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The Secret of Kells (2009)

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A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.


, (co-director)


(original story), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Evan McGuire ...
Brendan (voice)
Christen Mooney ...
Aisling (voice)
Abbot Cellach (voice)
Mick Lally ...
Aidan (voice)
Liam Hourican ...
Brother Tang / Leonardo (voice) (as Liam Hourrican)
Brother Assoua (voice) (as Paul Tylac)
Michael McGrath ...
Adult Brendan (voice)
Brother Square (voice)
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Alli McCann ...
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Clair Funchion ...
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Conor O'Halloran ...
Additional Voices and Walla (voice) (as Conor O Halloran)
Gaelle Hersent ...
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Marie Thorhauge ...
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Additional Voices and Walla (voice)


Young Brendan lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from the isle of Iona carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way. But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan's determination and artistic vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil? Written by GKids

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ink | wall | monastery | barbarian | forest | See All (71) »


Turn the darkness into light


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

11 February 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brendan and the Secret of Kells  »


Box Office


€6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€121,619 (France), 15 February 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,826, 7 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$686,383, 18 July 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mick Lally (Aidan) speaks Native Irish, and does so in part of the film. See more »


[first lines]
Aisling: I have lived through many ages, through the eyes of salmon, deer, and wolf. I have seen the Northmen invading Ireland, destroying all in search of gold. I've seen suffering in the darkness. Yet I have seen beauty thrive in the most fragile of places. I have seen the book. The book that turned darkness into light.
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Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, Aidan is heard reciting part of the Irish poem "Pangur Ban." See more »


References Samurai Jack (2001) See more »


Cardinal Knowledge
Written by Colm Ó'Snodaigh
© and (P) Kíla Music Records (2007)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Rich and artistic visuals
8 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

This Oscar nominated animated film is about a young boy in a Celtic walled village who has to prepare for his book by wandering out into the forbidden woods.

"The Secret of Kells" is visually rich and artistic. The characters are simple in design, almost minimalistic. This interestingly contrasts with the imaginative and stylish background, that never ceases to amaze. The background of the animation blends modern art and traditional art, and is only limited by the boundary of imagination. It takes viewers into a stunning flight of psychedelic journey. Though the plot may not be the strength of this animation, the artistic visuals makes up for it.

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