REVIEW: Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole

Lord of the Rings… with wings!

Okay, so this is my terrible confession… I have wanted to watch this childrens film since I first saw the trailer at the cinema back in March! Strange perhaps that, anticipating this movie as I was, that whilst on holiday in Cornwall this year I happened to visit the Screech Owl Sanctury near Goss Moor where a team from the film were filming some of the sancturies residents as reference material for the film.

Guardians is based on the 15 book series by Kathryn Lansky and marks the animation debut of film director Zack Snyder – known for directing more grown up fair such as 300. It tells the story of Soren, an owlet who taken from his parents by evil owls begins an epic quest.

Audiences have no doubt become complacent about amazing CG landscapes and realistic water, as these things have become common place with films like Avatar and the Chronicles of Narnia raising the bar. Still you have to concede that the look of Guardians is incredible, from the beautiful (and often slow motion) sequences of owls gliding and soaring through theatrically lit rainstorms, to the wonderful way that the production team at Animal Logic have developed the characters without making them, visually, human.

I have read in some reviews that this film is too violent for kids but I disagree, certainly there is a lot of action, dark characters and fighting but there is also some strong statements on family, friendship and some pretty heavy moral themes on liberty and equality. I will save you from my thoughts on any symbolism that could be seen in this story and instead end by saying this that on the whole I liked this film. Though it is a little Lord Of The Rings with wings, Legend of the Guardians is was unquestioningly beautiful avian epic, and even though the story felt like it dragged at times, it still managed to be both action packed tale of adventre and warm-hearted family film.

If you would like to meet some real owls, as well as other incredible creatures, and find out about how to help conservation of these amazing birds visit – http://www.screechowlsanctuary.co.uk/

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Read It And Weep!

5 animations, long and short, that made me cry…

1. Kiwi
I analysed this amazing short animation, created by Dony Permedi as part of his Masters Thesis, for a project on sound and no matter how many times I watched it the last few seconds of Kiwis doomed endeavour always brought a lump to my throat!

2. Sentil 
It is just not good form to tear up when you are sitting in a classroom, but watching The Blender Foundations latest 15 minute animated short made me want to sob like a child! And it wasn’t just the awesome design or superb animation either!!

3. UP
I have yet to meet the hardened soul who managed to stay dry eyed during the opening ten minutes of this Pixar film! Only the most stone hearted of those in the cinema audience I was with was not glad of the dim light and the 3D glasses to hide their tears.

4. How To Train Your Dragon
Was it just me on this or did the loyalty and desperation of Toothless to save Hiccup from the Mosterous Nightmare moving? I have to confess that so much about this offering from Dreamworks really tugged my heartstrings… big softy that I am.

5. Clik clak
Its such a stylish little animation that you may not think that it would turn out to be so sad. But the end of Supinfocom’s short animation about 2 robots who communicate with sound left me feeling misty eyed.

But thats just me! What animations made you cry?