From the desk of The Movie Snob
The Secret of Kells (C). My expectations were probably a little too high for this Ireland-France-Belgium co-production that nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. In medieval Ireland, a stern abbot is overseeing the construction of a fortified town in the middle of a great forest. One day, Brother Aidan arrives from a distant monastery bearing a partially completed illuminated manuscript–and terrible news about the rampaging Vikings. Entranced by the illuminated manuscript, the abbot’s young nephew Brendan disobeys his stern uncle and goes into the mysterious forest searching for the ingredients for ink, and there he befriends a fairy (left over from Ireland’s pagan days, I guess). Visually, the movie is very interesting–aggressively simple and two-dimensional, but as eye-catching as anything Pixar or Disney ever puts out. The Vikings look like giant sword-wielding dominoes, for instance. But the visuals took me only so far, and the already-thin plot really lost steam and interest toward the end. I’d definitely go see How to Train Your Dragon again before I’d rewatch The Secret of Kells.