The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells is a largely hand-drawn 2-D animated feature that is garnering a lot of good buzz from people who have seen it, such as this Variety review that calls it “absolutely luscious to behold…UPA-studio-meets-the-Dark-Ages characters with intricate, Celtic design-inspired detailing.” The 6 million Euro feature originated out of the studio Cartoon Saloon in Ireland, but is a truly global co-production with studios from Brazil to Hungary working on the film.

A couple weeks ago, the film was screened privately for artists at Disney and Pixar. Below is a post-screening Q&A that took place at Pixar with the film’s director Tomm Moore and producer Paul Young, the duo who founded Cartoon Saloon in 1999. They get a lot of praise and positive feedback from the folks at Pixar. Tomm Moore also has a blog about the film here. No American release has been set, though Secret of Kells is playing at a lot of festivals, including Annecy in June.


  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    That looks like a really cool film! :)

  • http://www.yaytime.com dave roman

    even though I’m tired of stories about boys having to fulfill their DESTINY…that looks pretty cool! I really like the designs. I’ll definitely check it out.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    The artwork looks nice, but the trailer makes it sound like every young-boy-on-a-quest with magic-book/stone/ring-as-accessory movie seen so far.

    I recall “Titan AE” which has an almost identical element of a glowing magical hieroglyph thing on Kale’s palm. Hmmm…Kale… Kell… maybe Titan AE did the borrowing?

    I wish them well, and look forward to seeing it, perhaps it will get a DVD release here. 6 million doesn’t sound like much, even in euros.

  • http://www.fantazmigoriuh.wordpress.com Charles K.

    The fact that the film is being shown over here by Disney is certainly a very encouraging sign; and it’s great that the people at Pixar think so highly of it.

    Here’s hoping I get to see it at a festival before having the DVD sent over from Ireland.

  • Billy Batz

    The character designer must have loved Kim Possible.

  • http://esn.newgrounds.com Esn

    CB, thanks for linking to that interview. I hope I get to see this film this year.

    dave roman: I think maybe the trailer focuses on the “boy having to fulfill his DESTINY” aspect because it’s the English-language trailer made by Disney, and that’s just the kind of thing that Americans like…

  • Ryan

    Esn, they speak English in Ireland, silly…

  • amid

    “because it’s the English-language trailer made by Disney, and that’s just the kind of thing that Americans like…”

    That trailer was made by Buena Vista INTERNATIONAL and is not intended for American audiences, but for other English-speaking territories where it’ll be distributed.

  • Anonymous

    congrats to them for making it, it looks amazing, I hope we get to see great filmaking like this more often in the future

  • Simon

    Saw it a few weeks back in an empty theatre. To be honest, it’s just not that great. Let’s face it, this is a film about monks. Monks. In a monastery.

    But this is the best 2d film since Triplettes de Belleville, and pretty good by feature animation standards.

    Curiously they manage to pretty much leave christianity out of the picture while putting in the mystical celticky magicky stuff. It’s probably for the best.

    If the budget really is just €6 million that’s quite an accomplishment. This is one of those films that I didn’t really expect to ever be completed, but hats off to them. They did it.

  • Peter

    There’s a lot of animation on TV that looks this good. Maybe this has some better compositing and color than some, but… I hope the story’s good.

  • http://wallysketches.wordpress.com Wouter

    A large part was also drawn in Belgium,
    let’s not forget Belgium.. =)

  • http://www.stephenneary.blogspot.com stephen

    can’t wait to see this, somewhere, somehow.

    European film financing always sounds like some sort of modern sorcery.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marmaladearmy Doug

    “The character designer must have loved Kim Possible”.

    I thought the same thing! I admire the accomplishment but I’m sort of mystified by all the hub-bub. It doesn’t look all that special to my untrained eyes – perhaps the story is the draw? Sure would love to see it though.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    it’s great. I saw it and thought it was great… and they just put on those accents to enhance their Darby O’Gill mystique

  • J.Shamblin

    Looks cool. I’m always in the mood for an adventure.

  • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

    I saw the film and I enjoyed it. It’s nice to see studios around the world doing material that introduces us to THEIR culture and THEIR outlook, rather than just trying to imitate the same old Hollywood product.

  • Joris

    The trailer doesn’t really do justice to the stylized graphical style of the the movie, the cutting is just too fast
    True, there has been TV animation which looks a bit like this, but that was on low-res TV, not on the big detailed screen where you can really emerge in to it.
    That’s what makes this movie so remarkable, I think. It’s a feature length theatrical movie, that doesn’t go for a highly marketable Disney-clone style, but takes you to a different more stylized Celtic world, graphically and musically, and succeeds pretty well, without becoming an art-house movie like Triplettes.
    Nope, the story isn’t all that great, but the graphics and music really are!

    Take a look at this clip, although it’s from the French dubbed version, it gives you a better idea what the movie’s like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seVOljaHz2o&feature=related

  • Liam Scanlan

    I bet you didn’t see this coming, Amid: http://theblogofkells.blogspot.com/2009/06/distribution-in-us.html

    A limited US release in early 2010? Sounds awesome.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    It looks great! Sorry, if you don’t get it.