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'Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole'
(Abbie Cornish, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Hugo Weaving, et al / 2-Disc Blu Ray+DVD / PG / 2010 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Young owl Soren marvels at his father's epic stories of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, mythic winged warriors who fought a great battle to save all owl kind from the evil Pure Ones. When he and brother Kludd fall from their treetop home and into the talons of the Pure Ones, it's up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave owls.

Blu ray Verdict: This movie is about a young owl named Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess) who is in awe of a story told to him by his father of a group of solider owls called "The Guardians" who fought and won a war many years ago that brought peace to the owl nations. It is said that "The Guardians" live in a magical tree on the other side of the sea and they appear when owls are in trouble.

One day Soren is pushed out of the nest by his evil brother and they are both captured by the spinster owls of St. Aggie's. Soren's brother joins the owls in their plot to take over the owl nations, but Soren refuses and is put to work gathering metal pellets to make a strange machine that the owls of St. Aggie's plan to use to kill "The Guardians". Soren makes friends with another owl named Gylfie (voiced by Emily Barclay) and they both escape and set off on a quest to find "The Guardians". The rest of the story is about their adventures along the way and their battle to bring peace to the owl nations.

This movie is stunningly beautiful to watch. The effects and the animation make for a visually stimulating experience. The story is also inspiring. Soren's belief in a legend about the power of good over evil gives him the courage to fight against seemingly insurmountable odds in his attempt to save all the kidnapped young owls. There are times when the movie is a little dry, but the excitement at the end totally makes up for any slow scenes.

One word of caution on allowing young children to see this movie. Even though this is a cartoon, the movie deals with themes that include the cruelty of war, prisoners of war and the kidnapping of young children. The most exciting scenes in the movie are the battles, which are graphic in parts so this movie is really not appropriate for children who get scared when confronted with these themes. My ten year old son is the perfect age for this movie. He loved every minute, especially the brutal fight scenes. We will definitely see more about these owls since the end of the movie was setup perfectly for a sequel. [FL] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Maximum Kid Mode: Soren guides you through the movie and reveals exciting real-life stories about the owl kingdom - includes two challenges, Armor Up with Soren and Eglantine, and Match the Owl Treats
Legend of the Guardians: Rise of the Guardians: The owls' legendary bedtime story
To the Sky music video by Owl City
Four artwork galleries
True Guardians of the Earth: Digger and Rico Rodriguez host a look into the world of owls
New Looney Tunes cartoon: Fur of Flying

Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 12/17!