What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Oscar-nominated animated movie is too intense for preschoolers and even young elementary school-aged kids. Steeped in Irish folklore, the movie includes scenes of Barbarian invaders sweeping through towns, terrorizing and killing people with their swords and axes as they go. There are also some frightening images of red-eyed, snarling wolves and an evil pagan serpent god. Some families might also be concerned with the tension between religion (the main characters are all brothers in an abbey) and paganism (depicted by a fairy and a monstrous creature in the woods). Mature kids old enough to handle the cartoon violence will learn about Irish legends, the tradition of illuminated manuscripts, and how every hero needs friends to succeed in his quest.
- Families can talk about Brendan as a hero. In what way is Brendan's adventure similar to other fictional quests? Who are his helpers, his mentors, his nemeses?
- Brendan disobeys his uncle, the abbott, to work with Brother Aidan on the book. Is his disobedience warranted? What would've happened if Brendan had listened? When is it OK to disobey?
- What is the significance of Brendan's return to Kells? Why is the completed book renamed?
- Kids: Did this movie make you want to learn more about Irish culture or Celtic legends?