Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole in 3D explodes off the screen with a visual marvel not seen since Avatar. Seriously. One scene in particular is mind-blowing, when the owl Soren (Jim Sturgess) flies through a curling wave, the audience basks in water droplets flowing off of the owl's feathers that are as beautiful as a piece of art. It is simply stunning.
The vocal talents in Legend of the Guardians are impressive as well. Actors Sturgess, Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Anthony LaPaglia and Abbie Cornish create a world that sucks viewers in and never lets them go until the final credits. Often, when animated or CG-created characters talk on screen, it is frankly distracting. With Legend of the Guardians, the technological advances in filmmaking are on full display and not once is there a moment to scoff at in how these creatures deliver their lines.
All future filmmakers seeking to have talking animals or the like in their picture should take a lesson from the tech team behind Legend of the Guardians.
The story of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a classic origins story that sets its hero, Soren, up for a ride to greatness which is littered with challenges that can prove deadly. Soren, his sister, Eglantine, and his brother, Kludd, grow up hearing stories from their father about the great Guardians of Ga'Hoole and their triumphant battles over the Pure Ones, a group of evil owls seeking to control the world. Where Soren is drawn to the story, Kludd finds himself identifying with the Pure Ones. So, when the brothers are captured by the Pure Ones, Soren manages to escape while Kludd decides to stay and join their army.
Until this point, the Guardians of Ga'Hoole are merely a folk tale, but Soren has hopes that his father's stories of their greatness are real. When he escapes and finds the legendary owls, he sees the tales are real. Soren is more than eager to join their fight against the Pure Ones.
Snyder has a flair for the visually dramatic and Legend of the Guardians allows him to further flex that mighty muscle. His film is a gorgeous, thrilling and enthralling study in modern filmmaking. It is 3D as it was meant to be seen. Whether for families or adventure lovers, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is pure pleasure.
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