Film Review – Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Before you mock (especially since I just reviewed Machete), I will defend myself by saying my girlfriend and I took her little sister to see Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. And frankly, I rather enjoyed it, so suck it. Now picture this amalgamation, if you will: combine The Secret of Nimh, but with owls instead of rats, and then throw in 300 (the Spartan movie without shirts in it). Legend of the Guardians is the 300 of owl movies.
I don’t know if this film is based on a book of some sort (I’m guessing yes, since any title with an apostrophe and an unpronounceable name generally indicates this), nor do I know who the director or the producer or even what studio produced this. I also don’t care to look it up.
Legend of the Guardians is about two brother owls. They are just learning to fly. They think they know everything at this age (you know how young owls are…), so when their parents head out to hunt for food for the night, the two brothers try out their skills. They drop out of their tree to the forest floor, which is a bad place for owls. They are attacked by something resembling a wolverine (not Hugh Jackman), but then rescued by these large British-accented owls. Maybe rescued isn’t the right word, since the large owls take them captive and bring them to a secret lair. The lair is where an evil owl is brainwashing the new recruits into pickers and soldiers. The pickers have the sole purpose of picking away at owl pellets to find flecks of metal for some evil machine. (This is the learning portion of the movie: Owls hack up hard bits of bone and fur and other indigestible things kind of like a hairball, called pellets.) The soldiers are trained in fighting and given armor to facilitate this fighting. They are trying to be rulers of the owl kingdom by using this magnetic metal machine to control the good owls. (They also use bats as henchmen to do their evil dirtywork.)
One brother escapes and one brother decides he’s going to be a solider. The brother who escapes finds a way to get to the Guardians – sort of a mythical legendary owl race who are super good and fight evil. The guardians listen to the escapee brother and then go check things out at the lair. Epic battle ensues.
This movie is in 3D, which for me, means I’m motion sick in less than ten minutes. I’m glad I didn’t see this in the IMAX theater or I might possibly have died. There are a LOT of flying scenes in this film. The animation is really quite good and impressive. I like to pay attention to the background in many scenes to see if the renderers left anything out, which they didn’t. Some scenes are quite beautiful and nice. And then… there are the fight scenes. You’d probably not think owls would make a good subject for fight scenes. But add in shiny metal armor, slow motion, and spraying owl blood, you’ll get a pretty sweet result. I was pretty impressed by this.
All around us were little kids ooohing and aahhhhing, and it was really cute. The kids were literally on the edge of their seats at times and were really quite engaged in the film. This film has enough action to keep their attention, enough frights to make kids scream, and enough feel-good stuff to make sure they aren’t terrified during scary parts.
I don’t know that I’d recommend this to everyone, but if your kids or nieces or nephews want to see it, you won’t be disappointed. It’s worth watching, especially with the 3D aspect.
(3 out of 5 fus)