Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole - Blu-ray Review

'Snyder might actually have found his element; as a kid’s tale, the visuals need to thrill but the story can’t be so complex that it threatens to lose them'

The man who it is currently very fashionable to lambast with varying degrees of ire, Zack Snyder, has, whatever your gripe against him, actually shown a propensity for directing varied works over his relatively short career. Call him what you will but how many other directors of his age can boast a zombie horror, a historic comic book adaptation, a 1950s political comic book adaptation, an animation and an original piece of steampunk-influenced female-fronted drama as their first works?

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole is Snyder’s first foray into animation and as you might expect from the director making a name for himself for making things full of style but with little substance, it looks gorgeous. Based on a series of books by Kathryn Lasky, Snyder might actually have found his element; as a kid’s tale, the visuals need to thrill but the story can’t be so complex that it threatens to lose them. Both boxes are ticked with Guardians and, for the first time with a film produced with 3D screens in mind, watching it at home feels like you’re missing out, even with the gorgeously rendered Blu-ray.

The story grinds along early on with messy ‘owl exposition’ as the rules of the game are explained; owls spit pallets, being on the floor is ‘very bad’, different species of owls occupy different rungs on the social ladder. It’s very literal and no attempt is made to make it otherwise. Kids will love it, adults will grudgingly accept it.

What adults might not accept is the horrible musical interlude that pipes up at around the halfway mark. The lyrics (something about flying and being an owl) are ghastly; the melody, saccharine sweet; the length, interminable. The good news though is that if you survive that onslaught the second half of the film is very good. Double crosses are doubled and crossed again, characters hitherto only mentioned come into their own, an inevitable confrontation – built from the film’s opening moments – comes about in a surprisingly epic way. Its opening half may be a trial but survive it and you’ll find a conclusion full of moments to enjoy.

Look further...

'the flying sequences are especially gorgeous to watch and of course, Snyder’s slo-mo signature are ever present in the various battle scenes' - FlixChatter, 3.5/5


  1. The old proverb 'you learn something new everday' has just hit me square in the face!! I had absolutely no idea Synder made this! I'm normally an avid animation fan but i just didn't get to see this. If I'd known it was a Synder outing I'd have made a real effort to see it.

  2. You're not the only one. It disappeared from cinemas very very quickly in the UK. Worth searching out but not spectacularly brilliant.

  3. This looks visually stunning but nothing more. I think I will eventually get around to seeing it though. Great review!

  4. Cheers Matt. Don't consider it a 'must watch' by any means but its a pleasant 90-minute distraction and kids will absolutely love it.