The Secret of Kells

  • Title: The Secret of Kells
  • Country of Origin: Ireland, Belgium, France
  • Genre: Animation
  • Released: 2009
  • Run Time: 75 Minutes
  • Directors: Tomm Moore (Ireland), Nora Twomey (Ireland)
  • Available on: Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube
  • Recommendation by Mikaylah Heffernan

It’s no secret that myth, mystery and religion make up much of Irish culture, including the story of St. Patrick himself, the man of the hour this Friday. On this St. Patrick’s day, take a dive into history, starting with a family friendly movie, the laudable Secret of Kells.

From the strikingly haunting soundtrack, to its rich and full animation, The Secret of Kells truly deserved the awards won at both the Dublin and the Edinburgh International Film Festivals in 2009 as well as its many others. The movie takes the layers of mystery surrounding the true Book of Kells, and weaves in spirituality and mythology to tell the tale of a young boy, drawn to adventure outside the walls of his medieval monastery and driven to create a manuscript that would last through the ages.

The animation lends support to this tale and to the efforts of the writers to show the different facets of Ireland’s history. Visually innovative, the film showcases different styles of animation and matches them with the soundtrack and plot as it progresses, often mimicking the characteristics of medieval illumination art to make a point.

Captivating and distinctive in its own way, The Secret of Kells will draw you in from the first moment and keep you there long after the end credits. And for those that find themselves seeking more, queue up Song of the Sea, another film that delivers an animated Irish adventure like no other.

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