To the Sky

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is the odd movie out in Zack Snyder’s divisive career. At the time, Snyder was only known for directing R rated adaptations of existing properties. The complete opposite of a children’s book series like Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Although the movie was given an unnecessarily long title, I assume it’s faithful to the source material. The Owls of Ga’Hoole may be a computer animated kids movie, but you better believe it’s full of Snyder’s signature 3D slow motion action. The trailer was so epic that I very nearly considered seeing it in theaters. From the same studio that animated Happy Feet, The Owls of Ga’Hoole has breathtaking almost photorealistic computer animation. Turns out there are several different classifications of owls and other useless owl facts that I never knew featured in the movie.

An epic fantasy about talking owls is fairly unique, but the story is more generic than it should’ve been. Even with a relatively respectable English and/or Australian cast. Jim Sturgess voices the standard heroic dreamer Soren who looks up to a legendary parliament of warrior owls known simply as the Guardians. Imagine Lord of the Rings if owls wore helmets and fought with weaponized talons. Hugo Weaving actually voices two important owl mentors of Soren. Geoffrey Rush voices his Guardian idol Ezylryb and Abbie Cornish voices his love interest from Ga’Hoole. Ryan Kwanten voices Soren’s jealous brother Kludd who turns evil out of nowhere after they get kidnapped by villainous owls called the Pure Ones. Joel Edgerton voices the Sauron inspired Metal Beak and Helen Mirren voices his even more evil mate Nyra. Sam Neill voices one of the Guardians who betrays the team.

This may be Zack Snyder’s only kids movie, but it does have a dark tone. Pure Ones use found owls for slave labor and plan to conquer the world with some kind of magic energy. Soren’s younger sister Eglantine is among the victims of a moonlight zombification process. Since it is still PG, The Owls of Ga’Hoole has plenty of disposable animal sidekicks and a random pop song appropriately sung by Owl City. Emily Barclay is Soren’s miniature owl best friend Gyfle, David Wenham is the more overtly comedic Digger, and Anthony LaPaglia is his singing treemate Twilight. Miriam Margolyes as Soren’s snake nursemaid Mrs. P. Snakes, rats, and an all-seeing echidna are among the only animals that aren’t owls in the movie. Although I can appreciate the effort, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole doesn’t quite take flight.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Soren flies in the rain

9 thoughts on “To the Sky

  1. I remember Legends of the Guardians fading away fast not too long after it came out in theaters back in the day, which is something of a shame as it looked like a unique book franchise to take to the big screen. Seeing Zack Snyder cut his teeth on a different kind of film is still interesting though.

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  2. I just recently rewatched this movie a few weeks ago and I still enjoy it. I did read the first three books (of which the movie is based off of) of the series, so I was familiar with material. The film did change a few things, but I still love the movie. Animation was great, the voice acting was solid across the board, and I just wish they did a sequel.

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