Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a sweeping majestic tale about a young owl, Soren, who is kidnapped (owlnapped?) by the Pure Ones, Tyto owls, who want to take on the Guardians for control of the owl kingdom. Made by the studio who made Happy Feet, this movie takes it to a whole new level. Where before there was miles of snow and ice, there are these enormous forests and trees that seem to have been around for hundreds of years. This is a world inhabited by owls and what a world it is.
This is a very niche fantasy film based on the books by Kathryn Lasky. I was disappointed that there weren't too many people in the theater I was watching it at. Films like this needed a bigger fan base for more fantasy animated films to be released. The pleasant surprise was the animated short that preceded the film, a Looney Tunes short featuring Wiley E. Coyote and Road Runner up to their usual cat and mouse game. But this time it was in CG and 3D, it was a delightful start to the movie, and I wish this trend of shorts before the movie catches on. It'll force people to come on time for the movie.
On the actual film, it didn't disappoint. I had been waiting to see this and am highly impressed with the look and animation of the film. Bonus point, it has subtitles. The owls mostly talk in Australian and British accents and sometimes, you miss what it is that they're talking about. Having subtitles helped immensely. The fur on the owls is unreal. You can actually see the wind ruffle their feathers as they fly across seas and fly through snow and monsoons. And the little owlets, truly adorable. It was like watching a documentary on owls where they can talk and fight an epic battle at the end. But in a good way as the animation and realism factor is very high. There were so many moments in the film where all I could do is watch the screen is whisper "Wow" as the visuals and camera angles are absolutely breath-taking. I would watch this movie again and again. Big thumbs up!
Side Note: While this is a animated film, it is not necessarily for young children. I think they might be afraid by the violence and actions of the owls against each other. I think children 10 and up should be fine with it.
Directed by Zack Synder; Screenplay by John Orloff and Emil Stern; Music by David Hirschfelder; Editing by David Burrows.
With the voice talents of : Jim Sturgess (Soren), Ryan Kwanten (Kludd), Geoffrey Rush (Ezylryb), Sam Neill (Allomere), Helen Mirren (Nyra), David Wenham (Digger), Anthony LaPaglia (Twilight), Hugo Weaving (Grimble), Miriam Margolyes (Mrs. P), Adrienne DeFaria (Eglantine), Emily Barclay (Gylfie), Abbie Cornish (Otulissa)