The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)
Warner Brothers Pictures
Theatrical Release: September 24, 2010
Home Release: December 17, 2010
Director: Zack Snyder
Review by Adam Bielawski
The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a wonderful and entertaining animation which was released for home viewing back in December 2010, based on a series of books by Kathryn Lasky. Originally the movie was released in theaters in 3D and now available the same in Blu-ray. The story starts off as many bed time stories of heroics and dreams. Soren, our young story teller, is always full of excitements when he tells the epic story of a group of owls called the Guardians who fought the great wars for owl freedom. His younger sister, Eglantine or Eg, is always excited to hear the story told by Soren. But Soren’s brother Kludd is not as enthusiastic; you can feel a bit of jealously from Kludd towards Soren. In one scene their father is teaching them to fly, Soren takes the flight from branch to branch with ease, while Kludd struggles. One night when their parents are out on the hunt the two brothers go out to practice their flight but fall to the ground where they are kidnapped by the Pure Ones, the evil band of owls in our story. Many young owlets are brought to lair of Metal Beak, king of the Pure Ones, where they enslave the weak and train others to fight as loyal subjects. Soren and his new friend Gylfie defy their kidnappers and are made pickers, enslaved owl workers. During this moment, Soren reaches out to his brother to see if he’s coming with them, Kludd decides not to and let’s his brother go into enslavement. This is a typical epic story good vs. evil, bother vs. brother, of two groups preparing to conquer against evil, such epics which come to mind in movies are Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars.
Soren and his friend, Gylfie, escape through the help of an enslaved guard owl, Grimble, who does the bidding of Metal Beak because his family is threatened. Grimble instructs the two that they must warn the Guardians, he teaches them how to fly to their escape, and directs them the way to Ga’Hoole. During their flight training with Grimble they are seen by Nyra, mate to Metal Beak, who swoops down, Grimble tells the two fly and escape as he protects the two from Nyra and her soldiers. Grimble is overpowered and dies, and the two, Soren and Gylfie, escape making their way to Ga’Hoole. Soren learns at Ga’Hoole that the tales and the Chronicles of the Guardians are all true, including the hero warrior Lyze of Kiel favorite of Soren, who defeated Metal Beak in all the tales. The tale is true and the battle to free the owls begins again. We discover heroes, traitors, kings and queens, mystics, friendship, and family. All are the path to Ga’Hoole.
The DVD Special Features has a brief presentation of the 200 species of owls throughout the world. Narrated by Digger, one of the characters from the movie, and a young boy, the two take us with narration, imagery and interviews to locations around the world about owls, their survival and how important owls are to the cycle of life. Like a brief episode of animal kingdom. The feature is not too long, but very informative as well as entertaining. Visiting three owl habitats throughout the world, and what is being done to help preserve habitats as well as adapt owls to a new world of people moving into places where owls lived.