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Movie Review: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

I have to say, I was really hoping that this movie would be perfect. It wasn't, but what really made this film work were the stunning visuals. Really.

This, to me, was a visually gorgeous animated film. The computer animation was richly detailed and the 3D effects were sensational. Even the exciting flying scenes - reminiscent of those in Avatar - were quite breathtaking, and the shots of the lush, dark forests and vast seascapes were equally sumptuous. However, these visual gimmicks and cool computer graphics are only the tools to tell the story and not the other way round.

I must confess that I was "carried away" by the movie's impressive visuals and seascapes, but this feeling soon faded when the narrative kicked in. I mean, the story just didn't go much beyond a standard hero's quest as it rarely rose above the cookie cutter kids’ fantasy plot. Frankly, it had great potential, but it was just not delivered as well as it could have been.

The pacing of the movie was a little odd too. For a bit, there's a flurry too fast for the eye to follow, and then everything goes into extra slow motion. Oh, and at times it spent more time on things that were clearly unnecessary. I also found it too difficult to keep track of who's who, as there was a continuous blur of feathers, beaks, and claws - especially during the final scenes. But, maybe that's just me. I don't know.

I have to say though that the voice work in this animated feature was excellent - with a considerable array of stars adding luster to the mix. The standout, however, was certainly Anthony LaPaglia, whose booming delivery and forlorn attempts at gravity in his "musical numbers" will probably draw the most giggles. Ha!

Ultimately, the film’s superlative animation, at the very least, made this a dynamic experience. I'd like to think that, somehow, it even compensated to it's passable story and odd pacing. Sure, the narrative side was impoverished, but, good thing, the level of visual invention was pretty high. So, good enough.

Movie Review: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Reviewed by DAM on 1:27 AM Rating: 5

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