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Movie Review: Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells was a bit different than most movies I watch, with the exception of Triplets of Belleville (what? You still haven't seen that?!) First, some history....
About 6 years ago I went on a backpacking trip through Ireland with one of my best friends. We were so excited to see the Book of Kells, held in Trinity College, in Dublin Ireland. You've heard of this mastery of art, right? It is the Gospels, illuminated by monks who lived in the 9th century (though some debate). The process of inks, sheets of vellum (yes, cow flesh scraped thin), even the tools they used are a fascinating read. It was never finished. Of course, when my friend and I went over to Ireland expecting to see it, we were out of luck, as Trinity College was closed for holiday.
Recently, a friend gave me the link to the Secret of Kells and I couldn't wait to watch it on Netflix instant play. I was not disappointed! The artistry is really magical, unlike anything I'd seen in animation. The story was good, and the film was short. This movie has quite a bit of mature subject matter, so I don't recommend it for children under 13. My only beef was that the people in the movie were drawn similar to Power Puff Girls. I thought they could have designed them better, since the rest of the movie, including a lot of nature scenes, were imbeded with beautiful layered, cascading animation along with subtle hints of celtic symbols mixed into the background. The design of the film really was it's best feature and won many awards because of it (This movie has been nominated for a 2010 Academy Award.). If you've got a free hour to tool around making something while being able to watch this movie, I say go for it. It explains the history of the Book of Kells a bit while inserting it's own Irish folklore to the tale. I give it 3 out of 5 stars for artistry alone!


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