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Brendan is, in reality, a fairly stock character; young, ambitious boy who has been sheltered his entire life. The animation in Kells is what really sets it apart; it is a prime example of the beauty that can be accomplished through a minimalist style. At times he reasons with his neighbors in calm tones and other times he thunders at his nephew with rage driven by pure compassion. Since the Academy Award for animated features was created in 2001, the category has been dominated by big-budget, computer-animated films from a handful of studios and distributors, mainly meaning Pixar (six nominations and four wins, in eight years), Walt Disney and DreamWorks.
What’s it like in one sentence? It’s like an Irish fairy tale blended with the boundless imagination of Studio Ghibli with some of the stylistic choices of Genndy Tartakovsky.
What’s it about in one paragraph? It’s a fictionalized account of the creation and protection of the Book of Kells, an Irish national treasure that had illuminated books of the Bible hand drawn into it. Play or remove from my queue? I had never heard of the Book of Kells or Iona or any of the historical things The Secret of Kells has floating around inside its fantasy world. Normally when you sit down to an animated film, you know beat for beat where the acts will break and when the giant action scenes will hit, but The Secret of Kells is much more interested in filling the frame with intricate layers of Irish art and telling a piece of Ireland’s history.
It comes down to one of those cheesy cliche’s that the film might not give you exactly what you want, but it will definitely give you what you need. What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? A Cat in Paris (is this as good as it looks?), The Thief and the Cobbler (vocal talents of Vincent Price!), The House (looks amazing), The Adventures of Mark Twain (pretty sure I saw this as a kid) and Titan AE (loved this as a kid).
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? This film never played on more than 37 screens in the United States, yet it was nominated for the Best Animated Film Oscar.
Any last thoughts? The voice acting in this blew my mind, Brendan Gleeson is subtle and powerful as the abbot, but Christen Mooney as the forest child Aisling steals the show with the most adorable voice I’ve ever heard in my life. Did you watch anything else this week? I acted in a frigging movie for the Hallmark Channel this last Sunday. Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Following? Chewer prunetracy blew my mind when he reminded me that Cobb was the name of DiCaprio’s character in Inception, as well as the name of the thief in Following.
THE SECRET OF KELLS is an absolutely fabulous, delightful, fanciful animated movie about young Brendan in the Abbey of Kells, where he becomes the great illuminator of the Book of Kells, a famous illuminated Latin manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. THE SECRET OF KELLS is an absolutely fabulous, delightful, fanciful animated movie about young Brendan who lives in the Abbey of Kells, where he becomes the great illuminator of the Book of Kells. Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. A prime example is the character design.  All of the monks in the abbey are basically geometric shapes. As seen in the article main photo, the same geometric styles are utilized in the forest and in the dream sequences. Brendan is a young boy whose uncle, Abbot Cellach, is building a giant wall around the Christian Abbey of Kells to protect them from invasion by the Northern Viking Raiders. It is interesting that in all the different times the film shows you the creation of some of the pages of the book, I never realized it was housing pieces of the Bible. The action beats all take place very early in the third act, so that gives the film time to wind down into an uncommonly emotional ending brimming with gorgeous character moments and some truly epic, yet intimate, storytelling.

They’re such similar characters that it makes perfect sense that Cobb in Following  could become the Cobb in Inception. THE SECRET OF KELLS is one of the most uniquely animated movies of all time, informed by a full-orbed, inspiring Christian orthodoxy. The Book of Kells is a famous illuminated Latin manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament combined with beautiful illumination.In the story, Brendan is an orphan being taken care of by his uncle, the Abbot of Kells. Of course, in doing so, he puts himself in grave danger only to be rescued by a magical being.
One is almost completely round, emphasizing his fatness; another is squared at the shoulders and has no neck to speak of, implying a hunched back.
Horned black figures carrying gigantic swords, they speak mostly in growls and are actually terrifying. When Aidan of Iona, a master scribe from a destroyed keep to the north, shows up with the mythical Book of Iona, Brendan is drawn into a time sensitive mission to finish the book before the vikings arrive.
For about 30 seconds after the credits hit, I found myself disappointed that there wasn’t something huge and explodey, but then I realized that I was a stupid fucking American and that what I watched was almost perfect. Never overpowering, but very memorable in a way that scores don’t really aspire to be anymore. His uncle is building a great wall around the community in order to protect the people, in particular Brendan, from the Norsemen. Brendan is sent into the woods to gather berries that produce a beautiful green ink for an illustrated Latin manuscript of the four New Testament gospels.
It follows young Brendan, the future abbot of Kells, as he works to complete a book which will enlighten mankind and hopefully save his home from an attacking Viking army. The abbot himself is incredibly tall and thin with gradually sloping shoulders and a bald head.
By not seeing the enemy, or at least depicting them as something less than human, the threat is made more real, more immediate.
During Brendan’s climactic encounter with an ancient monster, complex patterns emerge from simple geometric shapes making the battle into something else entirely, an intricate dance on a quest for knowledge.
With the help of a wily cat called Pangur Ban and a forest dwelling sprite named Aisling, Brendan will brave the wilds of Kells to find the ink to finish the legendary book.
I think the film is an absolute must-see with its wonderful voice acting, beautiful imagery and its purposeful disinterest in the typical animated film structure. While gathering supplies to make ink he finds Aisling, a fairy with knowledge about the forest that is vital to his mission.
But where a real fairy tale would have something simpler driving the hero’s actions, a princess perhaps, Kells, has a book. But, I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. When he returns to the Abbey, an old monk tells him he is to animate the Chi Rho page showing the glory of Jesus Christ. The film has the same older aesthetic that I spoke of, but still utilizes computer animation to tell Brendan’s story.

Voiced by the amazing Brendan Gleeson, he has chosen long ago to protect his followers by building a massive wall around Kells and not allowing anybody to leave.
Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that too. To do so, he must find a special magnifying glass in the woods, guarded by a terrifying monster. THE SECRET OF KELLS is so beautifully done that it will make you cry in places.
The film sells the conviction of its story, something that other movies based on faith have a hard time doing. I really felt that all characters involved truly believed that what they were doing was right. The manuscript is supposed to be so powerful that, when sinners look at it, they fall down. But, the most powerful page that turns dark into light, the Chi Rho page, has not yet been written.St. The wolves and Viking raiders may be a little scary for younger children, but the presentation is much milder than what one would see in a normal Saturday cartoon. Aidan sends Brendan into the woods to find the berry of the oak tree that produces a beautiful green ink. When he prays, he meets a mysterious young girl named Aisling, who becomes his friend and helps him find the berries.When Brendan returns to the Abbey, Aidan tells him he is to animate the Chi Rho page. Brendan has to go into the woods to find the special magnifying glass, or third eye, to produce the beautiful, illuminated Chi Rho page. Brendan’s uncle locks him in the tower, however, to prevent him from going back into the woods. Aisling helps Brendan escape the tower, and Brendan goes into the woods to face the monster to get the magnifying glass.
They shoot and stab the Abbot, and the question is whether Aidan and Brendan can survive with the book that turns darkness into light so they can give the book to the people.THE SECRET OF KELLS is one of the most uniquely animated movies of all time.
Sometimes it is breathtaking.The movie draws on the history of Christianity in Ireland and Scotland, some of which is hagiography and perhaps fanciful. Even so, it serves a great purpose of stressing how important the Bible is.For those who know that the Chi Rho is the Christogram for Jesus Christ and the Book of Kells is the Gospel that turns darkness into light, THE SECRET OF KELLS is a triumphant story, much like THE BOOK OF ELI without the violence. It makes the wonderful point that we are not just to guard the Bible but live by it and give it to others. The movie operates under the New Testament vision that Christians are in the process of redeeming all Creation, including the wolves, the Vikings, the mysterious monsters, and the fairies. Brendan prays and tells Aisling that we are not supposed to be afraid of the dark because the Light has triumphed. They had the eternal hope of the real Chi Rho, Jesus Christ.THE SECRET OF KELLS is so beautifully done that it will make you cry in places.

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