The Secret of Kells 2009 ***


Co-directors Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey picked an unusual approach for their animated version of the famed text of the Book of Kells. Using 2D pictures to tell the story, The Secret of Kells looks like a tapestry strung to life as it details how Young Brendan (Evan McGuire) embarks on a quest into the fairy realm and falls under the spell of wolf-girl Aisling (Christen Mooney). Brendan Gleeson adds extra charm as the worldly Abbott Cellach, and there’s a unique feeling for how the good-vs-evil plotting can be resolved in a quaintly traditional way. Satisfying both for children and for adults, The Secret of Kells’ visual splendour fully deserved its Oscar nomination, and marks an original use for modern animation in service of ancient stylings.

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