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"The Secret of Kells" Film Review

Updated on July 2, 2014

"The Secret of Kells" Poster

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Film Rating

5 stars for "The Secret of Kells"

Quote from "The Review"

'"The Secret of Kells" is a work of art. It's beautifully animated and is a celebration of Irish art and myth.'

Review of "The Secret of Kells"

"The Secret of Kells" is a work of art. It's beautifully animated and is a celebration of Irish art and myth. A boy named Brendan lives in a city with illuminators, his uncle who has built a wall around the city to protect the people from barbarians, and many people searching for safety. A well known master illuminator comes to the city for sanctuary after his home is destroyed by the barbarians. He brings with him a book full of beautiful illumination. Brother Aidan teaches Brendan to illuminate. He asks Brendan to find several things to help them illuminate in the forest outside the walls. While seeking out these things Brendan meets a faerie girl named Aisling who can turn into a wolf. They become friends despite her being suspicious of him initially and she saves him several times. Will the completion of the book save them all from the barbarians and from an ancient evil spirit in the forests?

The Positives to this Film:

  • The Animation

It's simply breathtaking. There's so much work put into it. There's texture, layers, original design for the characters, and the setting of the forest is amazing. It feels like you're standing in an ancient forest that's how well done it is.

  • Strong female character

Aisling is a little faerie/wood's spirit girl who continuously helps out Brendan. She is resourceful, strong, and spunky. She's the only female character that's given a lot of screen time, but she's superb.

  • The Plot

I really think the plot was good. The fantasy elements, the historical elements, and the main characters being illuminators. I have only seen one other movie that had illuminators in it. It was "Ever After". The illuminator was only briefly shown in a monastery along with an open illuminated book. Showing them in this movie as main characters gives modern audiences a clearer grasp on what an illuminator's life may have been like.

  • Good Movie To Fall Asleep To

This might sound like a stupid reason to like this movie, but I think in some instances it's a good thing. I mean it is very relaxing so that it can help someone fall asleep if they want to. Kind of like listening to a bed time story. I don't mean that it's boring, I mean it only in a helpful way that it makes a viewer drowsy. If you want to watch the whole thing and are wide awake it's easy to watch the whole thing without falling asleep. If you are trying to go to sleep and are tucked up in bed and have the tv on very softly, this movie is easy to relax you to sleep.

The Negatives to this Film

  • The book doesn't get a further explanation then being magical

The book is based on an illuminated Irish book called "Book of Kells". It's about the four gospels, so it is a religious text. It might not have helped the plot to have it be known that the text is religious in nature, though if someone didn't know that it's a religious text they might not understand the full Christian versus Pagan theme in this movie. It's not a preachy movie. It just is covering a point in history by having symbolic meaning.

  • May be intense/frightening for younger children

This may sound a little too protective, but it is a little intense in two scenes for younger kids. Parents may want to view it before letting their younger children watch it to decide if it's good or bad for their children to see. Older children will likely be fine watching it. There's a war scene and a scene with a strange evil creature in the woods fighting the main character. If your child was fine while seeing "The Black Calderon" or "The Hobbit" or "Mulan" they may be fine watching this.

"The Secret of Kells" Aisling and Brendan

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Who Will Enjoy "The Secret of Kells"?

Older children and adults who are fans of tastefully done animated movies will like and appreciate this movie the most. Fans of Irish art will also be able to enjoy this movie. Younger children might not like the few intense scenes or be unable to understand some of the plot.

Similar Movies to "The Secret of Kells"

  • "Mulan"
  • "The Thief and the Cobbler"
  • "Spirited Away"
  • "Howl's Moving Castle"

Still of "The Secret of Kells"

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