Legend of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2 stars)

Legend of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

(PG) 90min

Recommended to anyone keen to see a bunch of cartoon owls knocking lumps out of each other, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole marks the animated debut of Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen). Combining a talent better known for violent, visceral vision with a popular series of children’s books, the result is beautifully animated, but laughably inept as storytelling.

Young owls Soren (Jim Sturgess) and his brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) are kidnapped from their peaceful tree and taken to St Aggies’, a training academy for owl soldiers in the service of the nefarious Metalbeak (Joel Edgerton). While Kludd stays behind, Soren and his new friend Gylfie (Emile Barclay) set off on a perilous mission to find the guardian owls on the island of Ga’hoole and join forces for a final showdown with Metalbeak.

Not since the Ewoks spin-offs has there been such an off-kilter project, as Snyder somehow attempts to command a full range of emotions from an all-owl cast who look like Wombles with nose-jobs. Sporting unintentionally amusing lines like, ‘My head says one thing but my gizzard says another’, Legend of the Guardians never finds a tone to match its sweeping animated style.

General release, from Fri 22 Oct.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • USA/Australia
  • 1h 30min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Zack Snyder
  • Cast: Jim Sturgess, Joel Edgerton, Ryan Kwanten

Off-kilter and inept owlimation from 300 director Snyder featuring Sturgess and Kwanten as young owlets kidnapped and pressed into service as soldiers, who attempt to seek out the mythic guardians of Ga'hoole and defeat the nefarious Metalbeak.

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