Song of the Sea Movie Poster

Trivia for Song of the Sea

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  • The few lines at the very beginning of the movie ("Come away, O human child!/To the waters and the wild/With a faery, hand in hand,/For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.") are from "The Stolen Child" by Irish poet William Butler Yeats, who was also a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival.
  • In one of the scenes where Saoirse and Ben are walking in the city, a close-up of the iconic statue of Molly Malone can be seen briefly, thus it could be inferred that they're walking in the streets of Dublin, Ireland.
  • 'Cú' literally means 'dog' or 'hound' in Irish Gaelic, while more specifically he is an Old English Sheepdog.
  • The drawings in Ben's book are drawn by Julian Erlinghauser, the assistant director Fabian Erlinghauser's son.
  • There were four studios involved in creating this film: in Ireland (Cartoon Saloon is based in Kilkenny), Denmark, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
  • The license plate of the grandmother carries the Danish letter Ø [oe]. This film was partly made by a Danish studio.
  • One of the trick-or-treaters on the bus is holding a turnip Jack-o'-lantern. Original Celtic Halloween celebrations carved the lanterns out of turnips and various other root vegetables.
  • Pat Shortt (Lug) guest starred on an episode of Moone Boy (2012) with David Rawle (Ben). Both sets of characters met each other on Halloween day.
  • According director Tomm Moore, the film is based on several aspects from his childhood. The film is set in October 1987, which Moore remembered as rainy and windy. Some characters also relate to Moore's family and pets from memories, pictures, etc.
  • An animated version of director Tomm Moore can be briefly seen in the background in the scene where Ben and Saoirse walk past the statue of Molly Malone.
  • The pub that Conor visits is called "Ó Mórdha". This is the Irish version of the surname of director Tomm Moore.
  • Brendan Gleeson voices Conor, the father of the main characters Ben and Saoirse. In Cartoon Saloon's previous animated film The Secret of Kells (2009), Gleeson voiced Abbot Cellach, the father figure of the main character Brendan.
  • The ferry is named "Ceol na Mara", which is Irish for "Song of the Sea".
  • In the bus scene you can see Aisling the fairy from Tomm Moore's previous film The Secret of Kells (2009) in the background.
  • The car Granny drives is a Citroën 2CV.
  • Various Irish landmarks can be recognized in the film, among them the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, and the profile of the table mountain Benbulben in County Sligo and the Molly Malone statue of Dublin.
  • Ferry Dan/The Great Seanachai is on a real character - Ireland's own great Seanachai Eddie Lenihan.


  • Selkies are seal folk in Scottish and Irish culture. They are said to crawl ashore at night, and change into beautiful ladies and handsome men with seductive powers over humans. "Selkie" comes from the Scottish word "silche" (seal) and they are said to inhabit the islands above Scotlandd: Orkney and Shetland. Additionally, in both Scottish and Irish mythology, female selkies can marry humans if a human man hides her selkie skin, but they may gaze lovingly out to sea. If the skin is found, then they must return to the sea, even if they already have children; with their skin, they will instantly turn into a seal when they step into the ocean. In the film, Bronach returns to the sea while in labor, saving Saiorse, who washes ashore in her own selkie-skin blanket, and, at age six, finds her coat and has an overwhelming desire to return to the sea and sing her song to free the faeries.
  • When Saoirse is following the glowing particles up the lighthouse staircase after blowing on the shell, her shadow appears to be that of a seal rather than a human. This foreshadows Saoirse's selkie heritage.
  • Saoirse means "freedom" in Irish, and her mother's name Be on a ugh means "sorrowful." This represents what each selkie brought to their family: Bronach left her family and brought sorrow on them, while Saoirse was able to free them from their sadness.
  • The actors who play Conor, Granny and Ferry Dan also voice Mac Lir, Macha and the Great Seanachai, respectively. The characters played by each actor mirror each other in significant ways: * Conor metaphorically turned to stone when he shut up his emotions after losing his wife, while Mac Lir did so literally. * Granny and Macha are both old ladies (and mothers to Conor/Mac Lir) who think they know what's best for everyone. * And Seanachai helps Ben find the way to his sister, just as Ferry Dan helps people across the sea.
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