The owls of Ga’Hoole have had a pretty exciting fall, with the theatrical release of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole happening this week. (Today, in fact. Right now. What are you doing here?)
I’ve been asked by the awesome Book Talk staff to talk a little bit about the film, and how it compares to the books. Beware, there might be some *SPOILERS* below. If you want to go see the film now, we’ll wait here patiently.
Back? Cool. Let’s just start.
Legend of the Guardians covers the story of the first three books of the Ga’Hoole series. It’s a lot of ground to cover, but the movie handles it with skill and gallgrot (an owl word meaning nerve). Of course, certain things have to be shortened, changed, or even cut when you are turning a book into a film, but screenwriter John Orloff has done a great job being faithful to the spirit of the books. (And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Watch this YouTube video made by Kathryn Lasky to get her opinion on the film.)
The movie follows Soren, a young owlet who falls out of his family’s nest and is kidnapped by the evil St. Aggie’s—an “orphanage” that turns young owlets into mindless slaves. He manages to escape, however, and then he and his new band of friends seek out the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a noble group of owl warriors thought only to be legend.
The movie focuses a lot more on Soren’s family, closing in and fleshing out some of these relationships. Kludd, Soren’s dubious older brother, gets a much bigger role in the film, as does his younger sister Eglantine—though she is ostensibly a ball of fluff with eyelashes. In fact, Eglantine steals pretty much every scene she’s in. Her cuteness is hard to resist, and there’s a very fluffy Beanie Baby available of her through Ty Inc.
That’s not to say the movie is all sweetness and down feathers, though. The owls of Ga’Hoole are warriors, and much like the books, there’s a lot of exciting aerial combat and clinking battle claws.
Also like the books, the film might be a better fit for kids about ages eight and up. The fighting can be a little intense (the director is Zack Snyder, after all), and the story might be a bit involved for younger viewers. (I had a toddler sitting in front of me that became very vocal about his shrinking attention span toward the end of the screening.) Still, the graphics are so beautiful and the story so fast-paced and fun, I think Ga’Hoole fans of all ages will really get a kick out of seeing their favorite characters on-screen.
Be sure to check out the first Guardians of Ga’Hoole book, The Capture, on Arrow and Lucky this October!
This post comes to us from a friend in our Trade Editorial department, Zach. He is the expert on all things Guardians of Ga’Hoole!