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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Jan 16: The Secret of Kells

Monday

Jan 16: The Secret of Kells

"The animated story of the boy behind the famed Book of Kells."

   The Secret of Kells is the first animated movie I am reviewing, and will certainly not be the last. The film follows a young boy who, with the help of his Brothers, discoveries the secrets behind the magic of The Book of Kells. At least, that's what I think. The film's plot is very vague, as you think the book he is trying to finish is, indeed, a magic book. However, I looked it up and found out it is an illuminated manuscript of The Bible. Minus the fact that most of the characters are monks, there is really no reference to Christianity. Sure, people can argue that the power of God is magic, but this movie really makes it seem like he's some sorcerer or that he is headlining in Vegas like David Copperfield. 

I can't wait to see Jesus the Magnificent! 

   Along with all of the other fantastical elements in this so-called "Christian" story, Brendan, the boy, encounters a young girl fairy in the woods outside of Kells. Her character is used to help explain what lurks in the forest to the young boy and, I assume, to give little girls watching the film someone to relate with? I guess that just goes along with the rest of the plot and how confusing it all really is. Oh, and there's this sequence where the boy swims in darkness (I think?) and battles a giant snake-like thing with a piece of chalk. I assume it's like the battles Harold and the Purple Crayon had in his later years. 

This SO needs to happen. 

   Now just because the plot is all over the place and confuses a religion with ancient magic and lore, does not mean The Secret of Kells is a terrible movie. The animation is, by far, some of the best I have ever seen. The backdrops are beautifully painted with vibrant water colors and the imagination put into every setting is incredible. This film was actually nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for Best Animated film and, from a pure artistic aspect, I can see why. The animation also has very very dark moments and I do not see how any kid could watch this without having nightmares of some kind. Not to mention, there is a whole lot of death. 
Have fun explaining death- and the film's plot to your kids!

   Overall, The Secret of Kells was, by no means, a bad movie. I think the plan of the directors was to amaze us with the visuals to the point where we don't really care about the plot. If that was their plan, they certainly succeeded. However, even with all of its problems, I still believe this to be a film that needs to be seen. The visuals are just too damn good and the soundtrack, with it's beautiful Celtic melodies, make The Secret of Kells worth a viewing. Plus, it's only 75 minutes long. 

Sight: Like I mentioned above, the animation is some of the best I have ever seen. The entire film is beautiful, and the thought put into every scene is remarkable. 
Sound: You can't have something gorgeous to look at and not have something just as good to listen to. The soundtrack compliments the visuals perfectly. 
Skill: I guess I never thought about how I would critique skill in an animated movie. Brendan Gleeson is one of the only known actors to have a voice in the cast, and he does well? 
Script: Confusing and scattered, the plot really tells me nothing of what The Book of Kells was really all about, other than that it took your breath away when looked upon. 

Overall: 6.5/10 

Best Quote: 
Brendan: "You can't find out everything from books, you know."
Aiden: "I think I read that once.
"

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2 Comments:

At January 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Drew said...

I saw this movie last year, and I didn't know anyone else knew it existed, lol.

 
At January 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Haha. I had been meaning to see it since it was nominated in 2010, but never got around to it until now.

 

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