The Secret of Kells (or The Secret of Kells (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)) has been put up for preorder on Amazon but I don't see an official release date yet. This one has been on my list to see for a while and the reviews as it appears in little theatres around the country have only kept that desire alive. I have yet to see an unfavorable review. And, yes, I know it was an Academy Award nominee, but that doesn't always mean something will appeal to me either. I know I won't see this until the DVD is released, but that is usual for me. I still haven't seen Robin Hood, although I managed to escape for a few hours this week and see Babies with my sister. (It's excellent, by the way.)
Here is Amazon's editorial review:
In contrast to big-budget Hollywood CG features, The Secret of Kells is a welcome reminder of how warm, personal, and compelling traditional drawn animation can be. The story takes place in the eighth century, a perilous time when Viking raiders threatened to destroy Irish civilization. Since his parents were killed by Vikings, 12-year-old Brendan (voice by Evan McGuire) has lived within the walled monastery of Kells under the stern eye of his uncle, Abbot Cellach (Brendan Gleeson). But his life changes when Brother Aidan (Mick Lally) arrives at Kells with a wondrously beautiful but unfinished illuminated manuscript, created to be "a beacon in these dark times." Brendan realizes he wants to become an illuminator and complete the book, despite his uncle's opposition. His decision helps him win the friendship of Aisling (Christen Mooney), a silver-haired wood fairy--and requires him to battle the monstrous pagan god Crom Cruach. The visuals in The Secret of Kells were inspired by the eighth-century manuscript the Book of Kells, which has been preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. Fans of Samurai Jack will recognize another influence on the flat, angular figures and their stylized movements. Brendan's adventures are exciting enough to keep children entertained, while its graphic beauties will delight adult viewers. The Secret of Kells surprised many observers when it earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, and it's a film no one interested in animation should miss. (Unrated: suitable for ages 8 and older: some scary imagery and violence.) --Charles SolomonAs you probably know by now, the movie is a fictionalized origin story of the real Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament, that incorporates Irish mythology. You can read an informative article about the Book of Kells on Wikipedia. There are also some excellent books about the Book of Kells:
I'm also adding the Color Your Own Book of Kells (Coloring Books) and Book of Kells Stained Glass Colouring Book (Dover Pictoral Archive Series) for anyone who wants to color some of the imagery themselves. I always enjoy these Dover coloring books and these would make a nice tie-in for children who watch and enjoy the movie.
The Book of Kells is a DVD documentary about the Book of Kells which may also interest you.
Finally, you can learn more about the movie itself at it's official website: The Secret of Kells.
And here's one of the many trailers, one of the longer ones: