October 6, 2010

Movie Review: Legend of the Guardians - The Owls of Ga'Hoole

legendoftheguardians1_largeWhen I first saw the trailer for this animated outing I thought for sure that I would be able to take a pass on it. I could not say that I was terribly interested in seeing animated owls embark on Lord of the Rings style action and adventure. The one thing that did interest me was the animation, the trailer was gorgeous to watch and if I were to see it I would definitely be there for the animation. Well, as it turns out another reason turned up for me to see it.

What was that reason? The director of course. I was no aware at first but the director was none other than Zack Snyder. What, you don't know who Snyder is? He directed the surprisingly good remake of Dawn of the Dead and the excellent adaptation of Watchmen. To see his name attached to this film came as a surprise and informed me that I should get out to see the animated owls.

Legend of the Guardians - The Owls of Ga'Hoole proved to be an entertaining if not great film. I found myself getting lost in the beautiful visuals. It was very easy to do, I mean you can tell by the trailer that the animation was going to be quality and it is. Every frame of this film is filled with things to look at and I daresay it is one of the best looking animated features I have seen, right up there with the films of the mighty Pixar.


Where the movie faltered for me was in story execution. I found long stretches to be rather dull and uninspired, pretty much the opposite of the animation. It is a familiar fantasy setup with a young hero who idolizes the legendary owl Guardians whose brother is resentful of the younger's success. Before long the duo have fallen from their tree and are captured by some bad owls.

They are taken to the evil Metalbeak, the same as the villain in the Guardian legends. He is the leader of the pure ones, a group dedicated to controlling all other owls. The is also some brainwashing going on and a search for a magical metal that is not well explained (presumably more will be revealed in future installments).

Our young hero, Soren, escapes their clutches and embarks in a quest to find the real Guardians. This journey leads to more great animation and ultimately a big action packed climactic showdown between the Guardians and Metalbeak's Pure Ones.


The movie is beautiful and familiar at the same time. It also goes to some dark places for a kids movie, and I liked to see it. It is an animated film that does not rely on comedy or comic relief to keep people involved, rather it wants you to stay with the story for the thrills and action, which is quite well executed.

When it comes right down to it, I liked the movie, I thought the animation and action were spectacular and while the story was familiar, I liked the darker places I went to. On top of that, the 3D was done nicely. See it, you may be surprised by what you find, I know I was.


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