When Aisling shows Brendan her forest, a world of Irish culture, icons, and overall beauty is unveiled for the first time. There's a wonderful sense of magic and mystery, fun and danger, and myth and reality. Aisling herself is also beautifully animated, from her flowing hair to the way she moves in an animal like fashion-- she is a terrific character to watch. Her song that she sings is also quite haunting and enchanting, and Panger Ban's animation from a cat to a spirit is also breathtaking.
The Attack on Kells is also extremely well done. The entire film is alive with beautiful color, but the attack is broken down into whites, blacks, and reds. The Vikings are represented as monstrous black squares, mechanically destroying everything. It has a primitive like quality to the visuals and animation, which greatly contrasts the beauty and magic of Kells. When Kells is sacked the imagery and color contribute to the horror of these raids.
One sequence that stands out in not the best of ways is Brendan's mythological fight with Crom Crook. Brendan is transported in Alice-In-Wonderland style into a microscopic world fighting what appears to be a giant tape worm. Like the rest of the sequences, its beautifully done and pleasing to look at, but in terms of story it falls short and is slightly ambiguous.
The problem with this part of the story was that the creators depended a little too heavily on myth and legend to tell some sequences, they're just blips on the radar. There are moments when perhaps the story relies too heavily on imagery, and not enough character interaction. Overall though, the story carries itself strongly through visual storytelling, setting it apart from many other contemporary films.
Perhaps the most memorable moments of this film are when all these elements are combined into harmony-- a line often said in regard to The Book is "bringing darkness into light", which captures the essence of this film. The beauty, grandeur, and magic of the Irish culture is brought to the viewer in such a profound way, that there is simply no other way to describe it with words. Like the Book of Kells, you have to see it to understand.
To see Aisling's forest:
To See Aisling's song:
To see the Attack on Kells:
To see Brendan's Fight with Crom Crook: