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Preview: Song Of The Sea (2014)

One of our earliest reviews was the rather fantastic Oscar-nominated Secret Of Kells. The 2D animated feature came from Irish studio Cartoon Saloon and marked them out as one to watch. 2014 sees the studio make their much-anticipated return to the big screen in the form of the forthcoming Song Of The Sea.

Again drawing on Irish folklore, the story this time focuses on Selkies- creatures who "live as seals in the sea, but become humans on land". It will follow a young boy named Ben and his younger sister Saoirse ("the last Sea Child") on a magical journey to reach their home by sea. It will be the second feature directed by Cartoon Saloon's Tom Moore- who directed Kells alongside . Song Of The Sea, however, will mark Moore's first feature flying solo.

Moore will not be the only one returning either. Music will again by provided by Bruno Coulais and Irish band Kíla, and Brendon Gleeson will be again leading the voice cast. The previously released concept trailer suggests the finished film will be very close to Kells in its animation style too,- largely thanks to Moore's unique character designs.

Song Of The Sea was recently acquired for US distribution by GKids. The distributors have previously brought various international animations to American audiences, including not only Secret of Kells but Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill and this year's Oscar-nommed Ernest & Celestine. Based on this record, Song Of The Sea should be in with a shout come next year's award season. The UK and Ireland release will be handled by Studio Canal (formerly known as Optimum Releasing)

We'll have to wait for a more specific release date- but it's penciled in for the second half of the year. We'll be keeping an eye on this one, and will give you more concrete info as soon as we get it- watch this space.