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4.4 out of 5 stars298
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 23 January 2011
I was not sure what to expect from this movie and was prepared to sacrifice my time in order to keep my 7 year old daughter happy. However, I was totally blown away by this movie. Firstly the animation is so spellbinding that I really felt like I was witnessing something new for the first time like Star Wars or Avatar. The story is based on the first 3 books of Katherine Lasky and my daughter has started reading these since watching the film. The characters are owls but they could very easily have been humans and it would have been a quest movie like Lord of the Rings. The plot is intricate and would be hard to follow for very young children. This is not necessarily a kids film, it just happens to be animated. There is violence in it and a few truly evil characters and so I would recommend it for over 7's. I cried and laughed and clapped at this film because I was so caught up in the story and didn't want it to end. If you buy this DVD, you will not be disappointed.
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on 3 November 2010
Based on the best-selling series of books by Kathryn Lasky this movie culminates the excitement of the first three volumes into an absolutely outstanding specticle, using intricate and very much life like animation to bring alive the world of the owls and the epic adventures they face.
The story follows soren, a young barn owl who is captured by an evil tribe of owls, once imprisoned in a mountainous canyon he meets a small pigmy owl named Gylfie, these two new friends battle out of their captors claws and fly off in search of the great Ga'hoole tree in order to warn the guardians about the increasing danger that awaits. Along the way they meet more owls, twilight, digger and a very lady like snake. Once at the Ga'hoole tree they train to become guardians and to fight the evil owls of st aggies academy who plot to overrun the tree and forge their empire across the world.
Zak Snyder helms this movie and he does it well, his famous use of slow motion blends perfectly in this movie, one scene in particular, using slow motion in the rain makes for a very magical experience, he keeps the movie going at a fair pace and it never tires or becomes boring. The animation is the best i have ever seen, the detail is phenomonal, the birds move like owls should and the landscapes and set pieces are stunning. The final battle scene is mind blowing, loud, action packed, kind of brutal and thoroughly white knuckle. The script is well translated from the books and the characters are true to those that are portrayed in the eye of Kathryn Lasky. A brilliant voice cast accompany this movie including: Sam Neill, Helen Mirren, Geoffery Rush, Emile De Ravin, Miriam Marogoyles and Hugo Weaving.
I honestly cannot fault this movie in the slightest, awesome animation, brilliant voice cast, thrilling battle scenes, a true fantasy epic. The one thing i don't understand is why this didn't do brilliantly at box office, i enjoyed it much more than Avatar.
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on 23 May 2011
Directed by '300's Zack Snyder, this is an exciting old-style adventure movie that combines the epic quest formula with the kind of old fashioned peril and bad guys usually found in the fantasy epics of the '80s.
When dreamer Soren and his brother Kludd are snatched by the 'Pure Ones' to serve an evil army, Soren determines to seek out his heroes, the legendary Owls of Ga'Hoole, while Kludd isn't so sure that their kidnappers are on the wrong side...
Breathtakingly beautiful, the animation possibly surpasses anything I've yet seen. Every feather and tuft of hair quivers in the wind and moves convincingly, while the colours and markings of the characters are so astonishingly intricate that I found myself often just looking at the birds with the same kind of marvel usually reserved for rarely seen animals in a zoo. Fortunately the animators haven't leant solely on this, and all of the main characters are extremely distinct and easy to tell apart with their various movement characteristics and their funny, quirky personalities.
The voice work and highly expressive faces draw us into the plot, and there's a healthy dose of humour in there, as well as some traditional sidekick bickering. Some of the characters are a little odd (a snake as a nursemaid to owls???) but I haven't read the books on which the film is based, so I'm not in a position to judge further than that. As far as plot goes, it's a rip-roarer of the old style, heavy with danger, heroism, treachery and excitement. The climax is especially dramatic and actually quite full of combat and violence. As such I wouldn't recommend this for the under 5's, as any especially young children might be upset by the comparatively brutal owl vs owl war scenes. (Although there isn't any gore to speak of, it's pretty self explanatory in the way it's filmed that some of these guys aren't getting up again).
For any kids over that age, this deserves to be a legend in its own right. On Blu-Ray, this might be one of the most spectacular childrens' films you can buy. Utterly entrancing.
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Legend of the guardians is a cgi animation movie which takes Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole: Guardians of Ga'hoole, Books One, Two & Three, the first three books in a series of novels about a kingdom of owls, and condenses them down into one movie. Thus it's 'based on' the books because it's not got room for all of them.

The lead character is Soren, a young owl who has grown up on stories of the guardians. A noble group of warriors who fight the good fight for the sake of it. Soren loves these stories and tries to draw inspiration from them. His brother thinks they're childish and silly.

When the two are kidnapped by nasty owls who are trying to build an army in order to conquer the world, Soren's brother falls prey to the temptation and lure of evil. But Soren holds true to his principles and along with some new friends tries to escape and find the guardians so they can come and save the day.

But legends never quite match reality. And Soren is going to have to grow up fast.

This is a pg certificate. And the dvd tries to lure people in by mentioning the movie happy feet on the cover. But legend of the guardians isnt nearly as happy. It's an uneasy balance of kiddie friendly - via a couple of eccentric comic relief owls - and downright darker moments. So frankly it's really not suitable for young children.

Neverthteless, it does touch on some interesting and thought provoking concepts. The power of stories and legends. How they can teach us life lessons and inspire us. And how legends don't always live up to the reality. And how people can hold true to their principles in the face of evil or surrender to it.

Readers of epic fantasy novels will find this very much their cup of tea as it does have many of the trappings of that genre.

The voice cast are predominantly Australian with a couple of british big names thrown in, so that all adds an interesting feel to it.

There are moments of exposition and long journeys, but those looking for action will find some good battle sequences do come their way.

The visuals are very memorable, though, with some amazing landscapes and character design. Every single owl does manage to look distinctive.

A memorable movie experience if you're receptive to it.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Italian.

Subtitles: English, Italian.

It begins with some trailers but you can get past these by pressing the next button on the dvd remote.

The only extras are a four minute long new Road Runner cartoon that played with the movie in cinemas.

And a fifteen minute long feature documentary about owls. Presented by a child and one of the characters from the film, this is aimed at younger viewers and is suitable for all ages. It does contain interesting facts about owls, and it feels just about the right length.
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on 8 June 2011
Schnyder can do action. He proved it with 300 and then again with Watchmen. Here he lends his skills to an interesting if formulaic story centering around owls. The visuals are jaw dropping, especially in 3D, and the action sequences are a exhilerating. Imagine flying through the air with the owls because in 3D that is basically what you do!
Some comments have been made regarding the films suitability for young children. I would point out that the film has a PG certificate which states somes scenes may be unsuitable for younger viewers. It does what it says on the tin!!!!
As previously mentioned the story is nothing new, yet remains a film that is enjoyable and charming. I'm glad I bought it as it is a great showcase film for 3D Blu Ray and I would recommend it.
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on 19 August 2011
The story is strong and gripping. The characters moving. The graphics superb. The animation excellent. The montage is intelligent.

I can't understand why Warner Bros did not push the marketing further to promote this movie.
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on 16 June 2011
I bought this on bluray when it first came out but it ended up sat on my shelf until just last night! I'm a huge fan of computer animated films but there has been a real drop in quality for most that have hit the big screen in recent years. I think thats why this film didn't make it straight in to the player when it arrived in the post!

I'm so glad i finally got round to watching it!! I was completely blown away from start to finish.. this could easily have been a pixar release! you are instantly taken in to a world so stunning and beautifully animated that you are compelled to continue watching. Some reviews state that there is not not enough character development which is true to some extent... this film could easily have been spread over 2 films rather than one! I don't think though that this is a reason to mark it down in any way, it just shows how drawn in to the story you can get and how desperately 'as an adult' you crave more and more from it! Overall for the target audience this film is simply 'perfect' (i wish i'd have seen it as a kid!!!)... The characters are very well balanced and play off of eachother perfectly, theres plenty of fun, drama, lots of action... what more could you ask for?!

I really hope there's a sequel on the way!!
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on 4 June 2011
This is a fantastic film, the story line is very good and the quality of the film is fantastic. The Blu-ray 3D quality is fantastic you can see the owls coming out the screen at you, you can also see the depth in the film. I would recommend anyone that has a 3D tv and 3D Blu-ray player to get this film
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I would not have had reason to chance upon, yet alone read the books of Kathryn Lasky, that this ambitious computer-animation is based on. As such, I'm sure like many, for the uninitiated, The Legend of the Guardians would fall under the radar of a good number of cinema goers and buyers of DVDs.

As far from a fluffy Disney as is possible, this ragbag group of owls and other winged creatures, fly about in scenes fit for Lord of the Rings. The landscapes - and skies - are of majestical legend and dramatically beautiful. The humour's more akin to Shrek - knowing, obvious, occasionally ridiculous and the vocal talents include some of the most prominent Australian/British actors of our time. Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill to name but a few.

The birds look very realistic, in that familiar heightened sort of CGI'd way but their movements, which must have been based on real bird's flight, are smooth and elegant and thankfully not exaggerated like earlier animations could be.

The story itself is rather more like a sci-fi one, rather than of birds of prey. Two tribes (the nice owls and the evil one, the Owl Army) battle when the latter kidnap the former. Another group, the mysterious one of the film's title, the Guardians, are a mythical, elite bunch whom the prisoners intend asking help from. That some of them then wear hooded masks and have full-blooded airborne battles is more Star Wars than any nature programme I've ever seen!

With pop songs to pep it up, stunning slo-mo's and popularised dialogue, The Legend Of is squarely intended for a demanding, modern teenage audience. Not falling into that bracket by quite a margin, it takes a little getting used to. The approach reminded me of Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge'; that being quite a radical departure from a standard musical.

Whilst I'm sure that the movie is worth five stars, I'm giving four as I cannot pretend it is "me" and isn't my usual fare. I'm glad that I stumbled upon it though, but sadly the DVD won't be on my Christmas wish-list.
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on 5 December 2011
With his recent foray into perverse 12 certificate films, Zack Snyder is not my favourite director. However, a CGI film about a group of owls could not be further removed from a bunch of young women prancing around an asylum, so I watched `Legend of the Guardians' with an open mind. It is clear from the outset that Snyder's stylistic eye has transferred well from live action into CGI - `Guardians' is one of the most stunning cartoons ever. The use of colour and scale is brilliant and the owls themselves look wonderfully realistic (if it wasn't for the fact that they talk).

The issues with `Guardians' do not lie with the visual effects, but the lack of a coherent story. There is a lot of swooping and fighting going on, but for the life of me I was unable to truly comprehend what most of the characters' motivations were. However, to over criticise the film for a lack of narrative depth is a little severe as the action, whilst it happens, is exhilarating. The good birds and the bad birds are painted clearly enough so that at least you know who you are meant to be rooting for.

In terms of voice acting there are a range of Australian actors, plus Jim Sturgess doing a strange Australian impression, that gives the film an exotic feel different from other CGI outings. The visuals impress so much that anyone with Blu-ray should watch the film in that format for maximum immersion. The making ofs are a little generic, but it is always fun to match the voice to the face. Overall, an impressive package let down by a lack of story, meaning the film will never be more than average, but still a fun watch.
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