The Secret of Kells
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Young Brendan lives in the Abbey of Kells, a remote medieval outpost under siege from raiding barbarians. One day a celebrated master illuminator arrives from foreign lands carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest, where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way. But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan's determination and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The story is a bit tangled, and there is too much of it packed into nearly 80 minutes, but little kids won't be bothered when the animation is so magical."
‑ Cath Clarke, Time Out
"The Secret of Kells has elements of a quest adventure and a coming-of-age story, but it's more beautifully stylized and astutely abstracted than the average kiddie cartoon."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Kells has a decidedly pleasing-to-the-eye, retro-cartoon vibe ( ... ) an intriguing and rare artistic subgenre"
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"...there's never a point at which the viewer is wholeheartedly drawn into the admittedly simple narrative."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Combining a classic fairytale trajectory with a singular aesthetic that fuses Celtic and Christian mythology, this stunning film is yet another example of the rude health of contemporary animation."
‑ Sophie Ivan, Film4
"A gorgeous blend of the magical and the gloriously trippy."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Just a couple of minutes into this beautifully drawn, intricately rendered Irish import, you understand why the movie earned the Academy's attention."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"Very few animated films have had such a mesmerizing, puzzle-like quality."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"A unique film visually, but the story and characters are a bit weak and the pacing is a bit slow."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Tomm Moore's Irish animation, drawn with painstaking reference to both Celtic myth and medieval manuscripts, possesses a lively originality that shows Europe's animators not far behind America's and in some ways in front of them."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"A breathtaking mixture of Celtic mythology and creative animation."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"In the end, the film is about a magical book, but you never really have a sense of what makes the book magical."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"This is perhaps the most enchanting and zealous animated endeavor you will see this side of the Pixar lineup."
‑ David Keyes,
"Steeped in both magic and mythology, The Secret Of Kells offers a refreshing alternative to Hollywood fare."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"This understated Irish charmer deserves to reach a wider audience, if only to remind people that animation is a diverse medium that can be exploited in numerous ways to tell all sorts of stories."
‑ Alistair Harkness, Scotsman
More reviews for The Secret of Kells on Rotten Tomatoes