7.7/10
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The Secret of Kells (2009)

Not Rated | | Animation, Adventure, Family | 22 June 2016 (USA)
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2:01 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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:

Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey (co-director)

Writers:

Tomm Moore (original story), Fabrice Ziolkowski (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 Evan McGuire ... Brendan (voice)
Christen Mooney Christen Mooney ... Aisling (voice)
Brendan Gleeson ... Abbot Cellach (voice)
Mick Lally Mick Lally ... Aidan (voice)
Liam Hourican Liam Hourican ... Brother Tang / Leonardo (voice) (as Liam Hourrican)
Paul Tylak ... Brother Assoua (voice) (as Paul Tylac)
Michael McGrath Michael McGrath ... Adult Brendan (voice)
Paul Young ... Brother Square (voice)
Nora Twomey ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Alli McCann Alli McCann ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Clair Funchion Clair Funchion ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Conor O'Halloran Conor O'Halloran ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice) (as Conor O Halloran)
Gaelle Hersent Gaelle Hersent ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Marie Thorhauge Marie Thorhauge ... Additional Voices and Walla (voice)
Sean Lennon ... 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

Plot Keywords:

forest | ink | wall | monastery | barbarian | See All (71) »

Taglines:

Turn the darkness into light


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium | Ireland

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

22 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brendan and the Secret of Kells See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€121,619 (France), 15 February 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,826, 7 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$686,383, 18 July 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

[first lines]
Aisling: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, Aidan is heard reciting part of the Irish poem "Pangur Ban." See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Rich and artistic visuals
8 February 2010 | by Gordon-11See all my reviews

This Oscar nominated animated film is about a young boy in a Celtic walled village who has to prepare for his book by wandering out into the forbidden woods.

"The Secret of Kells" is visually rich and artistic. The characters are simple in design, almost minimalistic. This interestingly contrasts with the imaginative and stylish background, that never ceases to amaze. The background of the animation blends modern art and traditional art, and is only limited by the boundary of imagination. It takes viewers into a stunning flight of psychedelic journey. Though the plot may not be the strength of this animation, the artistic visuals makes up for it.


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