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The Secret of Kells Celebrates Low Tech Animation

Juxtapoz // Friday, 26 Feb 2010

“The visual style the filmmakers have chosen is striking and quite beautiful at times, but deliberately flat, like pictures in a medieval manuscript,” writes Bob Mondello in his review for NPR.


“There's no 3-D trickery, no moving backgrounds. Trees are stylized, people geometric (one monk is triangular, another is essentially a curve with a bald patch), and the movement is as primitive as in Saturday morning cartoons. When you think that at the Oscars, The Secret of Kells is going up against Up, its chances seem slim — and probably are.



“But there's something kind of captivating about a film that's been painstakingly drawn to glorify the craft of illustration, and that's comfortable using retro techniques. Because after all, what else makes sense for bringing to life the gold and scarlet ornamentation in ancient manuscripts?


“I confess I actually choked up when that ornamentation came briefly to life in the film's final moments. It's low-tech, but high art — the secret to The Secret of Kells.”


Read the full review of this film by Bob Mondello on




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