Cartoon Saloon founders Paul Young and Tomm Moore (“Skunk Fu!” & “Cúilín Dualach”) take their inspiration from the ninth-century illuminated manuscript the “Book of Kells” for their feature debut which has won numerous awards and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 82nd Academy Awards.
The story set in ninth-century Viking-plagued Ireland focuses on 12-year-old orphan Brendan who has been taken in by Abbot Cellach of the Abbey of Kells and set to work building defensive walls, but finds his loyalties tested by the arrival of master illuminator Brother Aidan, who needs his help to complete the great book.
Brendan Gleeson (“Into the Storm” & “Gangs of New York”) is the big name who lends his voice to the rather thankless role of Abbot Cellach whilst talented newcomer Evan McGuire voices the young lead and fine support comes from fellow newcomers Liam Hourican and Christen Mooney and veteran Mick Lally.
The filmmakers have assembled some sumptuous hand-drawn animations which draw their inspirations from far and wide but failed to lavish the same amount of attention on the storyline which despite drawing its inspiration from equally disparate sources seems trite and unfocused with nothing new to say.
“You can’t find out everything from books, you know.”