It was a ten-year journey for animator Tomm Moore, who was as shocked as anyone when, after submitting his first feature The Secret of Kells at the last possible minute, the 95% hand-drawn film earned an Annie nomination (the only indie film to do so) followed by an Oscar nomination for best animated feature (beating out movies from Disney, Fox, Sony and DreamWorks).
Where did this film come from? Ireland, it turns out, with help from the French/Belgian backers of The Triplets of Belleville. The Secret of Kells, a fantasy adventure inspired by the Celtic imagery of the Book of Kells and Irish myths, went into production in earnest in 2005. I caught the movie at the Santa Barbara Film Fest this weekend, where I did a flip cam interview with Moore (in two parts, below). Magical and mythical stylized 2-D, Kells is playing the New York International Children's Film Festival Feb 27; GKids will release it March 19. Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally star.