PEOPLE: Nobody anybody’s heard of.
PLOT SUMMARY: Read it here.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Leader fails to save city, loses son.
QUIRKS: Medieval fantasy…. Religious monks… a cat (based on a cat in an 8th century poem)… and books.
This movie is completely about the importance of books, even in medieval times. Back when you would have to go into the forest to find the right ingredients to make your own ink. Back when you would have to pluck a feather yourself in order to write with it. Ignore that religion behind the curtian; it’s not important for the enjoyment of this story.
VISUALS: Amazing animation. Absolutely beautiful. It kind of looked like what you would get if you mixed Gennedy Tartakovski’s animation style from Samurai Jack with the animation style of the opening mythical sequence of Watership Down. That’s the best way I could think of to describe how it looks.
GOOD STUFF: It’s just a great movie! The animation is done well, and the story is unique enough to be interesting, despite the religious overtones. But they didn’t preach or get into the specifics of what religion it was at all, which is VERY refreshing — allowing us to enjoy religious culture while completely avoiding religion itself. Works for me!
BAD STUFF: The story is completely MacGuffin driven. Must get crystal for book!!! But there’s never an explanation as to what exactly is so awesome about the book. The Book Of Kells is a real book, too. And yes, it’s the Four Gospels. So yes, this is a Christian movie — but not really. The plot never really touches religion. The reason that the book is a MacGuffin is BECAUSE they THANKFULLY don’t touch on religion. Including a religious message would have totally ruined this movie by making it preach something I don’t believe in. Instead, it simply focused on cultural and fantasy aspects — way more enjoyable than religion!
CONCLUSION: An absolutely amazing animated movie that I never would have watched if it wasn’t strongly recommended to me by Rev. Panik. I am very happy to have seen this. Everyone should keep in mind that this movie is more interesting than it sounds, looks amazing — like Samurai Jack meets the opening sequence of Watership Down — and is absolutely devoid of any specific preaching of any specific religion (THANKFULLY, since The Book Of Kells is actually Jesus gospels, and we don’t need that.)
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9.4/10 (a high 9).
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9.6/10 (a low 10).
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.5/10, Netflix: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.7/5 stars–not sure why Netflix thinks we would like this less than average. Dead wrong here.).
RECOMMENDATION: See this! It’s one of those movies that doesn’t necessarily leap out and say “WATCH ME” — but it really needs to be watched! This should be as popular as any Pixar movie, but, alas, it is not.
MOVIE QUOTE: Aisling: [from trailer] I’ve lived through many ages. I’ve seen suffering in the darkness. Yet I have seen beauty thrive in the most fragile of places. I have seen the book. The book that turned darkness into light.
COINCIDENCES: (real life, The Secret Of The Kells) A cat on a ladder in a movie the same week we had our cats on our ladder while installing our secondary attic ladder. First time seeing a cat on a ladder in real life OR in a movie.
FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Panik loved this — which is why he recommended it to me!
Ian B was “really into this”.
Neal wrote: “the animation was great in the movie, but both me and kevin thought other than that it was not good at all. also, i thought the voice acting on something was kinda bad too :|”
Music: Meg Lee Chin – Sweat