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This review is from: Legend of the Guardians [DVD]  (DVD)
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.