Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2010
A very visually pleasing movie, amazing animation! An interesting tale with an excellent voice cast and of course Zack Snyder's trademark super slo mo everywhere. Enjoyed this one with my daughter.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2010
Let's be honest, it's a movie with owls fighting each other while wearing helmets. Sounds horrible? I agree. But, as it turns out, the movie deserves a chance. It may be a bit too scary for the really young ones and a bit too cute for older teenagers, everyone in between and adults young at heart should have a good time with this, though. The animation is breathtakingly beautiful, as are the landscapes that give this world a sense of depth and mythology. That works great for the film's fantastic atmosphere. The characters are likable enough, the story engaging and even offers a surprise or two. That makes for a really entertaining adventure that showcases what animated films can do in terms of photorealism. I stand corrected.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2012
Zack Snyder has stooped very low to male a film like this but there are a few good cinematics.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2010
This is a film based on some literature (man, I've been watching, reviewing, and re-reviewing a lot of these lately) about a young owlet who yearns for adventure and ends up being a part of a great one involving epic battles, action, and the need to save the world fro mtyrrany. Zack Snyder made an interesting career turn with this one, as it marked not only his first animated feature, but his first film to not be rated R.

Yes, it is about owls, and I'm sure the book are for a slightly younger crowd, but you know what? I liked this movie. It's cool. Granted, I've always liked owls and thought they were cool, but still. For an animated fantasy adventure type film, it could be a whole lot worse. The film does follow a standard formulaic plot of the domination, hero's quest, and good evrsus evil varieties, but what it lacks in original plotting and underdeveloped characters that more than just archetypes, it more than makes up for it with good direction, a great voice cast made up of a few Brits and a boatload of Aussies including Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Jim Sturgess, and Hugo Weaving among others and, the real star of the show: an absolutely gorgeous look with some wonderfully detaied photorealistic visuals. These owls and other creatures truly come alive and look real down to the smallest details. I saw this in 2D, but I got the sense that some of the 3D probably looked great and worked well in places, but not in all of them. Also, being a Zack Snyder film, the action set pieces (complete with slow-mo) are really well done and look great.

Despite being a typical genre film, this is still quite entertaining and decent. If only the way it was executed and the story/characters could have been developed more and better, then this could have been like the owl version of Star Wars to a degree, and yes I'm serious, and will discuss it further if asked.

All in all, not bad. It's a little silly at times, but it doesn't insult the audience's intelligence a whole lot, so that's good. Give it a shot, you might like it.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2011
Whilst the voice performances were brilliant and the visual effects were absolutely stunning, the story just doesn't take off. It's very simple, common and predictable. Nothing new was added to take the story of a young and inexperienced but talented boy that goes on a journey of courage and growth to become a hero into anything more than what we've seen countless times in children's and teens movies. Generic but beautiful.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2011
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I loved this a lot. At the end of the day, you have to like cute little owls to find this interesting because this movie does nothing but showcase their beauty and elegance as creatures. That being said, Legend of The Guardians has it all in my opinion; Flawless animation, a great story, fun characters and a strikingly good voice cast. Who would've thought that you could make a fantasy story about owls so incredibly emotional and dynamic? Zack Snyder always does a great job in the visual department and this is no exception, except I think he works even better when he doesn't have to abide to laws of physics and a practical backdrop. He's got all of his gratuitous slow motion and action sequences, but it's so bizarre when it's being used with owls (in a good way though). I guess I can see why a lot of people simply can't get into the story, mainly because it's so odd, but I really liked it and it's totally original. I think it's got a similar vibe to The Secret of Nihm, only a better structure and visuals that are unmatched. Honestly, just from a visual standpoint this movie is incredible. The amount of detail put into every frame is something i've never quite seen before. I mean Pixar and ILM are about the best when it comes to CG animation, but this is just so much more realistic than anything those companies have done with their animated features. Now the voice casting to me was almost unbelievable. Headlined with british superstar Jim Sturgess as the angelic Soren, the entire cast of characters is chalk full of great performances. Geoffrey Rush as the crazy owl codger Ezylryb, Helen Mirren as an evil Owl and Hugo Weaving as a nurturing father owl. This was just an all around great animated movie in my opinion and has enough dark and serious tones to please more than just small children. In fact, there's enough owl violence in this movie to make it a little too scary for kids. That's what I kind've liked about it; it reminds me of an older animated movie from the 70s or 80s with a kooky fantasy plot and animals thrown in. I'd say if you enjoy those types of movies, this will definitely fill the void.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
Cute little owls. This was a film that I really wanted to see, and sometimes my expectations are just too much. I expect this was one of those cases. I wanted to love this, but I ended up just saying, "that was pretty good". Bummer...
michael e.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2011
This is probably one of the most beautifully animated CG films I've ever seen. The director did a fantastic job at telling this story,which figures since he did Watchmen and 300, and if you've seen those movies you'll see some similarities to those movies in this, such as A LOT of slow-motion, especially during the fights. The cast all did a fantastic job and were all wisely chosen, such as Helen Mirren as the villains wife, Geoffrey Rush as the good, worn down old warrior, now story writer, and the best being Hugo Weaving as the villain (of course) Metal Beak. But the other actors do good jobs as well, Digger and Twilight both being the funniest. The conflict between the main two brothers is very well done and told, and the ending fight between the two is so satisfying to watch.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2011
Flat and boring... I expected more from Zack Snyder. It did, however, "look" good. Owls are cute and all, but they tend to look the same. I didn't know who was who for a while. But maybe that's just me...
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2011
With fantastic computer animation, Zack Snyder delivers a film that is mesmerizing to watch. The voice cast is excellent. The biggest drawback comes with the story. Despite its daring dark tone, the film falls short on a story that leaves much to be desired. Overall, this is a pasable fantasy adventure.
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
It's 300 meets Pixar - and the outcome is certainly to be entertained by.
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2011
The visuals are (next to Rango) the best i have ever seen, unfortanatly the plot and characters were only mediocre.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2010
"We need to find the Guardians. They're the only ones who can save us!"

When a young owl is abducted by an evil Owl army, he must escape with newfound friends to seek out the legendary Guardians to stop the menace.

The thing about well-loved series of books is that they often saddle you with batches of stuff, particularly terminology and names, which tickles aficionados of the source material and irritates everyone else. And it is just so here. So I must confess to being a touch irked by the chatter about gizzards, and some daft names, and the like. However, I didn't have any problem at all with the story - it could have fit just as well in a world populated by humans, but this world is populated by owls. No problem.

The battle sequences show the same approach director Zack Snyder took in both 300 and Watchmen, with intermittent bursts of slow motion. They are effective, if rather intense. But this isn't really a kids' film - the tone is dark and menacing, and there is little humour. The voice talent is mostly good, albeit distractingly antipodean. But the visuals are remarkable. This is one of the most gorgeous looking films I have ever seen, with stunning use of 3D, and it is worth watching just for that
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2011
This lushly animated tale about good owls, and bad owls, but mostly owls feels indebted to Don Bluth's The Secret of NIHM. There's a legendary story about the guardians who would save the... remaining owls? The plot doesn't ever really leap beyond the basic fantasy concepts of good and evil, heroic and manipulative. It's hard for the tale's drama to reach grandiose heights because, well, it's owls. Not anthropomorphic owls, pretty much plain old owls. Some characters were just hard to distinguish between. I can firmly say that some things work better on page than screen, and descriptions of grand owl societies and owl-on-owl combat are definitely items that, when fully realized in such a literal fashion, just come across as goofy. Being directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), the movie looks gorgeously rendered but fails to leave any emotional mark for anybody who has ever seen a scrappy band of misfits topple the mean bad guys. The action follows the Snyder fast-slow-fast visual motif, which allows the audience opportunities to drink in the visual effects work. The mostly Australian vocal cast, plus Helen Mirren, provides some levels of amusement, but it's the story that ultimately disappoints. Legends of the Guardians looks fantastic, but it's story is far from legendary. And they needed to have a pop song by Owl City because the man has "owl" in his name, apparently.

Nate's Grade: C+
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2010
I couldn't wait to see this after watching the trailer in 3D on an imax screen! It looked amazing and seemed to take animation up to a new level and the 3D looked amazing and so detailed!! Unfortunately I only got to see the film on DVD and missed the 3D excitement. The story has been done several times before, but it's still enjoyable. One kids will surely love, try to catch it in 3D if you can!!
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2011
Stunning animation just isn't enough to give this formulaic action/fantasy film wings. The voice work is betrayed by stilted dialogue such as "Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it doesn't exist". If you're tired of that line, you'll be tired of this film. Snyder obviously excels in the action department, even if the in-flight battles become repetitive. Owls in slow-motion just aren't as fascinating as you'd expect. The plot borrows heavily from other stories. A pure race, traitors, the wise old soldier, the comedic duo, etc. Without any real emotional connection, I felt as though the film was too concerned with what was going on, as opposed to why. The relationship between the brothers could have been a major focus, and something that would have interested me a lot more.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2010
Well, I'm pleased with the animation for this movie because it's quite amazing... Of course the team that brought HAPPY FEET wouldn't disappoint me because HAPPY FEET is an Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature Film... Even this movie only have owls as their main character, with some bats, a porcupine, and a snake, but the effects for every owls were very detail... So even they all owls, but each of them have a different characteristics and they can be easily to be differentiated, even so I had a little trouble in the beginning... The story which is based on 3 books pleased me, because they wrote it really well so nothing miss in my opinion... The 3D effects were great too, I thought I can feel each drop of water from the rain because it looks so real... The cast voice were particularly amazing because they have Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Jim Sturgess, Ryan Kwanten, and another great voice cast... Even so many people don't rate it high and probably some of them don't like this movie, but I just wanna say that "I like it"
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2011
Much better than expected after the negative hype surrounding it. The animation is beautiful while the story is cliche'd while still managing to be entertaining. The opening moments are a bit on the boring side, but overall I enjoyed it. I'm just not crazy about it.
Super Reviewer
March 27, 2010
This movie should have been entitled Hedwig: Life Before Harry. The opening credits are extreamely similar to the opening of most Harry Potter films and I couldn't help thinking of most of these owls as compared to a certain snowy white owl and owl post of other such matters. Anyway, as for the film itself, I really liked it. I hadn't really expected to, but it was surprisingly good. Honestly, I cannot quite figure out why so many people are hating on this movie. It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but it's still better than most. Then again I've never been sure why everyone is in love with Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon. Everything here from the storyline, to the voices, to the animation itself is so much better here. Generally, I kind of hate most action/adventure/fantasy/lets-be-heroes-and-fight-evil-and-stuff kind of stories. Maybe it's just nostalgia shining through, but I liked Lasky's ''Ga'hoole' books many years ago and also enjoyed the film now.
Super Reviewer
½ January 6, 2011
Absoulutely loved it for its visuals..
real treat for animation lovers.. despite the lame story line
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