7.7/10
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72 user 119 critic

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)
...
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

Brendan is 12, and the prequel comic included in the Blu-Ray version indicates that he was rescued from the Vikings as an infant by his uncle Cellach in 790 AD. The movie therefore takes place mostly in 802 AD. This was the actual date of a real-life Viking raid on Iona, the event that drove Aidan and the book to Kells for safety. See more »

Quotes

Brendan: Aidan is my friend. I'm helping him make the most incredible book in the whole world! He says it will turn darkness into light. Wait until you see it!
Aisling: Wait until you see the rest of my forest.
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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

Featured in AniMat's Classic Reviews: The Secret of Kells (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Epicy
Written by Rossa Ó'Snodaigh
© and (P) Kíla Music Records (2000)
Performed by Kila (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sublime. A Rare Gem and Utter Masterpiece
3 May 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's a shame there were not more opportunities for people to see this on the big screen. It is stunningly beautiful. There is incredible detail in the artwork, all of it an homage to illumination.

The reviews I read said the film was a spectacle and impressive for its art and topic, but that it was dry and slow. This simply isn't true. there is a rich and innocent humour in the film, and it is an exciting story.

The story itself is quite sophisticated. On the one hand, it depicts medieval Christian scholar-heroes courageously dedicated to preserving knowledge, creating books, and demonstrating reverence for words through painstaking arts, and on the other there is a magical childhood world of fairy folk and demons who are part of a hero quest that is mythical and dreamy. Both the Christian world and the pagan world are fraught with danger and violence.

The imagery, themes and music of this film create a work that is sublime, Yet the warmth of the characters and the spirited adventure ensures that the audience does not feel remote from the experience. This film ranks as an instant classic and a superb achievement in the medium of animation. having now seen all the animated films nominated at the Oscars, this one should have won.

See it any way you can, and don't miss a chance to see it on the big screen if the opportunity arises.


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