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
Pangur Ban is named for a cat who appears in an 8th Century Old Irish poem written by a monk to his pet cat. Aidan (Mick Lally) can be heard reciting a condensed rendition of the poem in modern Irish in the credits. 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 »
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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