Brendan (McGuire), a young novice at the remote Irish abbey of Kells, lives a quiet existence under the watchful eye of his uncle, Abbot Cellach (Gleeson). When master illuminator Aidan (Lally) arrives carrying a gorgeous unfinished manuscript and warnings of advancing barbarian hordes, Brendan becomes obsessed with completing the book, no matter the cost. His studies will take him on a dangerous quest deep into the surrounding forest where he'll face his darkest fears.
A wondrous and magical viewing experience, featuring incredible hand-drawn animation and a welcome message about the power of art to lift the soul. This restrained, appealingly old-fashioned Irish film scored a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature in a field that included giants like Disney and Pixar. Kells has a hero kids will fall in love with and a visual palette refreshingly different from so much of what's in the multiplex. Even though CG animation continues to dominate, this film proves that the handmade roots of the art are alive and well.