Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
|Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Zack Snyder|
|Produced by||Zareh Nalbandian|
|Based on||Guardians of Ga'Hoole|
by Kathryn Lasky
|Music by||David Hirschfelder|
|Edited by||David Burrows|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$140.1 million|
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a 2010 American-Australian 3D computer-animated fantasy-adventure film based on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Zack Snyder directed the film as an animation debut, Zareh Nalbandian produced the film, John Orloff and Emil Stern wrote the film, with Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Joel Edgerton, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Barclay, Sam Neill, Miriam Margoyles, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, David Wenham and Richard Roxburgh voicing the characters set in a world populated by anthropomorphic owls and other animals. The score was composed by David Hirschfelder and Adam Young from Owl City. Production took place in Australia, and the film was released in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D on September 24, 2010. The film grossed $140.1 million on an $80 million budget.
Soren (Jim Sturgess), a young barn owl, lives in the forest of Tyto with his family: his father, Noctus (Hugo Weaving); his mother, Marella (Essie Davis); his older brother, Kludd (Ryan Kwanten); his younger sister, Eglantine (Adrienne DeFaria); and Ms. Plithiver, or Ms. P, (Miriam Margoyles), the family's nest maid, a snake. Soren enjoys listening to the 'Legends of Ga'Hoole,' which are mythical tales of warrior owls. In jealousy of Soren's flight talent one day, Kludd pushes him off a branch, but inadvertently falls as well. On the ground, being flightless, they are attacked by a tasmanian devil, but are kidnapped by owls, Jatt and Jutt, during the attack.
As the owls take them to St. Aegolious, the canyonland home to the Pure Ones, Soren meets Gylfie, a young elf owl as well as many other young owls who have not yet fledged. At St. Aegolious, the second-in-command of the Pure Ones, Nyra, begins to say that the young owls are their slaves. When Soren and Gylfie protest, the two are punished as 'pickers.' Kludd, who openly rejected Soren, then comes to be a soldier to the Pure Ones. Grimble, the captor of Gylfie, secretly tells them that he is disloyal to the Pure Ones and manages to teach them to fly. However, Nyra soon catches them just as they are about to fly away. Grimble then sacrifices himself to allow the owls to fly away seeking the 'Great Ga'Hoole Tree.' To warn the mythical Guardians about the Pure Ones plan against them.
The owls manage to reach the Great Tree, where they are trained in different chaws, or classes. The Parliament of the tree listens intently to the Band's story. One owl, Allomere, a great grey, objects the story; however, another owl, a whiskered screech owl named Eyzlryb, supports it.
Allomere returns from a scouting mission from St. Aegolious with news that scouts were killed in an ambush by the Pure Ones. He had brought to the tree 2 moon-blinked, or in-a-trance, owls, one of which is Soren's sister, Eglantine. Soren manages to break her trance and Eglantine reveals that Kludd had kidnapped her and given her to Allomere. Shocked by this deception, the Band quickly flies to the Guardian's aid. Who are being paralyzed by mind and gizzard-destroying 'flecks.'
After Twilight, Gylfie and Digger fend off some bats from the paralysed Guardians, causes Metal Beak to distrust Allomere. Nyra had enough of lying. Allomere yells at them that he would be king of the tree. Metal Beak has Allomere dragged away by bats, believing that Allomere knew about their plan. Meanwhile, Soren flies through a forest fire, igniting a lamp of oil, and manages to disable the fleck trap, risking his life. Freed and recovered, the Guardians fly into battle with the Pure Ones and Ezylryb goes straight for Metal Beak. But Metal Beak and Nyra begin to overpower Ezylryb. Soren flies into the battle after spotting Kludd, but Kludd attacks him, throwing him into a forest fire. The two brothers briefly fight in the burning forest and argue, before Kludd leaps onto Soren, causing them to fall down a tree. Soren grabs Kludd's talon to stop him falling into the fire, but Kludd breaks his wing in the procedure, making him unable to fly. Kludd begs Soren to help him, but when he does, Kludd, who is still a Pure One, attacks Soren, only for his branch to break. Kludd falls into the fire, disappearing as a distraught Soren tries to help him.
Furious at Kludd's 'death' and hearing Metal Beak and Nyra fighting Ezylryb, Soren grabs a burning branch and attacks Metal Beak. Ezylryb overpowers Nyra as Soren and Metal Beak fight. Soren drops the branch, and whilst diving after it, ends up grounded, trapped against a rock as Metal Beaks comes closer, preparing to deliver the death blow. However, Soren reaches the burning branch just in time and manages to impale Metal Beak in the stomach, killing him. Nyra retreats and Soren is shocked that he has just killed an owl, but he is comforted by Ezylryb.
The owlets of St. Aegelious are rescued as Nyra and the remaining Pure Ones flee. Soren and Eglantine are reunited with Noctus and Marella, who have come to the tree. Soren and the rest of the Band are welcomed as new Guardians, Soren noting that it is a Guardian's everlasting duty to "Mend the broken, make strong the weak, and vanquish all evil." Soren states that whilst Metal Beak was defeated, Nyra escaped and Kludd's body was never found. However, in the smoking remains of the canyons, an injured silhouette, showing the distinct features of Kludd, is seen staring at the mask of Metal Beak, with the glowing red eyes of the Pure Ones, hinting at Kludd's survival.
- Jim Sturgess as Soren
- Emily Barclay as Gylfie
- Ryan Kwanten as Kludd
- David Wenham as Digger
- Anthony LaPaglia as Twilight
- Helen Mirren as Nyra
- Geoffrey Rush as Ezylryb / the Lyze of Kiel
- Joel Edgerton as Metal Beak
- Hugo Weaving as Noctus and Grimble
- Adrienne DeFaria as Eglantine
- Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Plithiver
- Sam Neill as Allomere
- Abbie Cornish as Otulissa
- Richard Roxburgh as Boron
- Essie Davis as Marella
- Deborra-Lee Furness as Barran
- Barry Otto as The Echidna
- Angus Sampson as Jutt
- Leigh Whannell as Jatt
- Bill Hunter as Bubo
- Gareth Young as Pete
Warner Bros. acquired film rights to the book series Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky in June 2005. The studio planned to produce the series as a computer-generated animated film under producer Donald De Line with Lasky writing the adapted screenplay. In April 2008, the project was under Village Roadshow with Zack Snyder attached to direct and Zareh Nalbandian producing. A new screenplay was written by John Orloff and Emil Stern. Production began in Australia in February 2009. The film was developed by the digital visual effects company Animal Logic, following its success with the 2006 film Happy Feet. It features "To the Sky", a song by Owl City. Along with the film was a new 3D Looney Tunes cartoon entitled "Fur of Flying", featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
The film was developed and produced for more than 3 years at Animal Logic's studios in Sydney, Australia. A team of 500+ artists, technicians, and support staff were amassed to design and develop the film. The film was conceived in 3D stereoscopic from the get-go. Animal Logic's team of artists designed, created, and animated 15 unique species of owls, as well as other forest creatures such as snakes, crows, bats, centipedes, bees, beetles, bugs, moths, a hermit crab, a Tasmanian Devil, and an echidna.
The end credits sequence shows the adventures of Soren, Gylfie, Digger and Twilight as told by the young owls as if they were putting on a shadow play performance in the Great Tree. It was this childlike quality that guided the animation and the interpretation of the story in the credits. The credit sequence was conceived by Felicity Coonan, and was designed and executed over 3 months at Animal Logic's Sydney studios. A small team of artists who had each been intricately involved in the production of the film were amassed to execute the sequence. Coonan wanted the sequence to be a playful experiment in 2D and 3D, because the classic storytelling form of shadow puppets is essentially a 2D medium. The credits were designed to be legible without 3D glasses.
The 2010 Region 1 DVD includes a documentary featurette about owls, entitled True Guardians of the Earth, featuring ornithologists and conservationists, and presented by child actor Rico Rodriguez and character Digger the Owl (voiced by David Wenham). The cartoon Fur of Flying is the second special feature.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a game based on the film, as well as including some elements from the books, for the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo DS platforms on September 14, 2010. The game was developed by Krome Studios for Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 with the Nintendo DS version developed by Tantalus Media.
Critical response and box office
In the US it took in $5.5 million on opening day, ranking third at the box office in the US. It ranked second on Saturday, earning $6 million, and was No. 1 on Sunday, earning $4.6 million (US). Overall, it earned $16,112,211 on its opening weekend, reaching second place at the box office behind Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in America. This makes Legend of the Guardians Zack Snyder's first film not to reach No. 1 on its opening weekend in the US. In its second weekend, the film slipped 32% to $10,887,543 and held on to second place, this time behind The Social Network, claiming the title of the biggest second-weekend hold for an animated feature in 2010. The film ended its run in February 2011 with a $60.5 million domestic (US) gross. In the wider market, it grossed over $120 million from its international release, bringing the total to $140,073,390.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 51% of 128 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it has received an average rating of 5.7 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100 based on 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
|38th Annie Awards||Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Sebastian Quessy||Nominated|
|Music in a Feature Production||David Hirschfelder||Nominated|
|Production Design in a Feature Production||Dan Hee Ryu||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in a Feature Production||Geoffrey Rush||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards 2010||Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Animated Film||Nominated|
|AACTA Awards||Best Visual Effects||Grant Freckelton||Won|
Snippets of the film were shown when the company behind the animation, Animal Logic won the Byron Kennardy Award.
|Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||September 21, 2010|
WaterTower Music released the film's official soundtrack on September 21, 2010. The album includes thirteen score tracks composed by David Hirschfelder. The soundtrack also includes the song "To the Sky", recorded by Owl City exclusively for the film.
|1.||"To the Sky" (performed by Owl City)||3:39|
|2.||"Flight Home (The Guardian Theme)"||3:51|
|3.||"Taken to Saint Aegilious"||5:37|
|4.||"Welcome to the Pellatorium"||4:51|
|5.||"A Long Way to the Guardians"||5:57|
|6.||"You Know We're Flying"||2:37|
|7.||"A Friend or Two"||5:18|
|8.||"The Boy Was Right"||4:04|
|9.||"Sharpen the Battle Claws"||6:22|
|10.||"Follow the Whale's Fin"||5:11|
|13.||"My Soldiers, My Sons"||3:27|
|14.||"More Baggy Wrinkles"||3:19|
There hasn't been anything specific around a second Legend of the Guardians at this stage. We have discussions with Warner Bros. across a range of projects; we have projects in development with them, as well as projects in development outside of Warner Bros. Legend ... lines up alongside all the projects we have, in terms of what's the most attractive, commercial proposition to do next.— Zareh Nalbandian in an enterview with Encore
According to Animal Logic's CEO, Zareh Nalbandian, there have been discussions for a sequel to Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, but nothing solid as to when production would begin, as such a sequel would come in behind several other films Animal Logic will be producing or already is producing with Warner Bros.
Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten have both said in an interview that they would reprise their roles as Soren and Kludd if a sequel ever entered production.
In popular culture
In the 30 Rock episode "Double-Edged Sword", Legend of the Guardians is the in-flight movie on the aircraft piloted by Carol (Matt Damon), who claims his passengers "... think that $300 and a photo ID gives them the right to fly through the air like the guardian owls of legend!" In a 2014 episode of The Simpsons, "Specs and the City", Bart considers giving Nelson an "Owls of Ga'Hoole"-themed Valentine, finding it fitting that Nelson should get a Valentine referencing what Bart considers a bad movie.
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- "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
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- "The Annie Awards". Web.archive.org. December 4, 2009. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
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- Walker, Michelle. "30 Rock Episode Recap: "Double-Edged Sword"". Squeetv.com. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
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