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.
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
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 »
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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During the closing credits, Aidan is heard reciting part of the Irish poem "Pangur Ban." See more »
In an age where it seems all animation is either expensive computer generated, a-list celebrity vehicles or anime, which seems like it's all drawn by one man, it's refreshing to see an throw back to a time when animation was hand drawn and more attention was paid to the use of color and intricacy of design than mimicing real life or creating 3D.
The characters in this movie at times take a back seat to the scenery. The scenery alternates between what seems to be illuminated water color to illuminated manuscript illustration. It is breathtaking to behold on the big screen.
My main complaint about this film is that it was too short! I wish more time had been spent in the forest scenes, which are the richest in detail and color. One can imagine how the scenes in the Irish forest and wilderness inspired the illustrators of the Book of Kells.
The story is not simply a child's tale, and there's no potty humor as is prevalent in many Pixar and Disney movies today, but children with vivid imaginations and who love to draw will love this as will their parents.
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