The Secret of KellsThis morning's list of Oscar nominations had more than a few surprises, but no acknowledgment threw Oscar prognosticators for a bigger loop than the inclusion of 'The Secret of Kells' for Best Animated Feature.

How does a movie that no one has seen get nominated in a major Oscars category? I'm not an Academy member, but I did see the film with my children at the Los Angeles Irish Film Festival last year. The humor in 'Kells' is gentle, and some of its hero's adventures are frighteningly fantastical -- it's not for kids who are squirmy or squeamish. My kids are both, and for that reason, we didn't make it to the end of 'Kells.' The movie's ideal audience seems to be preteen and older (and it doesn't hurt to be Irish!).

Certainly among animation insiders, 'Kells' has made an impression. It's already up for a Best Feature Annie Award, considered the Oscars of animation. Yet it wasn't on the radar of Oscar watchers, many of whom thought 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' and/or 'Ponyo' would nab a spot. 'Meatballs' was a hit, while 'Ponyo' was created by the revered former Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki ('Spirited Away,' 'Princess Mononoke').
categories Hot Topic, Oscars