Brendan And The Secret Of Kells –

I don’t believe this little jewel got much exposure here in the United States.  Even after it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2009, it still only made it to about 100 screens.  It’s a shame, because it is breathtaking.

What I liked about the film, apart from the brilliant animation, was the seamless interweaving of Brendan’s Christianity and the pagan natural world that surrounds him.  Brendan is the orphaned nephew of an abbot, who continually warns him about the danger of the Wild Woods.  Naturally, Brendan escapes the first chance he gets, and he befriends Aisling, a nature spirit.

He is not afraid of her.

Brendan needs Aisling’s help to subdue a dragon spirit and obtain an eyepiece that will allow him to finish the magnificent Book of Kells.  Despite all the respect paid to pre-Patrician paganism in this film, I noticed that Aisling was terrified of the dragon spirit, and it fell to Brendan, the Christian, to subdue it.

Oh yes, Pangur Ban, the first among all the cats of Eire, plays an important supporting role as well.