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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Friday was a long awaited day in our house.

A movie opened that had been anticipated with great excitement:

The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

If you don't know anything about this, it might sound a little weird. Owls? Really? To give you some background, the movie is based on a series of children's books written by Kathryn Lasky. I was completely unaware of these books until this spring when someone mentioned them on Twitter, I think in response to my looking for books that might interest Sarah and her voracious appetite for reading.

I began to look for them and had no luck at my local Half Price Books. But when we took our big ol' long trip this summer, we packed her dad's Kindle and decided to download a couple for the road.

This is a lot of what I saw in the car over that 3,000 miles...


And this...


That’s her Webkinz owl that has since earned the name “Twilight.” He was flying like she imagined him doing in the book.

So, needless to say, the books were a hit. And when we found out the release date of the movie, it went on our calendar and she and I planned to go. The movie was a delight. "Way different from the books," according to Sarah, but a delight to both of us all the same.

Two brothers. One chooses to believe in and have faith in what he has never seen. The other believes only in himself and what he can gain. It is a story of heroes and the battle between good versus evil both on a corporate and an individual level. I came away from it with a strong Star Wars vibe which the director talks about briefly in this series of interviews.

It is very well done and here are just some of my thoughts:

It is a bit intense at times. I'd say it's not something I would take a child younger than 8 to see. I know my 5 year old would have been pretty freaked out at times. Two things that I noticed that added to the intensity:

  • Because owls are nocturnal, most of the scenes are at night and therefore generally just dark. Which kind of mirrors some of the weighty material in this battle of good versus evil.
  • Because of the director’s style (mentioned in the video above) many of the battle scenes are not graphic, but are done in a tight, close-up style.

The story tellers did a wonderful job of incorporating some humorous moments and characters into the plot to lighten the mood from time to time.

I've grown a bit weary of everything being in 3D lately, but this movie done in 3D was amazing. Breathtaking, actually. I thought, “This is 3D done right.”

I only realized later how distinguished the list of actors was that did all the voices. I love that I couldn’t really tell who any of the voices were. It allowed me to really engage in the characters of the owls instead of picturing the person that goes with the voice.

I liked most of the sound-track during the movie. It added to the action without being obtrusive. However, the contemporary song thrown in the middle of the movie just didn't work for me. However, the tune was catchy and if said sound-track produces some decent safe music my daughter can listen to, I'll be okay with that.

From what I understand, this movie covers the first three books of Kathryn Lasky’s series. I do hope they do well enough with this one to make more.

If you'd like to see some more professional family reviews of this film:

Pluggedin Online
(I find it funny that an owlet coughing up an owl pellet was a negative element in this reviewers eyes. Sarah has brought them home before from science camp. See this post and this post. Nothing negative about that, in my opinion.)

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