|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|
|Box office||$140.1 million|
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy-adventure family film directed by Zack Snyder. Based on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky, the film was written John Orloff and Emil Stern and features the voices of Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, Miriam Margolyes, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh and David Wenham. The film was produced and developed by Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic, following their success with the 2006 film Happy Feet.
Legend of the Guardians was theatrically released in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D in North America on September 24, 2010, and in Australia on September 30, 2010, by Warner Bros. Pictures; it was accompanied by a new 3D Looney Tunes cartoon entitled Fur of Flying. It grossed $140 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its voice performances and visual effects but criticized its story and characters.
Soren, a young barn owl, lives in the Tyto Forest with his family. Soren enjoys listening to his father's stories of the "Guardians of Ga'Hoole," valiant warrior owls who fight against the evil Pure Ones, but his older brother Kludd. When their father teaches them how to fly, Kludd becomes jealous of Soren and pushes him off a branch while their parents are out hunting, causing them both to fall to the ground. They are attacked by a Tasmanian devil, but are saved (and subsequently kidnapped) by Jatt and Jutt, two owls who work for the Pure Ones.
At a facility called the St. Aegolius Home for Orphaned Owls, the Pure Ones' queen Nyra greets the brothers and several other owls who have been kidnapped who says that they will become either soldiers or pickers (owls who pick through owl pellets and find lttle bits of metal called "flecks" that are used to build a superweapon). Kludd becomes a soldier while Soren and a young elf owl Gylfie become pickers and are forced to be "moon-blinked," but they resist. They are spotted by Grimble, a boreal owl, who only works the Pure Ones only to keep his family safe. He teaches them to fly, but Nyra finds out, so she engages in a battle with Grimble and kills him. Following his instructions to find the Great Tree of Ga'Hoole, Soren and Gylfie escape and soon meet Twilight, a great grey owl, and Digger, a burrowing owl. While resting in their hollow, Soren is reunited with Mrs. P, his family's nest maid, who was captured by Twilight while searching for Soren and Kludd. She agrees to go with them and find the Guardians.
The owls fly towards the sea of Hoolemere where some crows guide them to the legendary shrine of the Guardians, guarded by an oracular echidna who sends the owls out to sea to find the Island of Ga'Hoole. While flying, the band encounters a fierce storm and Digger's wings freeze, causing him to fall into the sea and nearly drown, but they are saved by Boron and Barran, a pair of snowy owls who are the king and queen of the Guardians. They lead the party to the Great Tree of Ga'Hoole where Soren tells the Guardians about the Pure Ones' plans. The Guardians are skeptical, but an elderly screech owl named Ezylryb is convinced and Boron sends a great grey owl called Allomere out with two scouts to investigate St. Aegolius.
The owls stay in the Tree of Ga'Hoole for a long time and are looked after by a young Guardian-in-training named Otulissa, a short-eared owl whom Soren develops a crush on. During a flying lesson in the middle of a rainstorm, Soren grasps a brief hold on gizzard-flying (flying purely with instinct), but loses control and falls towards the sea. Ezylryb rescues him and orders Soren back to his hollow, where he learns that Ezylryb is really the famous hero Lyze of Kiel, the legendary leader of the Guardians who fought and defeated Metal Beak, Nyra's mate. Ezylryb explains to Soren that battle isn’t about glory or heroism, but doing what is right. Allomere returns from his scouting mission with news that his two wingmen were killed in an ambush. He brings back two moon-blinked owlets, one of which is Soren's younger sister Eglantine. The Guardians prepare for battle and fly out towards St. Aegolius; before leaving, Ezylryb instructs Soren to tend to his sister. When she finally snaps out of her trance, Eglantine tells Soren that it was Kludd who moon-blinked her and gave her to Allomere, confirming that Allomere is a traitor and that the Guardians are actually flying into a trap. The owls fly back to St. Aegolius where they find Metal Beak holding the Guardians captive in a machine powered by "flecks" guarded by bats.
Twilight, Gylfie and Digger fend off the bats sent by Metal Beak to kill the Guardians, and Metal Beak has Allomere taken away by several bats. Meanwhile, Soren navigates his way through a forest fire by successfully gizzard-flying and manages to disable the fleck trap by burning the wooden winch holding the lids of the fleck containers up, slamming them shut and nullifying the effects. The Guardians and Twilight fly into battle and Ezylryb goes straight for Metal Beak and Nyra, who nearly overpower him. Soren joins the battle after he sees Kludd, but Kludd attacks him; they engage in a fight that culminates in Kludd falling into the fire below, presumably killing him. Furious at his brother's apparent death and betrayal, Soren grabs a flaming branch and stabs Metal Beak to death, saving Ezlyrybthe younger owl manages to stab him with the flaming branch, killing him. Nyra, shocked at her mate's death, retreats with the remaining Pure Ones, vowing revenge on the Guardians.
When they return to the tree, Soren and the others are initiated as new Guardians by Boron and Barran. Some time later, Soren tells the story to a group of owlets, revealing that Nyra is still out there with a contingent of Pure Ones and Kludd's body was never retrieved. Meanwhile, back in the smoking remains of the canyons, a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes is seen looking at Metal Beak's body and mask. The film ends with Ezylryb and the owls flying off into another storm.
- 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
- Sacha Horler as Strix Struma
- 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 the rights to produce a computer-animated film to the book series Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathyrn Lasky in June 2005. Donald De Line was set to produce the film and Lasky was set to write the screenplay. In April 2008, Zack Snyder signed on as director, Zareh Nalbandian took over as producer and a new screenplay was written by John Orloff and Emil Stern. Production began in Australia in February 2009.
The film's animation process took place at Animal Logic's headquarters in Sydney, Australia. A team of over 500 artists, technicians and support staff were amassed to design and animate 15 unique species of owls, as well as other forest creatures such as snakes, crows, bats, centipedes, bees, beetles, moths, a hermit crab, a Tasmanian devil, and an echidna.
The animated 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. This idea was conceived by Felicity Coonan and took around three months to animate. Coonan wanted the sequence to be a playful experiment in 2D and 3D, as the classic storytelling form of shadow puppets is a 2D medium. The credits were designed to be legible without 3D glasses.
Much of the cast was announced in the early months of 2009. Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten were announced in January; Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Rachael Taylor and David Wenham in February; and Emilie De Ravin in March.
In November 2009, the rest of the cast was announced, including Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Anthony LaPaglia, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, and Sam Neill, who replaced Jackman as the role of Allomere.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole was theatrically released in the United States on September 24, 2010, and in Australia on September 30, 2010, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
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 also included on the DVD.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a video game based on the film 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 while the Nintendo DS version was developed by Tantalus Media.
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 52% of 132 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it has received an average rating of 5.67 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.
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 were discussions for a sequel to Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole as of 2011, 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 a 2010 interview that they would reprise their roles as Soren and Kludd if a sequel ever entered production.
|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", Owl City exclusively for the film.
|1.||"To the Sky" (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|
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.
- ""Owls of Ga'Hoole" swoop into movie with Aussie accents". September 23, 2010 – via www.reuters.com.
- "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "Film Distribution - Village Roadshow". Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- "Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga'hoole (2010)". British Film Institute. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Fritz, Ben (September 23, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Wall Street' and 'Guardians' to battle for No. 1 as 'You Again' lags". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- "'Guardians' angel is Warner Bros". Variety. June 16, 2005. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- Fleming, Michael (April 13, 2008). "Snyder to watch over 'Guardians'". Variety. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- Kilday, Gregg (February 9, 2009). "Four fly to Zack Snyder's animated 'Guardians'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- "Animal Logic » Our Work » Film". Animal Logic. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
- "Animal Logic » Our Work » Design". Animal Logic. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
- "Warner Bros. Announces Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Game". IGN. March 24, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "The Annie Awards". December 4, 2009. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- "AACTA unveils first round of awards". Intermedia. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Walker, Michelle (April 5, 2011). "Zareh Nalbandian talks Animal Logic's future films". Mumbrella.com.au. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Gilchrist, Todd. "Telling the Epic Legend of the Guardians". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Walker, Michelle. "30 Rock Episode Recap: "Double-Edged Sword"". Squeetv.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole.|