7.7/10
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72 user 118 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

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...
[...]
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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

Referenced in AniMat's Classic Reviews: A Scanner Darkly (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Opening Brendan
Composed By Colm Ó'Snodaigh
© and (P) Kíla Music Records (2007)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous to watch, but the story is not quite there
8 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love animated films, so I was interested in seeing The Secret of Kells. Overall I really liked it. However, I do not think it is perfect, the story has a lovely idea and starts off very well, however there are parts that could have been less detached and done with more development, and it could have done with less of a politically correct note(I wouldn't have minded if it was there, it just got a tad heavy-handed). Also, I think the film sags in the pace in the middle. That said, it is a very worthwhile watch. The Secret of Kells does look simply gorgeous. The backgrounds are stunning, and the character designs are unique, but I loved the picturesque watercolour-like colours most of all. Another strong asset was the music, I loved the sweet, lyrical Celtic lilt to it. There is also a stirring prologue and while the story may be detached as I've said there isn't a complete lack of emotional attatchment, you do care for the characters and there are some touching and haunting moments and the film teaches some good lessons. The characters are likable with good personalities and the voice work especially from Brendan Gleeson is excellent. Overall, while lacking a tad in the story, it is a visually and musically rewarding animated film. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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