Picture from The Secret of Kells
Overall A-

In this animated Irish movie, 12-year-old Brendan (voice of Evan McGuire) must ward off Vikings and mythical creatures in the quest complete the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript with a power all its own.

Violence C+
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Talk to your kids about…

The Secret of Kells

The Abbot is very protective of Brendan, but a little too hard on him. What prevents Brendan and the Abbot from understanding each other? How could they fix this problem?

Brendan must overcome his fears before he has the confidence to help work on the book. Do you think creating something new takes courage? How can overcoming your own fears help you move forward in life?

Many of the characters and events in this story are symbolic. What symbols do you notice in the film? How does the story mirror actual events in history? How is it relevant to us today?

The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels of the New Testament from the Bible. (The ancient manuscript is on display in the library of Trinity College in Dublin.) Knowing that the book is a copy of Christian scripture, why do you think many of the characters believe finishing the book is more important than protecting their safety? Do you agree with them? What things would you be willing to risk your life for?

Fun fact: The cat Pangur Ban is based on a poem written by a real Irish monk in the 9th century.