The Secret of Kells (2009)

cover kells

The Secret of Kells left me vaguely unsatisfied, as it seems a movie that doesn’t knows which of two major stories it wants to tell: the story of a boy who meets a magical wood sprite and of an ancient threat deep in the woods that both of them can only confront together or the story of the creation of the Book of Kells. And when the plot about the Book of Kells becomes the main thrust of the story toward the end, it feels like the movie has settled on the less interesting path plotwise.

There is one major reason to watch the movie and even enjoy, despite the weak plot, which is the animation style. It’s entirely different from any major animated movie from the US or Asia and reminiscent of some of the small short animated movies you can see on European animation festivals sometimes. Its utterly charming and beautiful too look at and it makes its characters and the setting coming alive despite the flaws of the movie. It can’t completely negate the weakness of the plotting, but it’s a very good reason to overlook it and just watch it for the gorgeous art alone.