- Movie Reviews
- App Reviews
- Top Tips
- Take Action
Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 11 (mildly scary scenes and sad themes)
This topic contains:
|Children under 6||Not suitable due to some mildly scary scenes, sad themes and a complex plot.|
|Children aged 6–11||Parental guidance recommended due to mildly scary scenes and sad themes.|
|Children over the age of 11||Ok for this age group.|
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.
|Name of movie:||Song of the Sea|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild fantasy themes|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
Saoirse (voice of Lucy O’Connell) and Ben (voice of David Rawle) are two little children who live on a wild and beautiful island off the coast of Ireland. They lost their mother, Bronagh (voice of Lisa Hannigan) when Saoirse was born and are being raised by their father, the lighthouse keeper (voice of Brendan Gleeson). He is still stricken with grief and has taken to spending too much time in the pub. Saoirse has never found her voice and is mute. Ben misses their mother so much and can only resent his little sister for taking her away. On Saoirse’s sixth birthday, their grandmother (voice of Fionnula Flanagan) comes to visit them from the mainland. She thinks that they are not safe living on the island and insists that they would be better off going to stay with her in the big city. That night, Saoirse finds a large shell that was left by her mother. As she gently blows into the shell, a haunting tune comes from within it. The tune carries through the night air and awakens hundreds of glowing fairy lights. Saoirse follows the lights and they lead her to an old trunk at the back of a closet. She lifts the lid of the trunk and is delighted to find a shining white fur coat. She slips the coat over her shoulders and walks down to the shore where she can see the shining eyes of seals peeping out at her from the still water. Without knowing why, Saoirse is compelled to wade out and dive down into the sea with the seals. As she enters the water, she transforms into a glowing white seal who can glide and play in the deep ocean. She is a Selkie (mythical human/seal creature)! In the meantime, their grandmother has discovered that Saoirse is not tucked up in bed and has rushed to the shore to find her. Saoirse washes up on the beach in her human form and is immediately whisked back into the house by her worried grandmother. The next day, their father reluctantly agrees that Saoirse and Ben should go to the city with their grandmother and he locks the enchanted fur coat back in the trunk and throws it deep into the ocean. Ben is furious to be leaving the island, and his beloved Sheep dog ‘Cu’ and he makes sure to map out the way home as they drive to the city, planning to escape as soon as he can.
As soon as they arrive in the city, the children know that they must make their way back home. Saoirse is increasingly desperate to return to her Selkie seal form and Ben is homesick and missing his dog. Together they go back through the lush Irish countryside, trying to find their way home. It’s an adventurous and perilous mission. Saoirse’s Selkie song from the seashell has awakened many of the faerie folk and characters of myth and legend whom they encounter along the way. Ben is amazed, as all the stories his mother told him as a small boy seem to be coming to life! As they travel along, Saoirse becomes weaker and weaker until she can barely walk. She needs her Selkie coat and to sing her Selkie song to survive and it’s down to Ben to make sure she gets home and can be revived.
Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.
Loss of a parent; Grief; Mythology; Supernatural; Storytelling; Magic; The sea; Sibling relationships.
Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.
Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.
There is some very mild violence in this movie including:
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:
Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:
Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.
In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:
Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.
Nothing further of concern.
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:
There is some coarse language in this movie, including:
Song of the Sea is a rich, atmospheric and beautiful film. It weaves a complex story of enchantment, mythology and symbolism together with a more human story about living with grief and loss. The hand-drawn 2-D animation is like a moving piece of art and the traditional music-score is absolutely delightful. It is much slower paced and a bit more melancholic than most other children’s films but will keep many children captivated from beginning to end. Although there is not much that will scare small children, parents should be aware that it is a bit of a tear-jerker and some children may find it emotionally overwhelming at times.
The main messages from this movie are the love between siblings; the importance and power of storytelling; and the acceptance of grief and loss.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age
Children and Media Australia (CMA) is a registered business name of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).
CMA provides reviews, research and advocacy to help children thrive in a digital world.
ACCM is national, not-for-profit and reliant on community support. You can help.
ABN: 16 005 214 531