by the Irish legend of the Selkies, arrives in Los Angeles theaters on Friday.

Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at some images from the film, the sophomore release from the creators of 2009’s Oscar-nominated film “The Secret of Kells.”

In gorgeous, hand-drawn animation, “Song of the Sea” tells the tale of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who must race against time on a journey to awaken Saoirse’s powers and save the magical spirit world.

Though not a sequel to “Kells,” which offered a magical origin story for Ireland’s treasured Book of Kells, “Song of the Sea” is a sort of spiritual follow-up, director Tomm Moore has said.

The idea for the film was born during production on “Kells” on the west coast of Ireland, where Moore and his family came across corpses of seals that had been killed by fishermen. A local told Moore that, years ago, the widespread belief that seals were mystical creatures who could contain human souls or transform into humans would have prevented their deaths.

Selkies aren’t the only characters from Irish folklore to be featured in “Song of the Sea”; the film also has the sea deity Mac Lir, as well as the Great Seanachai, or traditional storyteller, and a host of ancient and mystical creatures.

Check out the images from the film in the gallery above.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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