Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)
dir. Zack Snyder
Jim Sturgess (21, 2008)
Helen Mirren (National Treasure:Book of Secrets, 2007)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, 1993)
Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003)
Hugo Weaving (The Wolfman, 2010)
You'll recall I have been eagerly awaiting watching Legend of the Guardians since I first heard of it. Well, I finally got to watch it On Demand last night and you know, it exceeded all of my expectations.
I guess there was never a big fuss about this movie because no one (well, presumably some people) ever heard of the books it was based on. I'd like to point out that even though Legend of the Guardians was based on THREE books in a larger series, the plot still flowed smoothly and unforced, unlike certain adaptations of novels concerning schools of witchcraft and wizardry.
Besides being about owls (which are awesome) what we've got here is a classic adventure story about a group of misfits teaming up to defeat a great evil. Isn't that the essential formula behind The Goonies (1985), Lord of the Rings (published 1954), and Star Wars (1977)? Not that this is even almost as awesome as one of those movies, but I think they could all hang out at the same cafeteria table, get it?
The story is about a young barn owl named Soren, who is kidnapped with his brother Kludd (obviously sinister) by some race-supremacist owls who think that barn owls should rule over all other owl kingdoms. This is a picture of barn owls. Kludd, who has self-esteem issues (I think of him like the younger brother in American History X (1998)), swiftly turns to the dark side, but Soren makes a gallant escape with a super cute elf owl (elf owls live in cacti) They team up with a burrow owl and another kind of owl (??) yo seek the help of a legendary group of owl warriors sworn to protect owl kind, but end up playing a critical role in rescuing masses of enslaved owlets (those are baby owls) from the evil Pure Ones (those are the villains I referenced before). So you've got a great good v. evil, triumph of the underdog kind of story. Great success.