Movies: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole * *
(PG, general release)
Published 22/10/2010 | 05:00
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Like little boys with fancy new toys, filmmakers are getting so carried away with 3D and digital animation these days that they often forget about that trivial little ingredient called a story.
Even Avatar was rather waffly at times plot-wise, and Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (snappy title) is all special effects and no trousers.
Based on a series of books by Kathryn Lasky, it tells the tale of two barn-owl brothers, Soren and Kludd, who are learning to fly when they're plucked from the forest floor by two dodgy-looking long-eared owls.
These are part of an evil alliance that's hell-bent on subjugating all of owl-kind, if you will, and while Kludd is seduced by the dark side, Soren is less corruptible and sets out to find the legendary Guardians of Ga'Hoole, who may be able to save them.
It's kind of Cain and Abel with feathers, and despite a strong voice cast, which includes Helen Mirren and Sam Neill, it's deadly dull overall.
The detail in the animation is very impressive at times, but the story's a snore and the limitations of owl physiognomy mean that whenever the characters try to smile, they look like they're planning an urgent visit to the toilet.