Song of the Sea

Saturday, January 5
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1hr 33mins // directed by:Tomm Moore // featuring:David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan // DCP

Presented by Science on Screen, Jr. The gorgeous animated feature Song of the Sea is inspired by the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land.

Before the film, Kathy Streeter, Marine Mammal Curator at the New England Aquarium, will talk about the Aquarium’s seal families and how they play—and sometimes even speak!—with each other and the humans around them.

About the Film

A boy living in a remote lighthouse discovers that his mute sister is a selkie who must find her voice to free Ireland’s fairies from the spell of a Celtic goddess.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Song of the Sea tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse—the last seal-child—who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. To save his sister and keep Ireland’s mythical inhabitants from disappearing forever, Ben must find Saoirse’s lost seal coat and confront both the owl witch Macha and his undisguised resentment of the selkie girl whose birth meant the loss of his mother. From the creators of the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of KellsSong of the Sea is a breathtakingly hand-drawn tale of coping with heartbreak and discovering magic and sibling love.

About the Speaker

Kathy Streeter, Curator of Marine Mammals at the New England Aquarium, has worked with many different species of marine mammals, fish, and turtles for more than 40 years. She has blazed a career challenging the norms, from developing a training program for blind animals to demonstrating that sea lions and dolphins are equally intelligent. Kathy has even worked with the one and only Myrtle the sea turtle at the New England Aquarium, creating a turtle-friendly experiment that helped scientists better understand hearing in green sea turtles. This information provided baseline data to help determine whether human-generated sounds in the ocean are potentially harmful to endangered sea turtles.
 
In collaboration with the Mystic, New York, and Seattle aquariums, she developed a breeding program for northern fur seals, a vulnerable species native to the North Pacific. This program has provided the foundation for a hormone study underway at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. Information from this study may one day help scientists studying the wild population of fur seals as well as enhance the care of those housed at aquariums. 
 
The seals and sea lions at the New England Aquarium are benefitting from Kathy’s creative approach to animal care and the Aquarium’s extraordinary, progressive animal care program. This program challenges many standard training protocols and perspectives to develop individual training programs for each seal and sea lion. Even while pushing boundaries in her work, Kathy has a calm and capable demeanor that has allowed her to forge special connections with the animals in her care through play and an abundance of patience. Ultimately, she strives to inspire respect for marine life and motivation to protect and preserve the marine environment.

Recommended for ages 7+.