Secret of Kells Crushes A Christmas Carol, Ice Age, Meatballs in Massive Oscars Upset

Most people had never even heard of The Secret of Kells when it was shortlisted in December by the International Animated Film Society's Annie Awards. The Irish-Belgian-French co-production immediately caught our eye for its highly stylized 2-D look and medieval subject matter, and lived up to the promise of its trailer when we caught its one-week qualifying run back in December.

And that run paid off handsomely: Kells was announced this morning as one of the five features up for Best Animated Film, accompanied by such heavy-hitters as Up (nominated too in the Best Picture category), Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Princess and the Frog. It's a feat made all the more impressive when you consider who Kells had to squeeze out of the race to earn its slot: box office behemoths like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Disney's eleventy billion dollar exercise in dead-eyed Dickenasia, A Christmas Carol.

They say it's an honor just to be nominated. In Kells' case, it's also a multimillion publicity campaign that doesn't cost a cent. Good on ya.

The Secret of Kells will be in U.S. theaters in March.


  • Knute5 says:

    Hollywood tried to bury this film - believe me they knew it was good enough to bump some of their "babies". But thanks to a motley band of grass-roots boosters in Los Angeles, KELLS has gotten some of the recognition it deserves. Every other film in the category has made over $100M whereas Kells hasn't even been officially released! Now it's time for the distributor to get the film out there so fans and families can appreciate this incredible hand-drawn animated movie ... it's a moving work of art.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Please, someone explain to me why Zemeckis films are known for their "dead eyes" and yet AVATAR is a technical marvel?
    Seriously, I want to know what makes the difference. Aren't they both using the same technology? And I don't mean better film-making or story, I ask this question on a purely technical basis...
    I don't see the dead eye thing but I also believe Kermit the Frog is real (and his eyes are made of ping-pong balls)...

  • The Winchester says:

    It's because Avatar's a game changer. Duh.

  • emberglance says:

    I think they're both motion capture, just Zemeckis' people are particularly stiff, lifeless and creepy for some reason. Not convincing and lifelike like Kermy. Why, I have no idea.

  • Nicholas says:

    This is an easy one. It's cause Zemechis is trying to replicate humans where Cameron created his own beings. If you notice, those blue people's eyes look nothing like humans so the brain doesn't get confused by the odd deadness like in Zemechis' films.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Good answer! The "uncanny valley" thesis...
    Makes you wonder about the nature of the human soul and what the eyes reveal.
    Still, I guess I am a sucker for the "suspension of disbelief" thesis...
    Or maybe it is because I grew up playing PS1 games. Early CG was like puppet theater. And STILL I bought into it...

  • The Secret of Kell is an absolute treasure.... Its such a different and unusual film... It well deserved its nimination

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