Secret of Kells made an appearance as the other animated feature nominated for an academy award this year that no one knew anything about/heard about.
Recently I've had the opportunity to catch a screening of it with a friend of mine and here's what I thought:
If you get the chance to see it it's worth checking out. The story is pretty decent, though it could use some work in various places, but one needs to keep in mind that this film, although it heads in that direction occasionally, is not an action film, which is a significant point because I kept wanting the main character to discover some secret magic powers and defeat the wave of impending doom. This film is probably a lot more poignant as a book or written story than as a movie as the complex internal conflicts of each character are more easily explored on paper than it is on screen.
The animation is pretty good, though the animation student in me winces at some movements and reactions that suffer from poor timing, but it happens and is a side note/me being picky. The design on the other hand, is phenomenal and a wonderful throwback to traditional 2-d animation and watercolor backgrounds. That alone is enough of a reason for me to check it out, which i recommend everyone do.
On another note, one thing that is significantly more exciting than Secret of Kells is that recently I had the opportunity to go out and finally buy the "Wallace and Grommit Complete Collection," which includes the movies "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," "A Close Shave," and "A Matter of Loaf and Death," all 30 minute movies and all wonderfully brilliantly British -- and amazing. I recommend that everyone go out and buy this collection and plop themselves down for 2+ hours of amazing comedy that just works. If you're not familiar with Wallace and Grommit, you're missing out and you need to go out and become familiar with them immediately.