NY Times notices Oscar-nominated “Secret of Kells” … But Solomon and Off-Ramp had it long before.


(Our hero gets a tour of the woods from what he thinks is a little girl. (GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon))

There’s a big piece today in the New York Times on director Tomm Moore’s animated “The Secret of Kells,” which is up for an Oscar.

But it’s not just geography that makes Mr. Moore a surprise addition to the Oscar race. It’s also the style and story of his independent film, a hand-drawn labor of love made for 6 million euros (about $8 million), the equivalent of what, in headier days, some studios would spend on a film’s Oscar campaign alone. If, artistically, “The Secret of Kells” is a throwback to the era of animation before computer-generated imagery, its promotion is pure digital age, forgoing the pricey ads and flashy parties that Academy Award campaigns are traditionally built on in favor of cheaper social media and savvy targeted marketing. It was a lark, and it worked.

Listeners to KPCC’s Off-Ramp will have to reach back to the January 9th show, when I talked with animation expert Charles Solomon about the movie. We loved it.

And readers of the LA Times will remember that Amy Kaufman wrote about the grass-roots effort to publicize the film about a month ago.

"The Secret of Kells" gets wide release around St Patrick’s Day … of course.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)

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