Thursday 21 October 2010

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Starring: Emily Barclay, Ryan Kwanted & Jim Sturgees
Director: Zack Snyder
Warners Bros

In cinemas from Friday 22nd October
Review by Brad Harmer

Soren is 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 (Jason Stackhouse), scoffs are the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favour 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 us 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.

Full of high-paced action sequences, top quality voice acting and great animation, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, is the best fantasy movie to have been released for a very long time. The CG is absolutely fantastic, and the 3D is never used flashily, but just generally enhances the characters, making the owls seem more rounded, and as if they’re actually there.

The voice acting is excellent, featuring a mix of younger talent, and some truly great stars as the older owls (Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, Sam Neill and Hugo Weaving).

The characters are all really endearing – or ominous, in the case of the Pure Ones – with Digger (David Wenham) and Gylfie (Emily Barclay) being exceptionally cute throughout. There are plenty of humourous moments, plenty of exciting moments and a great fun ride throughout. The final battle scene, in particular is especially brutal, dramatic and dark – with all the of characters seeming in genuine peril. Even Soren.

If I had to compare this to anything, I’d say that it reminds me a lot of eighties fantasy movies in tone. Movies such as The Dark Crystal, Legend and Ladyhawke all have that simple high-fantasy vibe that make great adventure movies for kids, but are also fairy tale like and dark or violent enough for adults to enjoy, too. If you like those sort of movies, then I really think you’ll like Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, too.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Several scenes of high-fantasy, bird of prey on bird of prey combat. The owls use Fred Krueger type bladed gloves when they go to war.
Sex/Nudity: The entire case is nude, all the time.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A great, high-fantasy movie with some fantastic animation. For the first time ever, this may actually be worth paying out for the 3D for. 9/10

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