|Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)|
|Title||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
|Directed By||Zack Snyder|
|Studio|| Village Roadshow Pictures|
|Distributed By||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release Date||September 24, 2010|
|Running Time||107 minutes|
|Stars||Jim Sturgess (Soren), Emily Barclay (Gylfie), Geoffrey Rush (Ezylryb), Joel Edgerton (Metal Beak)|
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a 2010 American-Australian 3D computer-animated epic family action 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, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, and David Wenham voicing the characters set in Pre-Aboriginal Australia and music composed by David Hirschfelder and Adam Young from Owl City. Warner Bros. distributed the film with the Australian companies Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic, the latter having produced visual effects for Happy Feet. Production took place in Australia, and the film was released in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D on September 24, 2010.
The film opens with Noctus (Hugo Weaving) flying through the skies, swooping down to catch a mouse and eventually returning to a hollow to feed his young. In this hollow, Soren (Jim Sturgess) is seen playing War of the Ice Claws with his younger sister Eglantine (Adrienne DeFaria). Soren (wearing a helmet made out of two leaves) is playing Lyze of Kiel, getting interrupted by Eglantine a few times before stopping to entertain her all with both Noctus and Marella watching. Eglantine says that Soren should let her be Lyze of Kiel on their current act, but Soren quickly dismisses her by promising her the "next go." Eglantine then plays Metal Beak, ramming Soren before being pushed back. This causes Eglantine's "beak" to break. Noctus then tells the owls that it's time for bed. The eldest child Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) (who was disinterested in their "play" all along) complains.
Kludd, doesn't believe in the legends at all, being jealous of Soren's natural talent and the attention he gets. After having witnessed Eglantine yarp her first pellet, Soren asks Kludd out for another lesson in branching. Kludd brushes this off as Soren trying to show off again, so Soren then wants to play Battle of the Ice Claws again. Kludd, already fed up of potentially having to hear the tale of the Guardians again, submits. Cut to both landing on a branch, Soren asks Kludd if he could show how he does branching without him getting so angry. His method which involves the Guardians tires Kludd even more, rolling his eyes at the mention of the Guardians. Having enough when Soren mentions Lyze of Kiel, he kicks Soren, which Soren responds by bumping him back. Both slip from the branch and fall to the ground. They are attacked by a Tasmanian devil but are saved and then captured by owls working for the evil Metal Beak (Joel Edgerton) and his mate Nyra (Helen Mirren).
Soren and Kludd are snatched by two cousins, Long-eared Owls Jatt (Leigh Whannell) and Jutt (Angus Sampson). Both of them are seen talking about how to intimidate others, with stares such as the "Predator" and "Intimidator." Soon, they come across another group of owls with captured owlets. One of them is the Boreal Owl Grimble, (Hugo Weaving) who is subject to a stare, but eventually manages to diss them. The scene now on Soren, still clutched in the talons of Jatt, they soon come across a large group of other workers for Metal Beak, with other young owlets. Soren meets and befriends the Elf Owl Gylfie (Emily Barclay). They are taken to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. Nyra arrives and makes a speech to the kidnapped owls, explaining that their families have abandoned them and that Metal Beak's "Pure Ones" are their new family. Metal Beak believes that Tytos are purer and stronger, and deserve to rule. These owls are encouraged to show strength and ruthlessness, and as such are to be trained as soldiers, while the rest will be "pickers." Soren and Gylfie object, and are thus sent to be pickers. Kludd denies his brother, which pleases Nyra, and goes away with the Tytos.
The pickers are made to sleep under glare of a full moon, which Gylfie explains to Soren that it will induce a sort of hypnotic state that she calls "moon blinked." Soren and Gylfie help to keep each another awake to avoid this fate. As predicted, the moon-blinked owls are docile and zombie-like the next morning; Soren and Gylfie try to imitate the moon-blinked birds, but Grimble notices their strange behavior, especially with Gylfie walking with her wings open, unlike the others with closed wings. The pickers are guided to the pelletorium, where their labor consists of picking apart owl pellets in search of metal flecks which the prey had eaten before being consumed. En masse, the flecks generate a strong magnetic field which has a peculiar weakening effect on owls' gizzards(which renders them unable to fight); they are therefore managed by bats, which are immune to the effect due to their lack of gizzards. Soren discovers soon enough as he was "chosen" as a volunteer to put the fleck into a bucket of flecks after which the supervising bat screeches to call another larger bat to carry the bucket to a large metal container held open surrounded by blue lines of energy. The scene zooms out to reveal Metal Beak and an unknown owl making plans as a new line of energy extends from the source to the new bucket of flecks arriving. Metal Beak reveals that he will set the trap once enough flecks are amassed and instructs his collaborator to lure their enemies (the Guardians). Metal Beak then promises control over the Western Kingdoms and "the tree" to the owl who then departs.
Soren and Gylfie make plans to escape, but their planning is interrupted by Grimble and they are marched off to the St. Aggie's library. After getting them into the library, Grimble reveals that he wishes to teach them to fly and send them to warn the Guardians of Ga'Hoole of Metal Beak's plans. He also reveals that his family is held hostage against his good behavior, and he has been waiting for owlets clever enough to avoid being moon blinked.
Meanwhile, Kludd and other various Tytos are being trained by Nyra. Nyra releases a blue bird which the Tytos are to catch as an aerial hunting exercise. Kludd uses several dirty tactics (kicking rocks at and causing a red banner to fall on the other owls) and eventually catches the bird. Nyra commends him for his exceptional discipline and suggests that he try to convince Soren to join the Pure Ones.
Nyra, Kludd and two Pure One guards catch Grimble, Soren and Gylfie in the middle of a flying lesson. Grimble fights the Pure Ones to buy time for Soren and Gylfie to escape. Grimble battles with Nyra. He eventually knocks her to the ground, pins her and tries to strangle her. Soren begs Kludd to come with them, but Kludd refuses and joins the fray on Nyra's side, stunning Grimble by his change of allegiance, allowing Nyra to throw him off. Nyra eventually defeats Grimble, fatally injures him, and sends him falling into the canyons. Soren and Gylfie are forced dive over the cliff's edge, and just barely escape through a small crack between two giant boulders.
After quite a moment of panicked flying in the open, Soren soon feels the wind on his wings and finally realizes that he's flying for real. With a moment of fun together, Soren and Gylfie declare their mission to find the Guardians. Soren then shows off his hunting skills by catching a moth, only to get ticked off by a quirky Burrowing Owl who tells them the difference between hiding first and resting first. After getting Soren's request for a resting place again with Gylfie acting hurt, sympathetic Digger introduces himself and leads him to the hollow. Digger continues to tell Soren and Gylfie about owls getting lost via jokes when the Great Gray Owl Twilight returns, with Mrs. Plithiver (Miriam Margoyles), Soren's nest-maid snake as dinner (which Mrs. P. objects to strongly, calling Twilight a "monstrosity" with Twilight responding "the audacity"). During a moment with Mrs. P. and Soren about the kidnapping, Twilight senses "an adventure afoot" and takes out his lute for a song, much to Digger's dislike. Twilight considers himself a bard as much as a warrior and adlibs a poem, to which the Band doesn't like too much. Digger counters by mentioning his owl jokes being "hoot" and threatens to tear his gizzard out at having to hear another of Twilight's "quote-unquote song". Soren carefully tries to sneak out, but Digger catches them. After questioning them on knowing their way to the Sea of Hoolemere, Digger reveals that Twilight knows the way, and the Band sets off to wherein lies the island of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree.
Kludd, under the orders of Nyra, brings Eglantine to St. Aegolius. They witness Metal Beak giving a speech to a large group of red-eyed Pure Ones. When Eglantine proves resistant to Kludd's cajolery, he chooses to make Eglantine a "picker." He tells her to sleep under the gaze of the full moon, moon blinking her.
Soren and his band are mobbed by crows on the way to the Sea, and nearly lose Twilight's lute, in which Mrs. Plithiver is riding. The battle brings them to the shore of the Sea of Hoolemere and the home of an Echidna (Barry Otto) mystic; the crows deliberately led them to the meeting so that the Echidna could give them their bearings to the Great Tree (and also tell them their roles in the group). Far out over the ocean, the group encounters a fierce hurricane, and their strength fails, and Digger's wings freeze solid. As Digger falls toward the sea, he is rescued by a pair of enormous Snowy Owls with armored masks-the Guardians of Ga'hoole. They lead the band through the storm and to the Great Tree.
Digger's saviors are Boron (Richard Roxburgh) and Barran (Deborra-Lee Furness), the king and the queen of the tree. They and the ranking officers of Ga'Hoole hear Soren's tale in council. The search-and-rescue squadron leader, Allomere, expresses doubts about Soren's story, but battle-scarred Ezylryb defends him and Boron eventually agrees to send a scouting party to St. Aegolious.
Soren, Digger, Twilight and Gylfie's training begins. One night, Ezylryb takes them out to learn how to "really fly," using a powerful storm to teach the young owls how to use the wind currents instead of fighting them. Soren briefly masters the technique of flying by instinct, though he loses control when he starts trying to think about what he's doing and nearly falls into the ocean. After the lesson, Ezylryb brings Soren to his hollow to discuss the lesson. While there, Soren discovers that Ezylryb is in fact the legendary warrior Lyze of Kiel; the story of Lyze defeating Metal Beak had been one of Soren's favorite stories.
When Allomere and his soldiers arrive at Metal Beak's camp, they are ambushed by the bats and the energy of the metal flecks is used against them. Allomere barely escapes, carrying two moon-blinked owlets, one of whom is Eglantine. With this proof, the Guardians go to war. Soren reluctantly stays behind to watch over Eglantine, and is thrilled when she finally wakes up. However, she tells Soren that Kludd gave her to Allomere to bring back; which means Kludd and Nyra had planned to ambush them, and Allomere is a traitor (the same collaborator who spoke with Metal Beak earlier in the film). Soren and the band fly off to warn the Guardians against the trap and Allomere's treachery.
When the Guardians arrive at St. Aegolious, they are drawn into a trap; Allomere peels off at the last moment and the bats unleash the power of the flecks against the Guardians, leaving the owls helplessly enervated on the ground. Soren and the band arrive minutes too late, just as Metal Beak and Nyra send a huge horde of bats to finish off the disabled Guardians. Soren hatches a hasty plan and sends Twilight, Digger and Gylfie to hold back the bats. Soren immediately fetches a pot with a tar-like substance (with some difficulty) and plunges into the buring forest fire (where he finally flies by instinct successfully) to ignite its contents. Meanwhile, Allomere reveals that he betrayed the Guardians based on Metal Beak's promise that Allomere would be the new king of the tree, but Metal Beak, in response to the unreported support, distrusts and betrays him, claiming that "there can be only one king". Allomere is then viciously attacked by several bats and dragged away into the darkness to an unknown fate.
Soren plunges into the flecks' magnetic field to drop the flaming pot on the mechanism which holds open the lids over the flecks; the fire burns through the ropes and the lids slam down, freeing the Guardians. With his plan disrupted, Metal Beak orders the Pure Ones to kill the Guardians. The Guardians and the Pure Ones engage in a fierce battle. Ezylryb flies to Metal Beak's fortress and confronts him. Metal Beak, desiring revenge on Ezylryb for defeating in the Battle of the Ice Claws all those years ago, attacks him. The two old enemies then battle each other, and although Ezylryb comes very close to defeating Metal Beak, Nyra intervenes.
Meanwhile, Kludd attacks Soren, and they both fly into a flaming forest. Soren doesn't understand why Kludd would join the Pure Ones after what they did to them to which Kludd's replies that the Pure Ones believe in him like no one ever has and talks of how Metal Beak said that the strong will triumph, the broken will be put out of their misery and that honor is just another word for weakness. Soren tells says that he knows Kludd doesn't think like that to which Kludd replies that Soren doesn't know him at all, before viciously attacking Soren. Kludd has the upper wing against Soren, eventually sending them both plummeting to the edge of the forest fire, but Kludd breaks his wing on a branch. Dangling over the flames, Kludd momentarily abandons his pride and begs Soren to help him. After one hesitation, Soren attempts to do so, but once Kludd gets a grip on a branch, his hatred and jealously reignites and he attacks Soren again. The attempt then breaks Kludd's branch, and he falls into the fire and disappears. Grieving for his brother, Soren hears Metal Beak and Nyra attacking Ezylryb. He becomes enraged at the demise of his brother and his hero in the verge of being killed, and flies off with a burning branch to avenge Kludd's "death".
Ezylryb is no match for both Metal Beak and Nyra, and is overpowered and beaten up by them. Soren arrives just in time to save Ezylryb, and attacks Metal Beak with the flaming branch. The veteran warlord easily overpowers Soren, who drops the branch and flies down after it. Soren ends up trapped on the ground, against a rock as Metal Beak dives at him, preparing to kill him. However, Soren manages to reach the flaming branch just in time, and manages to impale Metal Beak in the chest with it, killing him once and for all. Shocked by her mate's death, Nyra retreats with the remaining Pure Ones.
In the epilogue narrated by Soren, they return to the great tree with all the owlets, and Soren is greeted by Eglantine and his parents. Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger are made Guardians of Ga'Hoole with every owl bowing to them.
Soren tells the story to a group of owlets, revealing that Nyra is still out there with a contingent of Pure Ones, and also mentions that Kludd's body was never found. Meanwhile, back in the smoking remains of the canyons, a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes (most likely to be Kludd) is shown looking at Metal Beak's body and mask. The movie ends with Ezylryb and the band flying off into another storm. The credits roll with a shadow-puppetry presentation that summarizes all the events in the story.
- 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
- Hugo Weaving also voices Grimble
- Adrienne DeFaria as Eglantine
- Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Plithiver
- Sam Neill as Allomere
- Essie Davis as Marella
- Abbie Cornish as Otulissa
- Richard Roxburgh as Boron
- Deborra-Lee Furness as Barran
- Barry Otto as The Echidna
- Angus Sampson as Jutt
- Leigh Whannell as Jatt
- John Hurt as Old Owl
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Pure One Soldiers
- Barry Humphries as Big Owl
- Richard Carter as Allomere's Scouts
- Michael Wincott as Lead Owl