Three of the main creative team from THE SECRET OF THE KELLS/’09 (art director Ross Stewart; composer Bruno Coulais; writer/director Tomm Moore) significantly up their game in this visually enchanting, animated fable. We’re still juggling a few too many Irish folkloric ideas for narrative comfort, but the basic idea of the jealous aftereffects on an older brother when his mother is lost giving birth to a baby sister grounds the more fantastic elements in real emotion. And what a dazzling, colorful, glowing spectacle comes out of the siblings’ adventures when Grandma takes them away from Dad on his isolated, island lighthouse and the unhappy kids bond attempting the dangerous journey back, alternately helped & threatened by creatures from both the real world & from Celtic mythology. (LINK: This trailer only hints at the rich, imaginative look & sophisticated design, but check out those Japanese watercolor ocean waves.) http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3423186713/?ref_=tt_ov_vi )
Those who were intrigued, but not wholly convinced by KELLS should definitely give Moore & Co. another try. This is pretty special stuff.
DOUBLE-BILL: Moore did a segment on the recent animated adaptation KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET/’14 (not seen here). The idea sounds illusive, quixotic, intriguing. Then again, it may be a complete embarrassment.