Epic tale of owls a visual treat

2010-09-27 00:00

AN hour-and-a-half literally flies by during this animated epic.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a visual treat, bringing Kathryn Lasky’s stories to life.

Although fans of the books will notice changes in the story for the sake of brevity, the film provides a stunning overview of the brave owl Guardians and their feats.

The movie begi­ns in the happy home (tree hollow) of a family of owls. Two loving parents and a snake-nanny called Mrs P are raising three owlets, Soren, Kludd and Eglatine.

With the exception of Kludd, the small family is enthralled by tales of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a group of valiant owls tasked with protecting the kingdom.

Meanwhile, a group of evil owls, the Pure Ones, are kidnapping owlets to work and fight for their cause. Their leaders, the feared Metal­beak and his malicious mate Nyra, want to control the kingdom by rooting out weak, disobedient owls and building an army of strong Pure Ones.

An accident sees Soren and Kludd in the clutches the Pure Ones. Soren escapes and sets off to elicit the help of the fabled Guardians while Kludd remains with the Pure Ones, relishing the power and becoming colder and crueller under Nyra’s watchful eye.

The film is full of powerful and intricately choreographed flight and fight scenes. Animated beautifully, each owl feather moves as though real; it’s easy to forget the characters were created with CGI animation.

Don’t be fooled by the PG10 age restriction: in addition to the violence, the dark malevolent Pure Ones are positively frightening.

Although it is animated, older audiences will love this film as themes of love, betrayal and even political purity run deep. It’s a treat. Director Zac Snyder (300, Watchmen) has done a stellar job convincing audiences to love and loathe the owl heroes and villains.

Helen Mirren, who voices Nyra, deserves a special mention



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