‘Legend of the Guardians’ Review

Published 5 years ago by

legends of the guardians review Legend of the Guardians Review

Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a gorgeous 3D, CGI feast for the eyes with a story that you’ll have seen many times before. It has your young, inexperienced (eventual) hero, initially full of self doubt; a pending invasion from a dark, powerful enemy army; and a weapon that is seemingly impossible to fight (does that sound even vaguely familiar yet?).

That’s really your plot in a nutshell. I won’t bother naming the characters because frankly, they didn’t really register with me. You’ve got your “good son” owl who gets the attention of mom and dad and his jealous brother. There’s also a wide-eyed little baby sister owl who loves to hear the stories of the Guardians – wise and fearless warrior owls who lived long ago and defended the… townsfolk (townsowls?).

The brothers are kidnapped and taken to the land where the evil owl overlord is building a weapon that somehow magically captures owls and renders them helpless. One of the issues with this film is that the weapon is a complete mystery – it needs tiny little pieces of metal to function, but beyond that it’s quite literally a plot device.

While captured, the good brother vows to escape while the jealous brother finally finds the approval he’s been craving all these years – he’s trained as one of the elite warrior class and has no problem going over to the dark side (*cough*).

Eventually our hero makes the perilous journey to find the fabled Guardians, where he learns to fly and fight like an owl Ninja. There are hundreds of captured and enslaved owls being held by the evil overlord owl, so this leads to the inevitable (and epic) final battle. Will good triumph over evil? (Rhetorical question with an obvious answer).

Where Legends of the Guardians really shines is in the animation. It is simply breathtaking – the level of quality, the movement of the owls, the design of their world – everything is quite beautiful and excruciatingly detailed. The voice actors do a good job, with some engaging and funny characters and accents that add a bit of charm to them (for US audiences, anyway). The 3D is used to great effect and was very well done – not too obvious, but not so subtle that you’ll be left asking what was the point.

Where it isn’t so strong is in the story – which while pretty basic at its core, has a level of complexity in the details that younger kids will probably get lost. On the other hand, kids will probably be so mesmerized with the look of the film that they won’t mind too much. And speaking of younger audience members, for a PG animated movie some of the battle scenes are pretty intense.

In the end, I’d say this is worth checking out if you’re a fan of fine CGI animation and are curious what an animated, PG-rated movie from Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) might be like.

Legends of the Guardians trailer:

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Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. Great ill definitely see this!

  2. I got to see this movie earlier this week at an advanced screening, yes it was predictable but the visuals were so amazing that I overlooked the simple plot and enjoyed the movie. The best used of 3D in an animated movie ever I will say, it was classic and not a gimmic and really helped enhance the story and bring us into their world.

    • I agree. By far, best use of 3-D since the rage began. I felt like I was there.

  3. It’s very good looking, one of the best looking animated features I’ve ever seen.

    It is standard and predictable in story and I’d give it no more than 4/5 myself.

    • Rob,

      Yeah, I was leaning towards 4/5 but the more I thought about it the more it seemed like that was a bit much.


      • Hey Vic, I’m really glad that it was you who did this review, so in that way, I wouldn’t have to worry too much about it, even though it’s my choice to give it more then 3.5 , lol. This is actually one of the best reviews done ever because it was totally to the point and exceptionally well accepted.

  4. my nephews will be bugging me to see this..which i’ll cave in on of course, plus amidst of all the violent movies ive been seeing, change is welcomed

  5. The trailers did not make me want to see this film. Yes, the visuals look fantastic, but a whole movie about owls?? Maybe for kids, but this adult is going to pass on this one.

    • i wouldnt kill you lol….im not heartless. :)

      • oops wrong reply LOL…that was toward ricky, sorry andy :)

    • Simply because a movie features animals doesn’t mean an adult could not enjoy it, if not more than a child. What catches older audiences is an in depth story, one that doesn’t completely fallow a normal story ark; I agree that these types of stories are much more engaging. I’m now a fifteen year old, and I just saw the movie, and trust me, the story sucked. There wasn’t any character development, and many parts were predictable; however, it is certainly worth it to see it for the animation. I mnean, the animation was AMAZING. Over all as a story though, it wasn’t good, and the music wasn’t good either, but the animation, was the most beautifully done computer animation I have ever seen. You must go see it.

      • jenny, chances are i will, i love taking my nephews to movies when i can :)

  6. One big reason im going to see this (dont kill me Ants) my super epic trailer will be attached to this movie LOL!

  7. Ok good 😀 i wouldnt kill you neither ha!

    • well, much like Timothy Olyphant in “A Perfect Getaway” im very hard to kill anyway ricky

  8. Oh wow. LOL

  9. So is there alot of action scenes?

  10. Anthony
    I dont think so. If i need a latter ill get one dont worry.

    • LOL…have you seen A Perfect Getaway?

      • I saw “A Perfect Getaway” by pure chance (the power was off in my section of the city and a some friends and I had a few drinks and drove to the next town over to their theatre). “A Perfect Getaway” was the last movie playing.

        On the surf board… I mean the man is invincible. I didn’t mind that one bit as he is far too good looking to die.

        • i had always wanted to see Zahn in that type of role Jessie

  11. (Spoilers)

    as far as similarity to cannon go’s it is expectable and a sequel still following the books would work. and for fans of the books squawking about how kludds not metal beak he will be if you pay attention they just modified the time line with than having the original metal beak who’s place kludd takes live longer then he dose in the books were he dies an unspecified amount of time before the books story starts. they just kept him around longer and kludd comes back at the end and is sitting there looking at metal beaks mask. doesn’t take a genius to see he still takes metal beaks place just later then the books. that and sorenes parents live in the end they don’t in the books

  12. getting back to this movie, it does look like something i’d buy on dvd as well when it comes out.

  13. Anthony
    No LMAO!

  14. Ricky, so you’re going to watch this only for the Harry Potter trailer? Havn’t you’ve seen it enough times online and can’t you wait until its attached to a film that looks good?

  15. Jose

    Hey i want my family to see it,they dont like HP im the only one here who does and NO i havent seen it enough only like 50 times. I wanna see it at the big screen too! And this movie looks ok ill give it a shot!

  16. Anthony
    You recommend perfect get away (answer in open discussion please)

  17. And want epic trailer would that be rickster lol!

  18. Sully

    Oh you know what trailer im talking about *smiles*

  19. I could sound dramatic too if I had an English accent…

  20. Loved the film I give it a 8/10!

  21. It sounds that as far as being a movie goes, this is about as average and ho-hum as it gets. Stunning 3D CGI alone isn’t enough to pay $12 for this.

  22. Why not? A predictable plot with stunning visuals worked for avatar.

    • Ollie,

      Indeed. 8)


  23. This was just amazing….the stunning news whan Zac Snyder was following Watchmen with a PG rated CGI driven film…was as expected, very VERY good! Highy suggest you check this out. One of my top 5 this year!

    • If you are speaking only to animation, I would agree with you. As to story, they went astray.

  24. Went to see this movie in theatres on Friday evening and I really did enjoy watching it. Filled with Adventure, Fantasy, and Magic

  25. With due respect to Vic as the reviewer, I think this film was 4 or 4.5, easily. I loved it and thought that the story, while not particularly original, was still interesting and presented quite well…and yes, the visuals were absolutely stunning. I did not get a feeling of the plot being convoluted, so I’ll just chalk that up to people (Vic and myself, in this case) having different perceptions or interpretations of the film’s progression.

    • Archaeon,

      No worries, bud. :)


  26. I’d have to concur with Archaeon. Went to see this movie on Saturday with my son and we really enjoyed it. Some scenes were quite intense and I found myself pulled into it. The animation and 3d effects of this movie alone make it worth watching on the big screen, but I’m sure many others will enjoy it for the story as well.

  27. I’d give kids a little more credit for what they follow and what they don’t. I remember bursting into peals of laughter at some “adult” content in “Hook”, as a child, which seemed to surprise my parents.

  28. While it was a good movie, and the visuals were great, it was just way too darned violent. I was disappointed. Why they have to throw so much violence in films? It’s beyond me.
    I wouldn’t want to take younger than 13 along. And there were MANY in the audience where I attended.

  29. I absolutely loved this movie. The 3D was amazing! The Owls touched my heart. I actually teared up a little in some parts. I admit some of the scenes were aggressive and even downright cruel,I am far from a child and a few were hard to watch. I love animals. But I guess it was needed to show how important it is to stop those that are cruel. And unlike live action films there was no graphic gore. Maybe not for very young, or very sensitive children, but otherwise it was a visually stunning, heart warming, highly recommended movie.