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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.

Directors:

,

Writers:

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

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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)
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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

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the characters, fantasy elements, and plot specifics of this movie are fictional, there is a real "Book of Kells", an illuminated, heavily illustrated rendering of the Four Gospels of the Christian bible, that dates from the Early Medieval period (probably the early Eighth Century) in Ireland. The best historical and archaeological evidence suggests that, starting shortly after it was finished, the book was moved several times (including, as depicted in the movie, during an Viking invasion) and lost for various periods. It has been housed at the library of Trinity College, Dublin, since the Seventeenth Century, and is considered perhaps the single most valuable cultural artifact of Irish History that has ever been discovered. Some of the design concepts for the movie echo aspects of the original Book of Kells; for instance, the shapes of the repeated tree patterns as Brendan enters the forest are quite similar to the arrangement and shapes of the columns and arches in the "Eusebian Canons, Folio 5R" page of the real book. See more »

Quotes

Aisling: [interrupting him] Is this your cat?
[Brendan screams and falls off rock]
Aisling: *Well?*
Brendan: I've heard about... creatures like you. You're a fairy!
[Aisling gives Pangur Ban a dubious look]
Aisling: What are you doing in my forest? You've come to spoil it, haven't you?
Brendan: Uh...
Aisling: [accusingly] You were probably sent here by your family to get food, weren't you? Well. You can go right back where you came from. If you don't, I'll make the wolves get you. *Rawr!*
Brendan: No! uh, I didn't mean to. Look, I'm sorry alright? I'm not here...
[...]
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 Mulan (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Aisling Song
Written by Tomm Moore and Bruno Coulais
© Les Armateurs and Passerelle
(P) Les Armateurs and Vivi Film
Performed by Christen Mooney (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.


43 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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It's the Christian Gospels. . . SuCue
it all happened so fast!!!!!! physe101
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