Mar 8, 2010

The Secret of Kells

I've got spasms in my fingers, toes, knees, and eyes after crossing them all weekend in the hopes that a little-known Irish animated feature would win a big award last night. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, The Secret of Kells—directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey—is a gorgeously animated tale of a medieval boy monk, Brendan, who must fight vikings and a serpent god to find a crystal and complete the legendary Book of Kells.
The brave little Brendan took on dangerous mythical creatures and hordes of vicious vikings, but when it came to securing an Oscar, he was umbrella-smacked by an old square man who went Up.

Still, it was great to see a bright Hollywood spotlight on an enchanting Irish tale. Of course, I didn't get to see it before the Oscars, because I'm never quite that on-the-ball, but I'm off to see it today. I'm loving the fact that the animation is primarily hand drawn (with computer-generated elements), and it's only 75 minutes—which feels like a short these days. Mostly, I'm swooning at the intoxicating colors, shapes, and patterns of the movie, heavily influenced by medieval art and The Book of Kells.

Here are a few film stills courtesy of

Hey, if you're looking for an authentic outing for St. Patrick's Day, why not seek out this film, support some Irish animators, and get a lesson in ancient history while you're at it!

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