Brittany Runs a Marathon
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Beautiful animation, character design and backgrounds, and a promise for a great story - and it all falls flat because of the rushed script.
The art is beautiful, I fell in love with the characters, and the soundtrack is also sublime, making it a very interesting Irish tale
I have alot to say about this film; but I want to start with a major issue the film has; pacing.
I know that high quality animations, especially those from a minor animation studio, don't have the budget to lengthen their animation scenes. This film sometimes is so fast that some scenes or moments, including important ones, are over in seconds. It was exhausting watching this film sometimes because of so much information, both regarding myth and story, being showered onto me in such a short amount of time.
The film is a short 75 minutes. This alone is not a bad thing. The problem is that even if you know Celtic/Medieval history and myth; some things regarding myth and magic just... happen without prior context: and I have two examples.
A fairy says that she can't go through a locked door so she has to turn a cat into a ghost instead; yet the fairy herself cannot turn into a ghost. And a kaiju demon is stopped because the hero accidentally discovers that the demon cannot break through chalk lines. Also; neither of these moments are mentioned again or really explained after the fact.
I don't want to give a negative impression for this film. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys the art of animation. The techniques, camera angles and magical beauty of the film is perfect; I see nothing wrong with it.
The plot and characters are simple yet effective. Brendan is a good protagonist who grows in maturity and bravery, without becoming some 'invincible mary-sue hero' that I'm seeing too much of today. Aisling is adorable, obviously.
I won't mention their name due to spoilers; but there is a quasi-antagonist who has a emotional and sympathetic conclusion. I rarely see a character who initally annoys me to become the best way to end on a happy note.
And the Vikings are SCARY. There is no blood in the film; but the Vikings KILL people, onscreen, without mercy. The drama and terror of all of the villians are very genuine, without the film ever becoming pg-13 or edgy.
Also I recommend that anyone who likes the film do some research. The Tower of the Abbey of Kells and Book of Kells are not only real, but are still intact today. And many of the Celtic myths in the film are real Celtic myths. The one-eyed demon that is surrounded by bronze statues in a misty hell; yup that's a real mythical demon.
St. Patrick's Day was coming up and I had heard about "The Secret of Kells" for years, so I had to check this out.
I didn't know what to expect, but I wasn't disappointed.
It was a wonderful mesh of myth with history and beautiful storytelling. And of course, the hauntingly beautiful score couldn't help but make it even more enjoyable.
I wouldn't suggest it for very young children as it can be a bit scary for them in parts.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of bravery, family, loyalty, friendship, with mythology mixed in and just a splash of fate to add to the fun :)
A folk tale about a boy preparing to become a monk that learns about a disappearing fantasy world in a nearby forest.
The story itself is already great, but the true marvel of this movie is the way the animation is used to visualize it!
Tomm Moore puts other studios to shame, with an inspired and gorgeous piece of art.
Genuinely heartfelt and surprisingly psychedelic.
Eclectically drawn and kaleidoscopically colored, this Oscar-nominated animated feature about an elderly monk and his young apprentice scripting the Book of Kells in medieval Ireland is visual storytelling of unparalleled astonishment.
I came to this through Song of the Sea, which is one the most beautiful animated films ever; Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey's earlier film, The Secret of Kells, might just be the better film.
Brendan is a young boy living under the care of his over-protective uncle. His uncle is in charge of the Abbey, and he's obsessed with building walls around the Abbey to protect against the invading Vikings. (The Vikings are wonderfully designed; black, shadowy creatures with horned helmets that crowd the corners of the screen, creep towards the camera with slug-like movement.)
Everything changes when an old travelling monk, Aidan, arrives with a very special book he has spent his entire life working on. Brendan is immediately entranced, and gets roped into the creation of this book. This gets us into the real meat of the story, which is all about Brendan growing up, making his own decisions, and facing up to his fears.
The other plotline, apart from the coming-of-age and the learning-to-let-go, is about the power of knowledge. In The Secret of Kells, it's represented by a book, but it's presented as the ultimate power, more powerful even than the invading Vikings. Everyone who comes into contact with the book (knowledge) is awed, and immediately changed.
I hope both of these directors, as they've gone their separate ways, continue to put out animated films of this quality and depth. The visuals might be the candy coating that entices the viewer, but it's the depth of the story and the nuanced character portrayal that will stick with you long after the ending.
The animation in The Secret of Kells is mesmerizing, and the soundtrack is beautiful, which is probably why I fell asleep while watching it and had to rewind the ending-which wasn't that strong, to be honest. Perhaps the story will appeal to those who know and understand Irish history and folklore, but it's a bit of a deep dive for everyone else.