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‘The Secret of Kells’ nominated for an Oscar!


Tomm Moore’s ‘The Secret of Kells’, which has been partly produced in Blender by the Belgian studio Digital Graphics, has been nominated for an Oscar in the category 'Animated Feature Film'!

From the announcement:


Hey everybody! The amazing and beautiful film THE SECRET OF KELLS has just been nominated for an Academy Award for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE!!! KELLS is distributed by NYICFF distribution arm GKIDS - so this is a huge victory for the festival, for the filmmakers, and for everyone who supports unique, independent, artistic vision in filmmaking for families.

The film plays Feb 27 at 1pm, with a Q&A by director Tomm Moore following the screening.

For tickets and info click here. To visit film website click

(Ireland/France/Belgium, Tomm Moore, 2009, 75 min)

In English, Recommended ages 6 to Adult
Sat, Feb 27, 1pm - Cantor Film Center (36 East Eighth Street at University)


Don't miss this OSCAR NOMINATED animated masterpiece from the producers of Triplets of Belleville! Magic, fantasy, and Celtic mythology come together in a riot of color and detail that dazzle the eyes, in a sweeping story about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times. Young Brendan lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from foreign lands carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears and venture into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the faerie Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him fulfill his dangerous quest.

"Absolutely Luscious to Behold!" - Variety

"Stunning! A cascade of light, color and wonder burst from the screen!" - The Irish Times

"Holds the spectator in a waking dream from beginning to end!" - Le Monde

For tickets and info click here.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Wow. Congratulations to ‘The Secret of Kells’ team for they great job. I hope that Blender will be taken more seriously by the professional artists.

  2. How can one movie be so reminiscent of so many other styles, and yet seem to be so much more awesome than the sum of its parts?

    I'm reminded of Samurai Jack / Clone Wars, Atlantis, The Road to El Dorado, Kim Possible, The Emperor's New Groove, Quest for Camelot, Prince of Egypt, Hercules, and I don't even know what else, all wrapped up together in a shiny new, Blender-inclusive package. I can't wait to see it!

    Their site says "In cinemas March 6." Does that include the US?

  3. "...partly produced in Blender..."

    Which part exactly ? No more detail concerning blender and
    how is involved in this production?

  4. I've seen an interview with the producer of this film on the Belgian national television yesterday. The film is mostly 2D and hand drawn, but for some parts 3D-animation has been used (to create perspective, or for example to follow a flying arrow through its flight). Ik expect that this is the part where Blender has been used.

    I'm intending to buy the dvd today. Apparantly the film has been released a long time ago, but will be re-released in some cinema's because of this Oscar nomination. It should be available on dvd already though.

  5. Okay... says:

    The film has been released in Ireland, France and Belgium in Theaters with many festival screenings and awards already under its belt. The DVD’s with be out in Ireland this July 2009. We also should have some good news on a US release very soon.

    They also link to, but that site doesn't seem to have much release/purchase info?

    The DVD and BluRay releases are listed at Amazon, (, North America) with an "alert me" option, but there's apparently no indication of when it'll be available.

    I just checked, and the PAL version is available there. Any word on a US release yet?

  6. Hi all,

    I'm serge Ume from digital graphics, the Belgian company who participate at this wonder full Project.
    Unfortunately the movie release was in March 2009 and was pretty confidential (no money)!
    The budget of the movie was 10 time less than each other nominate movie (maybe 15 sec of Avatar budget ;).
    You could buy the DVD on the Cartoon Saloon or Secret of Kells website.

    This nomination could be change the situation and release again in Europe.

    Tomm Moore is in Santa Barbara for an Annie Nomination ( ), Hope he could be find very nice US distributor.

    I was with him in Ireland when the Oscar nomination falling down. We were prepared together another very nice project (see below).
    It was awesome. Phone ringing again and again and he received a lot of congrats for best studio in the world, like pixar, disney and other. It was a very nice journey to be there.

    About Work :
    “Brendan” is a Irish, French and Belgian co-production. 6 studios worked during 2 years on this project :

    Cartoon saloon (Ireland, Tomm’s moore company) : Creation, Background, Part of key animation, flash effects, ….
    Lightstar (Brasil) : in between and scanning
    Kechkemet films (Hongary) : part of animation, in between, scanning
    Walking the dog (Belgium) : part of animation, some 3D sequences, part of compositing
    Digital Graphics (Belgium) : All ink and paint, 2D effects, part of 3D, 3 sequences compositing
    Sprit studio (France) : 70 % of compositing

    About Blender :

    - We made 2D special FX libraries like : Snow, rain, mist (a lot), explosions, smoke. This libraries was use in France in Compositing.
    - Some 3D, like sea, doors, gates explosions,, animated ink, cat trail animations, ...
    - The Final sequence , presentation of the famous Chi Rho Page from book of Kells was made completely in 3D with Blender and composited in Shake

    See also the new Tomm’s Moore project “The Song of the Sea” ( see )

    Hope, i'm pretty complete.

    All the Best


  7. This is the kind of innovation in motion art that Disney used to trailblaze, before they became just another merchandising company.

    It is good to see the spirit of visual art and storytelling alive and I look forward to the DVD release. :)

  8. Congrats to the team for that wonderful achievement and particularly to Digtal Graphics for their very efficient usage of Blender in their workflow.

  9. This is just marvellous news! I'm out of words how awesome decision Academy has done by including film like Kells in it's line-up. I was afraid it would be Pixar + Pixar wannabes which did good in box office all again.

    This film definitely deserved its nomination over any blockbuster CGI flick sequel with superstars voicing anthropomorphous animals or some incomprehensible animé stuff for emo kids.

    2010 nominations might be the best ever for the category. Fantastic Mr. Fox is the only one I've yet to see but it's good there's so much traditional style animation done in a whole new way here and only one full CGI film which is of course Up - I think not nominating it would've caused riots of some sort.

    Disney deserves credit for Princess & Frog and the Coraline is also there though personally I would've replaced either of them with Max and Mary (must see!).

  10. For US santa Barbara People from Tomm's blogg ( :

    "One more thing...
    Just thought it timely to say to anyone here in California who wants to see KELLS tommorow , ill be at the SANTA BARBARA screening at 4.30 and on Saturday morning.

    See you there...."

    A possibility to see the movie on theater.


  11. Oh... okay.

    So... if I buy the PAL dvd, can I still watch it on my computer instead of my DVD player? Or... can I maybe buy a downloadable version of the film?

  12. Wonderful color scheme and graphics!

    Today's markets are full of 3D but 2D & 2.5D is still so charming. The trick is use audience's imaginations!

  13. Thanks Ume, for the information. That's exactly what I figured the breakdown would look like. Except for all the studios all over the place. Good team effort.

  14. A friend of mine played this for me (no idea where he got it... got the feeling I shouldn't ask...).

    It is one of the finest examples of animation I have ever seen. the backgrounds and the overall composition is beautiful beyond words. I was left speechless...

  15. I don't know much about 2D Art but the art in this movie reminds me "OBAN Race" toons which i liked verymuch.

    The art is really good. (I don't want to comment on the movie because I haven't watched the movie and I may never because I Live In INDIA )

    I felt... It would be great, if... they can release some of the images from main site as wallpapers. I badly need them on my desktop.

    Keep using Blender in all possible ways studios/people/fans

    We want to see how good You people use this software to entertain us...

    -------- The End User.

  16. Looks like worth watching.
    Doesnt look like blender took a larger part than say Photoshop in this production.

    Very nice use of graphic element. Sometimes like looking at a page of a book. Obviously...
    But nicely done, not intrusive as in some parts of sin city or as in the Hulk. It looks better/this-age than the Disney new frog Movie. Did you guys see Lassiter trying to promote that? Poor guy. This movie has nice colors. The language is a bit to irish for my taste, or rather... To english/ not irish enough. :)

    super congrats on a wonderful job, and on getting the nomination.

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