Movie review: Legends of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole
By Debra Ross
Release date: September 24, 2010
The Legends of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole is an action-adventure movie most appropriate for kids aged 8 and up, although younger kids would appreciate the action as long as some of the psychological violence goes over their head. Based on the middle-grade fantasy-adventure series by Kathryn Lasky, it looks to me as though this movie covers approximately the action in the first two books.
My kids (aged 9 and 11) liked this movie a lot, and the visual effects were certainly gorgeous, especially in 3-D. The action moves right along; at no point did I mentally encourage the plot to hurry along. A couple of times, the British accents escaped me, and I wasn't sure I understood the explanations of why what had happened had happened.
For my part, there was a bit too much predictable good-brother-against-evil-brother cliche and also a bit too much "follow your heart, ignore what your head tells you" for this devotee of reason to sign on wholeheartedly to the film. Also, I'm terrible at recognizing human faces, much less owl faces, so it was sometimes hard for me to figure out whooo was whooo. I wouldn't have taken my girls if they were younger than 7, there was too much violence, although it was more psychological than gory, so it might go over younger children's heads.
No one in my family has read this series, but my girls' friend Alex reported that the movie was not much like the book series. On the other hand, my 11-year-old had been interested in reading the books, but watching the movie dimmed her desire somewhat.
This sounds like a fairly negative review. It's not meant to be. It was certainly an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Harmless, clean, fantasy fun, with absolutely gorgeous special effects. See it in 3-D if you can.