Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Secret of Kells: Movie Review

C & I saw The Secret of Kells tonight at the Bijou (it's not yet out on DVD), and it was a delight. This animated feature combined realistic drama—Irish monasteries under attack by Vikings in the 8th century—with Irish myth. We've seen stories of Irish myth combined with realism filmed with enchanting results in The Secret of Roan Inish and Into the West, but never by an animated film. The visuals were spectacular, unlike anything produced by the American studios. The figures were highly stylized and geometrical. (It reminded me of the art of Tommie de Paola, but my date differs with me on this.) The music, all manner of Irish music, worked well with the film, and the mythic and realistic portions of the story meshed to create a seamless narrative. At one point we see the main character battling an ouroboros. A film for the Jung at heart! I must say that this film is not for young children. The Northmen (Norsemen, Vikings) are scary, and the film portrays vividly the fear and destruction that these marauding warrior wrought. If you have children who can deal with these haunting images (also attacking wolves), I highly recommend this film for them as well as the adults in the family. Having seen Up! and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I can say that this film presents the best visual fare, truly incredible, and probably the best entire package of an animated film (although I must say that I did like Mr. Fox and friends). Highly recommended.

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