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on December 18, 2010
I saw this movie in theaters in Imax 3D, and I was astounded by the visuals. The atmosphere was breathtaking, and the animation of the owls was superbly done. The musical score is incredible for an animated film. This is one of the best animated films I have seen, and as for it being CGI... this is what CGI was made for. I was more eager for the release of this film to Blu-Ray than any other film this year.

What I truly enjoyed about Legend of the Guardians is that it is not just another dumbed-down children's movie. It does not look down on the intelligence of the audience. There's no blood and gore, but the owls do wield some scary weaponry and participate in some intense battle scenes, and the tone of the story can be rather dark at times. The danger to the characters is real, and there's a good deal of tension and suspense. It reminded me of some of the older animated films like The Secret of NIMH in the sense that the movie takes itself seriously. That's a refreshing change from the usual treatment that animation receives. When I learned that Zach Snyder (300) directed the movie, I understood why, and he did a superb job. I wish more film makers would take this approach.

After seeing the movie in the theater, I became interested in the books and I have read the first four so far. If you have read the books and not seen the movie you will notice some definite differences. Some characters are added, some are not present, and some have undergone some changes. The story is based around the first three books, and much of the story in the books has been condensed. This is the result of the screenplay adaptation process. There's simply no way to fit the entirety of the books verbatim into a film. The movie would be over three hours, and even at 90 minutes, the production cost is expensive. There's also a matter of pacing the film for the audience, and having a complete story for a single film. A sequel is always possible, but the screenwriters know that they need to tell a story without the necessity for a sequel. I would have preferred a longer film myself with some more fleshing out of Soren's time in the Ga'Hoole tree, but as it is, the story is fine and quite enjoyable. If you have seen the movie but have not read the books I highly recommend them. They are written for older children, but adults can easily enjoy them, and after having read the books and watching the film again I was able to appreciate the film even more for knowing some of the smaller details better.

I recently encountered a superb deal on a 3D-capable Samsung plasma TV and 3D Blu-Ray player. Tonight I watched this movie in 3D, and it was just like being in the theater again. The visual quality is just incredible. If you have a 3D-capable home theater, this is the version you want. It includes a 2D Blue-Ray copy as well as standard DVD, so if you've been considering upgrading to 3D sometime in the near future then go for this version. It's worth it if you like the 3D experience, and it's one of only a few 3D movies available at this time.

In regards to Charles Solomon's official review of this movie... potential buyers, ignore it. Read the customer reviews instead of this recycled movie-critic drivel. Amazon, if you intend to actually sell products like movies, please find people to review them that actually want to sit down and watch them, or at least have an open mind when they do so. Solomon's review sounds like he was forced to sit through a movie he didn't want to watch in the first place and then had nothing nice to say about it as a result. I wager that he's being honest in the sense that he personally didn't like the movie, but most of us feel differently about the film, and reviews like that certainly don't do much to help your sales.
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on November 4, 2010
Based on Kathryn Lasky's children's series (Guardians of Ga'hoole Complete Set, Books 1-15), The Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga'hoole is an epic story of good and evil, bravery, betrayal and of doing what's right.

Briefly, the story centers around Soren, a young barn owl living in the forest of Tyto, who is enraptured with the tales his father tells of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, the great warriors and protectors of the owl world who have passed into legend. When Soren and his brother Kludd are kidnapped and taken to a deep canyon where young owls are being "moon-blinked" into mindless slavery by the evil "Pure Ones", Soren escapes with another young owl and sets out to find the Guardians and plead for their help. Once they find the Guardians, a rescue is planned and the film climaxes with a soaring aerial battle between the Guardians and the Pure Ones.

The plot is not new. Fans of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, among others, will recognize many of the story elements and several of the characters common to films and books based on the classic "Hero's Journey". So, the question becomes - have the filmmakers made this hero's journey one worth seeing? For me, the answer is "Yes". And that "yes" comes, in no small part, from how the film looks.

Legend of the Guardians is so completely spectacular to look at that I found myself able to ignore some of the issues with the plotting and the script and just sit back and drown in the visual feast. The "scenery" throughout the entire film - so jaw-droppingly gorgeous in theaters - translates very well to the home screen and the animation looks superb on Blu-ray. The flying sequences are not quite as breathtaking here as they were on the big screen, but all-in-all I think the film has made a successful transition to home viewing. Certainly it remains incredibly beautiful and exciting to look at. I wish all animated films offered the same visual pleasure.

Parents should be aware, though, that "animated" in this case does not translate into "kiddie-show". While there are moments of warmth and companionship and a few humorous bits, the film has a number of violent scenes and an overall intensity that might frighten or lessen the enjoyment of the under 8 crowd. I will volunteer, though, that my just under 8 year old granddaughter LOVED this film and didn't seem to find it too intense at all. So my age guesstimate might be a bit off. Since parents always know their own children and what they can handle far better than any reviewers do anyway, I offer the "8 and over" as a sort of jumping off point. :) I'll add, too, that the level of intensity I felt the film possessed on the big screen seemed somewhat lessened when I viewed the film at home.

A few additional notes on the film:
* There are a lot of characters with unusual names. Unless viewers (kids OR adults) have read the books, they're probably not going to catch or remember them all in a first viewing.
* There are a few instances where the dialogue is difficult to understand.
* The score suits the film. In parts it incorporates the human voice, as Lord of the Rings did, to effectively evoke an emotional response in the viewer. On the other hand, the song "To the Sky" (credited to "Owl City" on the soundtrack CD) was, IMO, the film's most glaring misstep. The chipper tune felt so out of place it actually made me cringe.

Some notes on the DVD (I bought the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy version):
I'll admit straight off that I am not a techy person, so my comments on the quality of the video can be taken with that in mind. That said, the Blu-ray picture clarity is wonderful, the colors vivid and the sound good. For me, all are completely satisfactory. Navigation is pretty straight-forward and didn't trip me up too often - something I'm thankful for and something I, unfortunately, can't say about all DVDs.
The film can be viewed in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. Subtitles in those same languages are also offered.
Special features include:
* "True Guardians of the Earth": The animated character Digger & Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) host a documentary about owls which presents interesting information in a kid-friendly style.
* Maximum "Kid" Mode - Explore the World of Ga'hoole": Soren and other cast members act as guides for this picture-in-picture style viewing of the film. Information is offered on animation and various aspects of filmmaking and storytelling. Well done. Should be particularly interesting to young people interested in behind the scenes stuff and the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. Also included is additional scientific information about owls, their anatomy and their habits.
* Legend of the Guardians: Armor up with Soren & Eglantine: Kids can mix and match different types of owl armor.
* Match the Owl Treats: A matching game.
* "Legend of the Guardians: Rise of the Guardians": A short film about the Pure Ones and the legendary Battle of the Ice Claws between Metalbeek and Lyze of Kiel.
* Looney Tunes "Fur of Flying": The Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon featured in theaters along with LOTG. (On the 3D version of this DVD, this cartoon is also in 3D.)
* Artwork Galleries: stills of some of the lovely artwork from the film.
* "To the Sky" music video by Owl City.

For my granddaughter and me, this film was a winner and now that it's part of my home collection, I'm looking forward to sharing it with my other grandchildren over the next few years as they grow old enough to appreciate it. While the plot may be rather familiar, IMO it avoided coming across as tired or trite. That, along with the stunning look of the film, makes it easy for me to recommend it. And I do, happily.

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on October 7, 2010
The Owls of Ga'hoole was definitely the most beautiful movie I've ever seen. And it's use of 3D was amazing. I liked the use of 3D in this even better than the 3D in Avatar. It was that good.

When I first saw it on the theater screen I was blown away, even from the first credits. This movie has a depth and "realism" that truly shows what 3D is capable of, without getting at all gimmicky.

The story is a general coming of age story, of myths and legends and people who still believe. It's about family, and dreams, and all the things that touch us most. The design of the owls was outstanding, giving a natural expressiveness and uniqueness to each owl was a big feat considering how expressionless and similar looking owls actually are. But the subtleties in the expressions in this movie were simply amazing to see, and each owl had it's own distinct character, look, and voice.

The backgrounds were beautifully rendered, but also very real looking. It was that golden mix of a fantasy world that looks real, without losing any of the power and message of the fantasy.

This is a good vs evil story, and the scenery reflects that, from the comfortable, normal, forest home in the beginning, to the dark and sinister mines of the "Pure Ones," to the busy and optimistic bustle of the great Tree of Ga'Hoole.

Even the water scenes in this movie were outstanding, and water can be a nightmare to animate, much less when animating feathers, and wet feathers at that.

I agree with the other reviewer who said they need an art book for this movie. Truly, if you see no other movie this year, go see Legend of the Guardians in 3D. This is one of those memories that stays with you forever. One of the GOOD ones.
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on December 25, 2010
I have been lured into watching chick flicks, or children's stories retold for adults (like "Where The Wild Things Are...ugh) and it is often a tortuous event. I dragged my feet (big time) on this one, but was out-voted. I just can't believe I actually enjoyed it! I mean, I really liked it. I would NEVER have picked this one on my own in a million years! If I were to say something negative, I would say that it got off to a tad of a slow start. That aside, this was totally unexpected, and the ANIMATION! WHOA! I just thought it was going to be some fluffy, foofy, silly little kid's thing. While the kids did love it, I was astounded at the solid good vs evil story, awesome flying and aerial combat scenes. The owls actually look like their speaking. The dramatic depiction of a very stormy ocean... mountains. I can't say enough about the graphic imagery. Just spell-binding. This is a winner.
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on November 4, 2012
LOTG is animated children's film with enough their to keep an adults interest as well.
This movie has quiet a few characters and I couldn't help but feel some of them just didn't get enough time to really make their mark the way the film makers where hoping they would. This film moves visciously,unapologetically fast and that's where lies the heart of the problem.
I was really surprised at how well the action sequences came across though and the 3D was exceptional. I think just about any child would love this movie.

I think without 3D this movie still looks gorgeous and you could definently spend your hour and a half watching far worse,but the 3D certainly adds to the experience here.
The biggest problem with Legend of the Guardians is the story just seems too big for the scope of this movie and I really wish they had a directors cut with an additional half an hour or so. The movie seems too focused on moving the plot along as fast as it can when I feel their where some moments it should have slowed down and let the characters "breathe" a little.

I would say this film is worthy of a weekend rental, and if your a 3D buff,worth keeping around in your collection.

Another plus to the 3D version of this film is a Looney Tune short which features wile e coyote and the Road Runner. It runs around five minutes and packs a great punch in 3D.
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on July 13, 2012
I usually do not review a product that I purchase, however I must say that the Legend of the Guardians in 3D is a great video for effects. The art work is absolutely amazing. I am 79 years of age so I have been around the block a few times and I am not interested in animated films; but this family film was so impressive for me to watch that I have watched it more than once, each time I see things that I missed before.The animation is superb. The action scenes were enjoyable to watch especially when they came out into the living room. I cannot say enough about this film. I would recommend it to any one.
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on February 18, 2016
Lets make this short and simple

Animation: 1000000/10
Voicing: 1000000/10
Story: 10000/10
Everything else: 10000/10

This is the movie of this generation , it is so much better than all the other movies that have been coming out. Im surprised at the price! Its so inexpensive for what your getting. The directer is amazing the battle scene (that you can see in the trailer is amazing!).It really teaches a good lesson about never giving up and always believeing in yourself. I cant believe i almost didnt buy it!?
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on December 1, 2010
When I saw the trailer for Legend of the Guardians , I was so excited to see it. One of the main reasons was because it was directed by Zack Snyder and because the animation looked unlike anything I have ever seen in CGI. I finally got to the theaters to see it and I have to say that was let down.

First off, the animation was the best part of the whole film. I could not get over how breathtaking the landscapes were and even the way the characters were brought to life. These owls looked so lifelike and while they did talk and fight (yes they actually fought with blades), the way they walked and the way their feathers and wings went against the wind was astounding. The acting was very well done, getting a slew of well known names such as Jim Sturgess, Sam Neil, Hugo Weaving and Abigail Cornish. The only weakness this film had was the plot. I understand that the film was in fact the first 3 novels of this massive story. The reason it failed was because the film was way too short. The movie started off really, really light and then went really, really dark. There was very little time for character development as well as plot explanation and that would have really helped this film. I have read the premise of these novels and it is an incredible fantasy story. Being able to make this film with the use of CGI gave it tremendous potential to be a great film. Still, when it comes to family oriented films you always have to remember a good portion of your viewers has an attention span of a common field mouse. Because of that major flaw, I would be quite surprised if a sequel is ever made, they have a lot to work on especially if they plan to put another 3 novels into one film. I would love to see possibly a directors cut or an extended version of this film so they can thicken up the story as it should be told.

Still, Legend of the Guardians is something worth seeing if not only once. Just the spectacle of it is quite amazing and just seeing how far we have come to making CGI films as real as live action. This film couldn't set a better example.
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on May 3, 2014
I can't see how this gets trashed by others. It is a five star movie. Made by Animal Logic, an Australian production company. Very large voice cast, includes Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, Sam Neil, and many others. The film was criticized as being a Star Wars knock-off written by 15 years olds, but I don't see the connection. A wonderfully rendered heroic fantasy, more in the Tolkienesque mode than the Star Wars Universe. Back stories, legends, glorious fights, though it is true it is hard to tell who is who sometimes. The rendering was fantastic and awesome. It is disappointing it did not win the Oscar for best animated film--it went to Toy Story 3, which I didn't even bother to see. I loved this movie, it should be better known.
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on April 6, 2011
I watched this movie in 3d with my lady. This movie will just WOW your eyes. I am a movie buff, and this was the most stunning visuals i have ever seen. The owls are freaking watching this movie i thought to myself i actually wanted that white owl:0 The 2d version is great also. A friend came over and the kids were watching the dvd on their 37 inch hd friend was like WHAT IS THAT! lol. he couldn't stop looking at it(no joke it was that gorgeous). Had he seen it in 3d on my panny, he'd have tripped for real. If you want to get the most out your tv's visual's...this is a must buy. The 3d was better than Tangled 3d(which i still love) Step Up 3d(which is cool) and Tron 3d can't even come close...

The trees, water, flying and fighting of the owls, the shiny feathers of the owls...everything about this movie...ridiculous in detail. GET THIS MOVIE!!! I know my review is saying the same thing...but i just got to see it to know what I mean. I have a panny gt25 3d tv also if that helps anyone out there looking to buy this movie. The greatest thing about this movie is that the story keeps you interested. Its not a movie where you buy only for the 3d. You will actually watch this movie...the 3d and beauty will just AMAZE you and the story is quite suspenseful. Also, I treat my 3d movies like a movie theater...meaning I wait til its nighttime, turn off the lights and enjoy.
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