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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