The Secret of Kells

After illegible opening credits and an inaudible opening narration my hopes were not high for this recent Celtic animated effort about a reclusive abbey built as a defence for some unspoken terror outside the walls. Our hero is Brendan, a young orphan raised by his abbot uncle (Brendan Gleeson). Forbidden from leaving the abbey, his curiosity is piqued with the arrival of the enigmatic brother Aidan and his cat.
Once the initial frantic goose chase has concluded, the film doesn’t really get going until Brendan has left the confines of the abbey, where the inventive style – simple shapes with bold outlines and textured fills – is given free reign. Whilst not as infuriatingly decipherable as first thought, the film had too much new mythology, with not enough reality to hold on to. That said, the giant game of Snake with a piece of chalk was entertaining, and this could well improve with repeat viewings.
Choose life 6/10
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One thought on “The Secret of Kells

  1. I really enjoyed this film. The stylized version of animation really worked for me, especially the visual cues it took from the real Book of Kells. I wish more people would work with in this style. The last time we saw it was “Samurai Jack,” which in my mind is still the best American action cartoon. 😉

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