Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Secret Of Kells

The Secret Of Kells
Tomm Moore, 2009

I recently stumbled upon this animated feature and last night had the pleasure of finally watching it. From the stills that I'd seen, I was immediately drawn to the style and design of the film, making a refreshing change from the glut of 3D CGI animated films that have now become the norm of cinema releases. The story and setting were an additional draw to me too - Celtic mythology and the Book of Kells make a good starting point for anything rich in imagery and potential.

Created by Tomm Moore and his Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, the film is an Irish / French / Belgian production that was first released in these countries during February and March 2009. A year later, it was nominated for The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, though sadly lost out to Pixar's Up. Set in 9th century Ireland, the story follows a young monk named Brendan from the Abbey of Kells as he learns the skills of manuscript illumination from Aidan of Iona. Against the wishes of his uncle, the Abbot Cellach, Brendan's quest becomes a race against time and imminent Viking invasion to continue the work of creating the legendary Book of Kells.

The design of the film is beautiful, echoing the pattern and decoration of Celtic illuminations, as well as the flat stylised character design and compartmentalised layouts. The depictions of the film's forest scenes are clearly inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt, and the animation throughout is clean and dynamic.

Although I watched this on DVD, over the next couple of months the film will be given select screenings at cinemas across the country. Click HERE for further details... It's well worth a watch!

The Secret Of Kells - Official US trailer:


  1. I saw the movie too, it is great and so special against all those 3D movies that all made now. This is one of the most beautiful animated movies!

  2. I saw the trailer ages ago, but I forgot about it. I'll have to watch it ASAP.