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The Secret of Kells (2009)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 15,926 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 60 user | 109 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

The animated story of the boy behind the famed Book of Kells.

Directors:

,

Writers:

(original story), (screenplay)
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Title: The Secret of Kells (2009)

The Secret of Kells (2009) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

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)
Paul Tylak ...
Brother Assoua (voice) (as Paul Tylac)
Michael McGrath ...
Adult Brendan (voice)
...
Brother Square (voice)
Nora Twomey ...
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)
Edit

Storyline

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:

book | monastery | abbot | barbarian | boy | See All (54) »

Taglines:

Turn the darkness into light


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brendan and the Secret of Kells  »

Box Office

Budget:

€6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,537 (USA) (5 March 2010)

Gross:

$686,383 (USA) (16 July 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Development on the film began in 1999 when director Tomm Moore and some of his friends first saw Richard Williams's The Princess and the Cobbler (1993) and Disney's Mulan (1998). The stylings of those two films - Persia for The Princess and the Cobbler (1993) and China for Mulan (1998) - inspired Moore to make a similarly styled film based on Irish art. See more »

Quotes

Aisling: I've 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Halfway through the credits, a poem is recited by Aidan (Mick Lally) in Irish. It is a condensed verse of the Old Irish poem 'Mise agus Pangur Bán' rewritten in modern Irish. The translated version of this verse is: Me and white Pangur, Two who relish bundles of art, Me pursuing that which does not come easy, Slippery Pangur hunts prey, Fame or repute I seek not, As I turn ink into glowing light, Little does Pangur value the words of a prophet, He would much prefer a mouse to a book. The verse is followed by Aidan calling to Pangur "Panger, do you see that in the corner!?" followed by him laughing to himself. See more »

Connections

References Samurai Jack (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Epicy
Written by Rossa Ó'Snodaigh
© and (P) Kíla Music Records (2000)
Performed by Kila (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Unforgettably Haunting Animation
9 February 2010 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

I would not have known about this film if not for its "surprise" Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature film. Thankfully, it came to pass that I was able to watch this animated little treasure.

The story is about the child Brendan who was the nephew of the imposing and overprotective Abbot of the township of Kells. The main pre-occupation of the Abbot is to build a wall to protect Kells from the attacking Vikings. One day, Aiden, the renowned illustrator from Iona, sought refuge with them. Aiden opens Brendan's eyes to the art of illustration and the lure of the outside world. Along the way, Brendan befriended the white forest sprite Aisling, as he sought to recover an ancient crystal invaluable to the meticulous art of book illustration.

"The Secret of Kells" is unlike most of the animation released these days. It is a throwback of sorts as the illustrations are done in stark geometric lines and design without much care for realism, as much as symbolism. The movements of these lines are reminiscent of the simplistic yet fluid animation style used at the beginning sequence of "Kung Fu Panda." However, it is the magnificent use of color that is the main source of wonderment for the audience. The reds used in the Viking invasion sequence is unforgettably haunting.

Try to catch this quiet gem of a film. It is a welcome respite from all the senseless bombast of current animated fare such as "Monsters vs. Aliens" and the like. The sparse Celtic musical score is effective in evoking the sense of fantasy that imbues the film. OK, the story might be a little shallow and the ending a bit wanting. I would have liked to know more about the Book that Brendan and Aiden was working on. But the clear star of this film is clearly its amazing stylized artwork, said to be based on the artwork in the real Book of Kells.


38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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It's the Christian Gospels. . . SuCue
It was pretty and that was it. boczy
it all happened so fast!!!!!! physe101
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