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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
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Wait.. A Zack Snyder movie that is actually good? Hmm.. I take that an yes, sure!
Genre: Animated
Fantasy
Adventure
Action
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Produced By: Zareh Nalbandian
Written By: John Orloff
Emil Stern
Based On: Guardians of Ga'Hoole
by Kathryn Lasky
Starring: Helen Mirren
Geoffrey Rush
Jim Sturgess
Hugo Weaving
Emily Barclay
Abbie Cornish
Ryan Kwanten
Anthony LaPaglia
Miriam Margolyes
Sam Neill
Richard Roxburgh
David Wenham
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures (United States)
Roadshow Entertainment (Australia/New Zealand)
Release Date: September 19, 2010 (Grauman's Chinese Theatre)
September 24, 2010 (North America)
September 30, 2010 (Australia)
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: United States
Australia
Language: English
Budget: $80 million
Box Office: $140.1 million
Franchise: Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Sequel: Untitled Legend of the Guardians sequel (Possible in development)


"I was gonna called this movie the Legends of the Guardians of Gay'Whole if it sucked, but it didn't. So for my money Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is... awesome tacular!"
Jeremy Jahns

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (or just known as Legend of the Guardians) is a 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure action film based on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Zack Snyder directed the film as an animation debut, Zareh Nalbandian produced the film, John Orloff and Emil Stern wrote the film, with Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Joel Edgerton, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Barclay, Sam Neill, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, David Wenham and Richard Roxburgh. The film was produced and developed by Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic, following their success with the 2006 film Happy Feet. Legend of the Guardians was theatrically released in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D in North America on September 24, 2010, and in Australia on September 30, 2010 by Warner Bros. Pictures; it was accompanied by a new 3D Looney Tunes cartoon entitled Fur of Flying, starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Plot

A father owl's tales of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole enthrall his son Soren, but an older son scoffs at the stories of winged warriors who fought an epic battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. Later the brothers become captives of the Pure Ones, but Soren makes a daring escape and, with the help of other young owls, Gylfie, Digger and Twilight, seeks out the Guardians and brings them back to defeat the Pure Ones, Metal Beak and Nyra and defend their people once again.

Good Qualities

  1. Unlike most of live action films for Zack Snyder, it is one of the first animated film of Zack Snyder, which does a good job for directing this movie.
  2. It stays true to the book series which loosely follows the storyline of The Capture, The Journey and The Rescue, while some of them are difference parts, such as Kludd not being the leader of the Pure Ones and instead become the soldier, Allomere and the Echidna being officially introduced and Metal Beak being fully physical appearance.
  3. Great voice performance, especially Jim Sturgess (Soren), Helen Mirren (Nyra), Geoffrey Rush (Ezylryb/Lyze of Kiel), Joel Edgerton (Surtr/Metal Beak), Ryan Kwanten (Kludd), Hugo Weaving (Noctus and Grimble), ect.
  4. Very likable and well-written characters.
    • Soren is an adolescent Barn Owl, son of Noctus and Marella, and brother of Kludd and Eglantine. Unlike Kludd, Soren is a dreamer, and loves the legends of Ga'hoole.
    • Gylfie is an adolescent female Elf Owl from the Desert of Kuneer. She and Soren escape from St. Aggie's after nearly falling to her death and getting her leg slashed by a Pure One and found Twilight and Digger.
    • Digger is a male Burrowing Owl, who is seen where Soren and Gylfie unknowingly go after a moth he was hunting. After a slight confrontation, he introduces them to Twilight, and the two join them on their journey to find the Guardians.
    • Twilight is loud and boastful, but genuinely cares for his friends. He often carries his lute around with him, and enjoys singing despite the fact that he's not particularly good at it.
    • Eglantine is a female Barn Owl owlet. She is Noctus and Marella's youngest child and only daughter and Kludd and Soren's younger sister, who is moon blinked and given to Allomere, a slipgizzle. She was taken to the Great Tree along with another owlet.
    • Ezylryb/Lyze of Kiel is a whiskered screech owl and the legendary retired soldier leader of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole who's Soren's idol.
  5. There are plenty of intense and darker scenes.
    1. Grimble's backstory itself is horrifying. His entire family and kingdom were attacked by the Pure Ones, and he fought back and lost. Impressed with his efforts, the Pure Ones captured and marked Grimble as their own, taking his family hostage and promising to free them if Grimble did their dirty work. Grimble had been doing so for many years, despite the fact it was strongly implied the Pure Ones had already killed off Grimble's family, and he had to wait for years for some group of owlets he helped kidnap to be strong or smart enough to resist the brainwashing so he could help them escape to send for help.
    2. Metal Beak's death is very well done and terrifying when Soren stabs him with the burning stick. It makes the moment awesome. No less!
  6. The friendship between Soren and Gylfie is perfect and rather well-executed.
  7. To add this for Zack Snyder movie, the movie does have an amount of fast and thrilling action and flight that are excellent, beautiful and stunning, and ties into the film's fantasy and adventure-like tone even more fun to watch like How to Train Your Dragon.
    1. Soren and Gylfie escape the Pure Ones to find the Guardians, while Nyra and the soldiers have been follow to get them, which is failed to follow.
    2. Soren, Gylfie, Digger and Twilight manage to chase the chows to get the Ms. P and lute back after the chows stolen them.
    3. Soren flies in the rainy water storm in the slow-motion sequence, which turns out it failed, used for the background song "Coming Home".
    4. Soren flies through the forest fire to ignite an oil lamp and succeeded destroy the fleck-based mechanism to free the Guardians, also used for background song "The Host of Seraphim".
    5. The Guardians, including Twilight, fight the Pure Ones by Metal Beak, who sent them to crush them before they can recover in the final battle.
    6. Kludd attacks Soren three times before Soren eventually attack Kludd and explaining about the Pure Ones, which leads to Kludd's betrayal in the fire forest fight.
  8. Well-written and ironic dialogue.
  9. The film puts a lot of nice ideas into great use, such as having the good owls battle against to the evil owls.
  10. The soundtrack is excellent by David Hirschfelder, particularly the song exclusively for the film "To the Sky" performed by Owl City, "The Host of Seraphim", "Coming Home" and "Kings and Queens" for the trailers.
  11. The animation is gorgeous, by far some of the best of any animated film; then again, it is Animal Logic, who also provided animation for Happy Feet and The Lego Movie. But the realistic look helps to capture the feel of the serious tone that this movie is aiming for. And like other Disney live-action films (including remakes) and non-Disney films and unlike the infamous 2019 version of The Lion King, many species of animal characters, especially owls, can express more emotions in this movie, just like in real life.
  12. By the way, we have to continue on with previous pointer: Similar to Shrek, The Polar Express, Happy Feet and Surf's Up, the movie is full of nice complex and realistic character designs.
  13. The Pure Ones are still amazing antagonists in the movie ever brought to the big screen:
    1. Surtr/Metal Beak is very threatening and excellent villain, who was the leader of the Pure Ones and the mate of Nyra, and he resided in the stone palace. His greatest desire was to create a world ruled by Tyto owls, who he believed to be superior to all other owl species and Joel Edgerton's voice performance is impressive.
    2. Nyra is intimidating and interesting villain, who was the queen of the Pure Ones and there to help the Pure Ones to get the flecks in order to ambushed the Guardians.
    3. Kludd is also a useful and great antagonist as well. While his personality was the same as the book series, he was less monstrosity, so anyone can related Kludd.
  14. There is the scene where Kludd becomes the Pure Ones draws the great inspiration of Anakin Skywalker becoming the dark side in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
  15. Amazing visual effects that many effects are real, such as water, freeze and fire.
  16. Some new characters are always likable, such as Allomere and the Echidna.
  17. The movie stays away from every clichés, which it proves can be put to good use.
  18. It continue the charm of Zack Snyder's career, following the well-received of Watchmen, before it, unfortunately, decline the charm, when Sucker Punch was released.
  19. While not a exactly comedy movie, it has a funny humor and moments as it doesn't contain gross up humor.
  20. Unlike most movies based on children book (like The Ant Bully, Mars Needs Moms and The Lorax), it doesn't have much as pop-culture references, songs (apart of "The Host of Seraphim" by Dead Can Dance) or product placement.
  21. It opts for a much darker, more serious tone than other animated films aimed at a family audience.
  22. They got Kathryn Lasky, the writer of the book series, as an executive producer.
  23. The mythology and lore is really complex and interesting.

Bad Qualities

  1. Since it was being a Zack Snyder movie, this means that are very poor pacing with overused of slow motion.
  2. The story can be predictable and hit-or-miss, even if it put to strong use.
  3. Some scene in trailers involving with Burnt Hollow Sequence were cut.

Reception

Critical response

Despite Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole received mixed reviews from critics, both audiences and fans have received mainly positive, who praised the animation, soundtrack, voice performances, visual effects and tone, but criticized the story, and characters. The film has been since cult following over the years. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 52% of 133 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it has received an average rating of 5.70/10. The audience approval rating is at 63%, with an average rating of 3.6/5 from over 50,000 ratings. The site's critical consensus reads, "Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100 based on 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The average user score is 7.0/10 from over 190 ratings. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale. On IMDb and Letterboxd, the film earned the rating score of 6.9/10 and 3.0/5.

Jeremy Jahns says Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is awesome tacular.

Box office

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole earned $55.7 million in domestic and $84 million from its international release, bringing its global box office total to $140,073,390. It was the moderate success.

In the US, the movie took in $5.5 million on opening day, ranking third at the box office in the US. It ranked second on Saturday, earning $6 million, and was No. 1 on Sunday, earning $4.6 million (US). Overall, it earned $16,112,211 on its opening weekend, reaching second place at the box office behind Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in America. This makes Zack Snyder's first film not to reach No. 1 on its opening weekend in the US.

For the second weekend, the film slipped 32% to $10,887,543 and held on to second place, this time behind The Social Network, claiming the title of the biggest second-weekend hold for an animated feature in 2010. The film ended its run in January 2011 with a $55.7 million domestic (US) gross.

Videos

Gallery

Trivia

  • As described by Zack Snyder in interviews, Legend of the Guardians takes place in an alternate reality where humans have gone extinct and certain animals are vastly more intelligent. The location of the movie appears to be somewhere in Australasia, possibly Tasmania, a conclusion based on the appearance of a Tasmanian Devil, Echidna, White-Winged Fairywren, dolerite columns and the mention of dingoes. The movie characters also speak with Australian accents.
  • It was Australia's first animated feature to be released in 3D stereoscopic as well as Animal Logic.
  • The species of a couple side characters, including Trader Mags and Streak, were changed to species native to Australia for the movie franchise.
  • The film's animation process took place at Animal Logic's headquarters in Sydney, Australia. A team of over 500 artists, technicians and support staff were amassed to design and animate 15 unique species of owls, as well as other forest creatures such as snakes, crows, bats, centipedes, bees, beetles, moths, a hermit crab, a Tasmanian devil, and an echidna.
  • The animated end credits sequence shows the adventures of Soren, Gylfie, Digger and Twilight as told by the young owls as if they were putting on a shadow play performance in the Great Tree. This idea was conceived by Felicity Coonan and took around three months to animate. Coonan wanted the sequence to be a playful experiment in 2D and 3D, as the classic storytelling form of shadow puppets is a 2D medium. The credits were designed to be legible without 3D glasses.
  • Jatt is voiced by horror filmmaker Leigh Whannell.
  • In the 30 Rock episode "Double-Edged Sword", Legend of the Guardians is the in-flight movie on the aircraft piloted by Carol (Matt Damon), who claims his passengers "... think that $300 and a photo ID gives them the right to fly through the air like the guardian owls of legend!" In a 2014 episode of The Simpsons, "Specs and the City", Bart considers giving Nelson an "Owls of Ga'Hoole"–themed Valentine, finding it fitting that Nelson should get a Valentine referencing what Bart considers a bad movie.
  • The movie is set in Australia, while the books are set in North America. Some of the owl species featured are not found in Australia.
  • Actress Emilie de Ravin was set to voice Gylfie (as heard in the trailer in a deleted scene that never made it to DVD), but she was replaced by Emily Barclay.
  • Actor Hugh Jackman was meant to voice in the film, but dropped out for a cameo in Happy Feet Two (through uncredited). He was likely meant to voice either Noctus or Grimble, which would explain why they are the only characters to have the same voice actor. Later, he went on to do another animated feature film that has guardians: Rise of the Guardians, released in 2012, two years after the feature film.
  • The reason why the movie had spawned internet memes is because of the movie title that has guardians in it, which many think they have a trilogy.
  • Soren is voiced by a different actor in one trailer.


Village Roadshow Pictures
Movies:

1990s:

Practical Magic - Analyze This - The Matrix - Deep Blue Sea - Love Lies Bleeding - Three Kings - Three to Tango

2000s:

Gossip - Space Cowboys - Red Planet - Miss Congeniality - Valentine - Saving Silverman - Saving Silverman - See Spot Run - Exit Wounds - Swordfish - Cats & Dogs - Hearts in Atlantis - Zoolander - Don't Say a Word - Training Day - Ocean's Eleven - The Majestic - Queen of the Damned - Showtime - Eight Legged Freaks - The Adventures of Pluto Nash - Ghost Ship - Analyze That - Two Weeks Notice - Dreamcatcher - The Matrix Reloaded - Mystic River - The Matrix Revolutions - Torque - Taking Lives - Catwoman - Ocean's Twelve - Constantine - Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous - House of Wax - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Dukes of Hazzard - Rumor Has It... - Firewall - The Lake House - Happy Feet - Unaccompanied Minors - Music and Lyrics - The Reaping - Lucky You - Ocean's Thirteen - License to Wed - No Reservations - The Invasion - The Brave One - Rogue - I Am Legend - December Boys - Speed Racer - Get Smart - Nights in Rodanthe - Yes Man - Gran Torino - Where the Wild Things Are - Sherlock Holmes

2010s:

Sex and the City 2 - Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - Life as We Know It - Happy Feet Two - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - The Lucky One - Dark Shadows - Gangster Squad - The Great Gatsby - Man of Tai Chi - The Lego Movie - Winter's Tale - Edge of Tomorrow - Into the Storm - The Equalizer - The Judge - Annie - American Sniper - Jupiter Ascending - Mad Max: Fury Road - San Andreas - Goosebumps - In the Heart of the Sea - Concussion - The Brothers Grimsby - The Legend of Tarzan - Ghostbusters - Sully - The Magnificent Seven - Collateral Beauty - Passengers - Fist Fight - Going in Style - King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - The House - The 15:17 to Paris - Ready Player One - Ocean's 8 - Joker

Zack Snyder
Movies:

Dawn of the Dead - 300 - Watchmen - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - Sucker Punch - Man of Steel - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) - Justice League* - Zack Snyder's Justice League - Army of the Dead

*: Snyder was the director of Justice League during principal photography, but was replaced by Joss Whedon during post-production. Snyder retained directorial credit for the finished film, though reports have indicated Whedon reshot a significant portion of the film. Snyder later edited a director's cut of the film, removing all of Whedon's footage and restoring his own footage that was deleted in the theatrical release. Snyder also shot four to five minutes of additional footage in late 2020 for his cut, released as Zack Snyder's Justice League.

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