Owen Gleiberman
March 10, 2010 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Secret of Kells

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a C

It’s easy to see why this ornately drawn Irish curio was an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature. The Secret of Kells is a full-length curlicued art object, as meticulously unified and appealing in its design as the decor tchotchkes you’d find in a Jonathan Adler store. At a medieval Celtic abbey, a boy monk (voiced by Evan McGuire) goes on a journey to find berries for ink, all to complete a mysterious manuscript called the Book of Kells. Regrettably, the film’s story is so busy yet flat that the effect isn’t magical — it’s more like watching the tale of some very enchanted wallpaper. C

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