Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)



Critic Consensus: Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential.

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Movie Info

Acclaimed filmmaker Zack Snyder makes his animation debut with the fantasy family adventure "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" based on the beloved Guardians of Ga'Hoole books by Kathryn Lasky. The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father's epic stories of the Guardians of Ga' Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd, scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father's favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd's jealousy has terrible consequences--causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians--Soren's only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms. -- (C) Warner Bros
Action & Adventure , Animation , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Adrienne DeFaria
as Eglantine
Geoffrey Rush
as Ezylryb
Sam Neill
as Allomere
Hugo Weaving
as Noctus/Grimble
Sacha Horler
as Strix Struma
David Wenham
as Digger
Emily Barclay
as Gylfie
Abbie Cornish
as Otulissa
Miriam Margolyes
as Mrs. Plithiver
Joel Edgerton
as Metal Beak
Essie Davis
as Marella
Barry Otto
as Echidna
Anthony LaPaglia
as Twilight
James Evans
as Additional Voices
Amanda Bishop
as Additional Voices
Lelda Kapsis
as Additional Voices
John Xintavelonis
as Additional Voices
Trent Dalzell
as Additional Voices
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

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

All Critics (122) | Top Critics (20)

There are a handful of soaring, immersive and at times beautiful fight-and-flight sequences which utilise 3D in the best imaginable way.

Full Review… | October 20, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

A splendid adventure sure to thrill children and fantasy buffs, while leaving everyone else passably entertained.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The film's look can't overcome all its shortcomings, but it helps them go down easier than its title.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

Snyder and his crew have made a film for an improbably narrow audience -- I can imagine 12 1/2-year-old boys being enthralled by it -- but they've made it with such skill and care it's more a shame than a failure.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
MSN Movies
Top Critic

May be a hoot, but for all its pyrotechnics, it fails to soar.

Full Review… | September 23, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

After the frightened kids run screeching from the theater, adults may wonder what this vicious flick was trying to teach us. But as a guardian of unhatched spirits, I say: Hoo-hoo-hoo cares?

Full Review… | September 23, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

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


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.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Zack Snyder has stooped very low to male a film like this but there are a few good cinematics.

Scott Green
Scott Green

Super Reviewer


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.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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