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IN SHORT: A stunning animated film . .. and not a bad sit, either! [Rated PG for Some Sequences of Scary Action.. minutes]
Imagine a fantasy world on which live two tribes: one called "Tyto" and the other the "Pure Ones". The Pure Ones have a nasty habit of kidnapping the youngsters of the Tyto tribe. The Tyto(s) believe that a third tribe, call 'em Guardians, will appear to protect them and make everything all right. Of course, no one has ever seen said Guardians but, as believed by the Tyto, that doesn't mean that said Guardians are not there. Right?
If you're thinking "Uh oh. That sounds like a diss on religion" you think way too much. You can be sure, though, that if Legend of the Guardians makes an insane amount of money, some religious nut will come out of the woodwork and threaten to burn the novels of Legends creator Kathryn Lasky. It'll be a big media event and a whole lot of yadda yadda.
We sat for the film in an audience stuffed with parents and a whole messa single digit kidlets, presumably the target audience -- as always we don't make comparisons to the Source Material, which feels (to us) like a pre-teen oriented novel. It's not a big leap from pre-teen down to single digit, and the kidlets in our audience either loved the film or squealed for whatever reason at inappropriate times. Little kids should be watching the DVD release on a television screen, but that's just yours Cranky. We have admitted many times that we are an animation fiend. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is the most gorgeous animated film we've seen in years
But is the story sufficient enough to compliment the animation? You betcha.
This story focusses on two kids. Hero to be Soren (Jim Sturgess) is younger brother to Kludd (Ryan Kwanten). Both have been entertained by father Noctus' (Hugo Weaving) tales of the legendary Guardians; of long ago battles pitting the heroic Ezylryb (Geoffrey Rush) and Allomere (Sam Neill) against the despicable . Soren is also athletically superior to his elder brother, which sets up all sorts of ego problems when the two are kidnapped by the aforementioned Warmonger tribe. Queen Nyra (Helen Mirren) of that tribe assigns both to demeaning tasks within her tribe and after a ritual "moon-blinking" meant to wipe their minds clean, Kludd comes forward to become a warrior. Soren and another kiddie named Gylfie (Emily Barclay) run like heck the first chance they get, aided by the owl who had previously been entrusted to wipe their minds clean in that moon-blink thingie. His name is Grimble (also Hugo Weaving) and Queen Nyra is going to do more than screech when it becomes apparent that Grimble's betrayal is your average everyday screw up . . .
What? You have a problem with owls? Have you not read the entirety of this film's overly long title? Are you prepared to be creeped out by Kludd pledging to kidnap his younger sister Eglantine (Adrienne DeFaria) as proof of his devotion to his new Queen once his little brother has fled? Do you not have children to explain it all to you?
You won't need 'em.
Otulissa (Abbie Cornish) Twilight (Anthony LaPaglia) nanny snake Mrs. Plithiver (Miriam Margolyes)
Boron (Richard Roxburgh) and Barran (Deborra-Lee Furnesws), respectively the King and Queen of the Guardians
Digger (David Wenham)
] (Eglantine), JOEL EDGERTON (Metal Beak),
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Legend of the Guardians, he would have paid . . .
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