Brendan and the Secret of Kells is otherwise known as just The Secret of Kells in some areas. I have to admit, I'm a bit biased on this one. I saw it when it came out in 2009 at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema, and fell in love with its storytelling and art style. Plus, I'm always intriguied by animation from areas outside my expertise, and this is a beautiful example.
The Secret of Kells is an animated film about the fictitious origins of the Book of Kells, a rather important piece of Irish history and heritage. There are many theories on the origins of the Book of Kells, and the movie plays around with some of these in order to build a gorgeous original spin of a story.
The premise of the film is somewhat simple: Brendan, a young boy at the Abbey of Kells, ventures outside the safety of the walls in order to complete the Book, befriending the fairy Aisling and facing the dangers of Viking invaders. However, the story and characters are well-made and solid, developing in a subtle and meaningful way. They address serious issues and their own fears relative to their time period and relateable to the audience as they move through a rich celebration of Irish art and history as it unfolds on the screen.
It is a complete delight to watch. I highly recommend it for families and everyone who loves to watch well made animated films.