Movie Review: The Secret of Kells

Title: The Secret of Kells
Release Date:  7 March 2010
Director: Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey
Production Co: Les Armateurs
Country:  France | Belgium | Ireland
Language: English
Genre: Animation / Fantasy / Adventure
Rating: *****

Summary/Review: The illuminated manuscripts of the Irish middle ages come to live in this brilliant animated adventure set in the monastic village of Kells.   The story focuses on a young monk named Brendan who is the nephew of the abbot.  While his uncle is consumed with obsession of constructing a defensive wall to protect the community, Brendan wishes to carry on the sacred tradition of creating lasting illuminated manuscripts.  He is aided in this effort by the arrival Brother Aidan and his cat Pangur Ban.  Aidan takes Brendan under his wing and assigns him his first task to go outside the wall to seek ingredients for ink.  There Brendan meets and befriends the forest spirit Aisling.  There is of course conflict and confrontation with his uncle, but Brendan learns to set out on his own course.

This magical film combines history and myth, art and spirituality with some of the most brilliant animation I’ve seen and a gorgeous soundtrack.  In many ways it is a good film to pair with Princess Mononoke as it shares similar thematic and visual qualities.

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Secret of Kells

  1. I loved this movie but I felt like the plot really didn’t live up to the beauty of the animation. I mean, the animation was so gorgeous I would have watched it even if it had no plot at all. But a better story would have been nice too.


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