• Studio: Gkids
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2010
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36

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  1. Dec 13, 2010
    10
    Having been trained in fine art, having studied art history, and being an enormous fan of animation and cartoons, I must say this is one of the finest creations in the last five years. The story itself is simple and sweet, perhaps nothing to celebrate, and set in a medieval Ireland some 1200 years ago. However, the Tartakovskian stylization of characters, the backgrounds abstracted to a nearly Byzantine flatness, and the romanticization of monastic inspiration pay great homage to the original Book of Kells.

    And if you don't like all the heady intellectual stuff, it's incredible to look at, the soundtrack is totally mesmerizing, and I will sheepishly confess being moved to tears by Aisling's Song to Panger Ban. Great for the family, spooky and lovely, I'd recommend it to any one with an interest in animation, Irish lore, or art history. Check it out! (As of December 2010, its Watch Instant on Netflix!)
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  2. May 2, 2011
    9
    I should preface my review by stating that I only give it a 9 rating instead of a 10 because I feel perfection should always remain unattainable. But certainly in the realms of animation, storytelling, and world-immersion, "The Secret of Kells" excels nearly all Hollywood prefabricated animated movies of the past 25 years. From the lush and almost pungent colors, to the stark and exaggerated shapes and dimensions, to the fluid and surreal movements, the animation in this film falls second to none for vision, distinction, and uniqueness. Those looking for a photo-realistic or purely verisimilar approach to animation should most definitely look elsewhere, since the style, nuance, character, and idiosyncrasy of "The Secret of Kells" do not fall in the realm of most contemporary, digitally enhanced, video game-lookalikes presented by the Hollywood studio-industrial complex and acting as the next wave in dumbing down our cultural discourse and homogenizing the human imagination. In addition, the themes of friendship, community, daring, assertiveness, and communion with the earth and all her creatures allow the aesthetically pleasing animation to find an equal complement in thematic richness and meaning. The character of Aisling, while not altogether unproblematic for her self-sacrificial tendencies, nevertheless offers children, young people, and anyone with an open mind and heart the opportunity to hear the voice of earth's children in a language any English-speaker can comprehend. In short, "The Secret of Kells" offers great aesthetic, empathetic, and ethical potential to anyone looking for an experience of beauty and meaning. You've been warned. Expand
  3. Zal
    Dec 20, 2012
    9
    In terms of animation style and visuals, this movie is gorgeous. I had to watch it several times just to take it all in. Something about it reminds me of Samurai Jack. On a story and character level, this movie is solid. The characters are mostly basic, but likable and well developed. I just wish there was more.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 90
    The exquisite art and fairytale ambience will win over animation fans and children alike.
  2. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    80
    With its jewel-bright colors and intricate use of lines, the result is absolutely luscious to behold.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    90
    Gorgeously mounted tale of enlightenment through art and courage.