Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Film Review: The Secret of Kells

Other than autismal CN shill-outs, I think we ought to move on to more better animated and much more entertaining animations.

Yes, this beautifully animated piece by Cartoon Saloon, an animation film studio based in Ireland. Written and directed by Tom Moore. The Secret of Kells focuses on a fictional telling of the creation of the Book of Kells (c. 800), an illuminated manuscript in Latin, located in Dublin, Ireland.

The actual creation of the book is a little bit too long of a tale to tell in this article, but the fictional adaption told in The Secret of Kells focuses on a young lad named Brendan and his involvement in the creation of the Book.

 Karl Pilkington's round ass head Brendan, the protagonist.

After the opening title sequence of a dark, windy ocean it cuts to young Brendan chasing a goose with a group of Illuminators right behind him. After a series of B-lines and dashes throughout camps of the Abbey of Kells, Brendan and Co. finally catch the goose. As soon as they have hold of the goose they pull 4 feathers from it's behind for quills. Then Abbot Cellach, Brendan's uncle, walks up to the group ready to ruin all of the fun by requesting some plans for a section of the massive wall in progress surrounding Kells. 

Abbot Cellach before laundry day.

After Abbot Cellach tells Brendan to fetch the plans for the Wall, Brendan and Friends head to the Scriptorium, where all of the books and scripts of Kells are produced. In this scene the Brothers tell Brendan of the Book of Iona and the Island Iona, where the aforementioned book is being written. They tell him of Brother Aidan of Iona, a Master Illuminator who is working on the Book of Iona. 

 The Kells Scriptorium, notice the token black guy.

The film then switches over to a colorful scene of an extremely cartoonish perception of Brother Aidan as a young, /fit/ man working on the Book. After that, it switches over to Brendan's daydream of the Island of Iona being attacked by Vikings, or Northmen in the film, which turns out to be a vision of reality. One of the Brothers wakes Brendan, urging him to bring the plans to Abbot Cellach.

 Shingeki No Iona

When Brendan reaches the tower steps and scales the tower in the middle of Kells, he reaches the Abbot's room. There are intricate illustrations of what seems to be blueprints of the wall around Kells, with a map of Kells drawn on the floor. There the Abbot scolds Brendan for being late and not following directions, but lets him off easy. The scolding is also interrupted by the sudden arrival of someone at the main gate, which Abbot Cellach suspects to be another refugee.

Cellach's Room, talk about shut-ins.

When Brendan arrives to the circle of Illuminators surrounding the newly arrived person to Kells, Abbot Cellach comes over to reveal that he is indeed Brother Aidan, and the other Brothers go apeshit, but subtly. They flood Aidan with questions, and little Brendan tries to gain his attention, but fails because child. But as they move to the Scriptorium, he manages to gain Brother Aidan's attention, and no other way could he have done that by asking, "Is that where you keep the Book?" In which everyone backs off from him, giving him some sort of worried look. Aidan passively shrugs off the question. 

 Brother Aidan and his bitchy ass cat, Pangur Ban.

It's only later when Brendan and Aidan have a one-on-one chat, after Brendan was done sneaking in on Cellach's and Aidan's conversation later that evening. This is when Aidan decides to let Brendan have the opportunity to see the Book of Iona, but leaves the decision ultimately to him.

The Book itself.

This is when he tasks him with helping to get berries for green ink, where the morning after he sneaks out beyond the wall, which is prohibited by Abbot Cellach. Almost as soon as he enters the deeper parts of the forest with Pangur Ban, Aidans stubborn cat, he almost gets his shit kicked in by a pack of black wolves. But after an ominous howl, a white wolf emerges as the pack of black wolves backs off back into the foggy woods. The white one begins to head towards the rock that Brendan managed to climb onto, and the first that comes to mind for him to get on his knees and suck it pray. In this moment, instead of a wolf's bite he is greeted by a young forest Faerie named Aisling (pronounced 'Ashling').

"Is this your cat?" 

From here on, the adventures of Brendan and Aisling continue with the creation of the book. From gathering ink and drawing, the film continues as a light hearted children's movie, but there are a few twists near the end. I'm going to stop here with the plot, because I urge you to see this film. With great, detailed, and colorful animation and an amazing soundtrack by Bruno Coulais and Kila, it is a must see in my opinion. Though it is a little short, with a runtime of a little over 70 minutes, though every second is worth it. The characters may not be all that deeply developed, but are loveable nonetheless. Some of the scenes coupled with the amazing soundtrack give this film an amazing atmosphere and feeling, from warm and light to dark and 2spooky, as well as somewhat sad near the end. But it's up to you to find out what happens.

9/10 Ya'll niggaz better see this shit.

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