7.7/10
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78 user 124 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:

, (co-director)

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)
...
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

Plot Keywords:

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

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  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's one-week release in both New York and Los Angeles before the end of the year was sufficient to qualify it for Academy Award consideration. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Samurai Jack (2001) 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

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous to watch, but the story is not quite there
8 January 2011 | by 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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