6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Irish animation that feels like Miyazaki or Del Toro,,
This review is from: The Secret of Kells [DVD] (DVD)
As you look at the DVD cover and as this film opens you wonder what all the fuss about 'the beautiful animation' was all about, it looks like an episode of 'fairly odd parents' or a cheap cartoon network program. But then you really look at it, you see the detail, the colour, the framing, the subtlety and the boldness combined and you realize you are looking at art. It truly is hypnotically beautiful to watch, it pulls you in, aided by a mesmerizing soundtrack, you are absorbed into the story and when the credits roll the room your in seems suddenly duller and lifeless.
Story-wise it is told in a similar style to the way Guillermo Del Toro (director of Pan's Labyrinth) or Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) tells a story, child protagonists who we don't look down on but through whose eyes we see their world. It is never patronizing to the point that some moments are quite scary, a risk a disney film has not taken in a long time, yet it trusts that kids will be able to understand and cope with the scares. The relationship between characters and nature echo Miyazaki and it comes to a brilliant, yet perhaps brutal, climax.
The voice acting is superb with Brendan Gleeson striking the right balance between fierce paternal authority and loving father.
If I had one small problem with this film it would be the epilogue style ending. It feels a little heavy handed and almost 'preaching' but this is a tiny flaw in a film that is truly 5 stars and in my opinion stands together with some of the greatest animation of all time.