Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a movie based on Kathryn Lasky's Guardians of Ga'Hoole series that was released in September 24, 2010. It very loosely follows the storyline of The Capture, The Journey and The Rescue. It stars Jim Sturgess, Emily Barclay, Helen Mirren, Adrienne DeFaria, Sam Neill, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, David Wenham, Geoffrey Rush, Joel Edgerton and Hugo Weaving.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Deleted Scenes
- 5 Reception
- 6 Differences from the Books
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Video Game
- 9 Sequel
- 10 Photo Gallery
- 11 Posters and Covers
- 12 References
Acclaimed filmmaker Zack Snyder makes his animation debut with the fantasy family adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole based on the beloved Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones.
While Soren dreams of someday joining the heroes, his older brother, Kludd, scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd’s jealousy has terrible consequences—causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of Gylfie, another kidnapped owlet, and a Pure One himself. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, home of the legendary Guardians—Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.
The film features the voices of Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Adrienne DeFaria, Hugo Weaving, and David Wenham.
Snyder directed Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole from a screenplay by John Orloff and Emil Stern, based on the Guardians of Ga’Hoole novels by Kathryn Lasky. The film was produced by Zareh Nalbandian, with Donald De Line, Deborah Snyder, Lionel Wigram, Chris deFaria, Kathryn Lasky and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Village Roadshow Pictures Production, an Animal Logic Production, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
It opened nationwide in theaters and IMAX on September 24, 2010. The film was presented in 3D and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.
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 of 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 full 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 burning 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 him 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 receives a brutal beating from the evil couple. 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. At the same time, Ezylryb manages to throw Nyra off him, causing to her fall and land on an edge hard. 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 impales 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, a young Barn Owl, the leader of the band and the main protagonist. He is the middle child of Noctus and Marella. He is very kind and immensely brave.
- Emily Barclay as Gylfie, an Elf Owl, Soren's best friend and the navigator of the band. She is the dueteragnosit.
- Joel Edgerton as Metal Beak, a sadistic and power-hungry Greater Sooty Owl who wears a metal mask over his hideously scarred face and is the primary antagonist. He is the founder and supreme leader of the Pure Ones and Nyra's mate.
- Helen Mirren as Nyra, Metal Beak's cunning mate and second-in-command, and the secondary antagonist.
- Anthony LaPaglia as Twilight, a Great Gray Owl, Digger's best friend and the warrior of the band.
- David Wenham as Digger, a Burrowing Owl, Twilight's best friend and the tracker of the band.
- Adrienne DeFaria as Eglantine, Noctus and Marella's youngest child and only daughter, and Soren and Kludd's younger sister.
- Sam Neill as Allomere, a Great Gray Owl. He is a member of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, but secretly works for the Pure Ones as a spy.
- Ryan Kwanten as Kludd, a young Barn Owl, Noctus and Marella's oldest child and Soren and Eglantine's older brother. He later becomes a Pure One.
- Geoffrey Rush as Ezylryb, an old and battle-scarred Whiskered Screech Owl, a senior member of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole and the legendary warrior Lyze of Kiel.
- Richard Roxburgh as Boron, a male Snowy Owl, the King of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole and Barran's husband.
- Deborra-Lee Furness as Barran, a female Snowy Owl, the Queen of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole and Boron's mate.
- Abbie Cornish as Otulissa, a female Short-eared Owl, a Guardian in training and Soren's love interest.
- Hugo Weaving as Noctus, a male Barn Owl, Marella's mate and Soren, Kludd and Eglantine's father. Hugo Weaving also voiced Grimble, a Boreal Owl, who was captured by the Pure Ones and only works for them by force.
- Essie Davis as Marella, a female Barn Owl, Noctus's mate and Soren, Kludd and Eglantine's mother.
- Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Plithiver, a female snake and Soren, Kludd and Eglantine's nursemaid.
- Sacha Horler as Strix Struma, a female Short-eared Owl and a member of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.
- Bill Hunter as Bubo, a male Great Horned Owl and a blacksmith at the Ga'Hoole tree.
- [[wikipedia:Leigh Whannell|Leigh Whannel] as Jatt, a male Long-eared Owl and a member of the Pure Ones.
- Angus Sampson as Jutt, a male Long-eared Owl, a member of the Pure Ones and Jatt's cousin.
- Barry Otto as The Echidna, a mystic.
- Primrose, Dewlap, Vaygar and Madame Plonk appear in the film in uncredited silent cameos.
- While Primrose doesn't speak, she shouts while striking Twilight with a stick, sounding like Emily Barclay, who voices Gylfie.
- Vaygar is the masked owl who tried to impress Nyra by being trying to appear better than Kludd.
- Dewlap was the elder burrowing owl that watched, unimpressed, when Digger captured a crab, only to be pinched on the tail feathers by it.
- Madame Plonk is the Snowy owl seen singing in a choir with Bubo in the Great tree when Otulissa shows Soren and Gylfie around and tells them about chaws.
- Actress Emilie de Ravin was set to voice Gylfie (as heard in the trailer in a deleted scene that never made it to DVD), but she was replaced by Emily Barclay.
- Actor Hugh Jackman was meant to voice in the film, but dropped out for a cameo in Happy Feet Two. He was likely meant to voice either Noctus or Grimble, which would explain why they are the only characters to have the same voice actor.
- Jay Laga’aia was originally going to voice Twilight.
- Eglantine was supposed to be voiced by Emilie De Ravin.
- Rachael Taylor was supposed to be in the voice cast
- Ryan Kwanten was considered to voice Soren
- This is the first of two movies directed by Zack Snyder that Abbie Cornish appears in, followed by her starring role in the 2011 film Sucker Punch. David Wenham narrated the 2007 film 300, as well as playing a Spartan soldier.
- When Grimble prevents two Pure Ones from attacking Soren and Gylfie, they end up on floor. But a few seconds later, they disappear.
- Soren is voiced by a different actor in one trailer.
Italicized scene titles are non-canon titles
The Battle of the Ice Claws is a scene cut from the very beginning of the movie. However, the scene was fully animated and included in the Blu Ray edition of the film. For more info, see Battle of the Ice Claws.
Burnt Hollow Sequence
The following synopsis is gleaned from page 19 of The Art of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, page 4 of the lighting script in that same book (page 151) and a small collection of shots from a Legend of the Guardians movie trailer. The burnt hollow sequence consists of two scenes omitted in the final film that take place between Soren and Gylfie escaping St. Aegolius and Nyra taking Kludd and his fellow trainee solders to meet Metalbeak.
After Kludd offers Nyra his little sister Eglantine, Kludd, along with Jatt and Jutt, fly to the forest kingdom of Tyto to kidnap her and take her to the Pure Ones. Jatt and Jutt are flying with burning branches, the purpose of which is soon revealed. The lighting script shows no actual scenes of Kludd entering his former home, but it is implied that this is where he is heading due to the following events.
After Soren and Gylfie meet Digger and Twilight and reunite with Mrs. P, they all decide to fly with Soren to his family hollow in Tyto, perhaps (and this is speculation) to meet with Soren’s parents and inform them about the Pure Ones and how Soren and Kludd were kidnapped. There is also a frame in the lighting script that shows Digger holding a flower in his beak, but the significance of this flower and how it relates to the scene is unknown. Soren leads the band through Tyto, past the waterfall, and towards his family hollow. However, upon approaching, the band sees that the section of forest where Soren lived has been burnt in a fire. Presumably after kidnapping Eglantine, Jatt and Jutt used their burning branches to set the tree on fire. However, Soren has no knowledge of Kludd’s involvement, and so assumes that Eglantine and his parents are dead. Soren and the band go into the charred remains of the hollow, where Soren finds Eglantine’s owlipoppen, holding it and looking at it. Presumably there was some dialogue between characters, but almost all is unknown, save for Gylfie addressing Soren, Digger and Twilight - “We’re each other’s family now. We’ll find them [the Guardians] together.” Also at some point during this scene, Soren looks upon the drawing he carved in the wall of his hollow depicting the Great Tree, which lights up in the glow of embers.
Based on short snippets shown in the trailer, it appears this scene was fully animated, although it never appeared on DVD in any form. Gylfie’s voice actress is different in the trailer scenes - earlier in production Gylfie was voiced by Emilie de Ravin, but in the final film she is voiced by Emily Barclay.
Allomere Meets With Nyra
Two panels follow the scene in which Allomere dupes two Guardians into attacking Pure One dummies that do not correlate with any scene in the finished movie. It appears that Nyra approaches Allomere, flanked by Jatt and Jutt, and speaks with him. What dialogue fills this scene is unknown.
Digger and Gylfie
The panel directly following the last two aforementioned panels does not appear to relate to a scene in the finished movie. It shows Digger and Gylfie talking together. This was perhaps a more lighthearted scene used to break tension between two rather tense scenes, but ultimately nothing more is known about it.
Right after the scene in which Ezylryb speaks with Soren in the library, there are two panels showing the band gazing out at the monsoon that Ezylryb expects them to fly into. It is unknown what hollow the band are in during this scene, but it could possibly be the area Ezylryb and the band fly off of at the very end of the film (there are some parallels in the framing of both scenes) or it could possibly be the hollow of Ezylryb.
The Band Head Into Battle
Two deleted scenes appear after the scene in which Soren revives Eglantine and realized Allomere is a traitor. The first scene includes Otulissa, who appears to be addressing Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger. After this scene with Otulissa, the band heads off over the Sea of Hoolemere, towards The Beaks.
A panel directly after this short flight sequence appears to show the band conversing with each other before they enter The Beaks and discover the trapped Guardians. In the finished movie, the band do not touch ground at all before discovering the Guardians.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The film's photorealistic visual animation, voice acting, cinematography and 3D effects were praised, while criticism was directed towards the film's character development and adapted plot, which were seen as 'esoteric' and 'predictable'. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 51% of 116 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it received a rating average of 5.6 out of 10. It reported the critics' consensus as "Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential."
In the USA it took in only $5.5 million on opening day, ranking third at the box office in the USA. It ranked second on Saturday, earning $6 million, and was No. 1 on Sunday, earning $4.6 million (USA). Overall, it earned $16,112,211 on its opening weekend, reaching second place at the box office behind Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in America. This makes Legend of the Guardians Zach Snyder's first film not to reach No. 1 on its opening weekend in the USA; overall a disappointing start, only earning a fraction of this year's animation line-up and more in line with Warner Bros. other 2010 family films Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Yogi Bear. In its second weekend, the film held very well, slipping only 32% to $10,887,543 and holding onto second place, this time behind The Social Network, claiming the title of the biggest second-weekend hold for an animated feature in 2010. The film ended its run in February 2011 with a $60.5 million domestic (USA) gross, making it not as successful as the producers expected it to be and only ranking as the forth highest-grossing animated feature for the year. However, in the wider market, it was a major success, grossing over $90 million from its international release, bringing the total up to $140 million.
Differences from the Books
|Soren's fall from the nest.||Kludd shoves Soren and causes him to fall from the nest.||Kludd and Soren both fall from the tree after Soren gets accidentally shoved by Kludd when they are branching.||Possibly to show Kludd joining the Pure Ones within the run time of the movie so we could learn more about their beliefs as Kludd does.|
|Tyto owl's eye color||Black (both in books and real life).||Yellow/amber/blue||Possibly to make the eye pupil more visible, and allow more freedom with character expressions.|
|Tasmanian Devil attack||Doesn't occur.||Occurs.||To have a reason for them being taken to St. Aegolius (via Jatt and Jutt)|
|Rulers of St. Aggie's||Skench and Spoorn||Metal Beak and Nyra||The compression of the plotline.|
|Pelletorium training||All owls||Only non-Tytos. Tytos are trained as soldiers to join the Pure Ones.||Compression of plot, and to show the hierarchy of "Tyto owls over others."|
|Twilight's hollow and Digger's burrow||Separate||Same||To leave out the battle with Jatt and Jutt due to extreme violence, could also be for compression of plot.|
|Grimble's voice||Speaks with a chime||Doesn't speak with a chime||To make his voice rougher to more suit his character or because human actors can't speak with chimes, could also mean voice is soft.|
|Allomere||Doesn't appear||Appears||Adds a traitor character, also creates a character that can impose a larger threat and deceive the Guardians.|
|The Echidna||Doesn't appear||Appears||To guide the Band to the Great Tree and designate them their roles as the Band.|
|Bats' roles||Only sucking blood from DNFs.||Much bigger role: buckets of flecks are carried by them throughout St. Aggie's and deposited into very large containers of flecks.||So the Pure Ones could make the fleck trap without being affected themselves.|
|Soren and Gylfie's escape||Via the library in St. Aggie's.||They also escape via the library, but an intense chase scene follows, with them finally escaping through a crack.||Adds more tension and creates an intense scene.|
|Pure Ones and St. Aggie's||Separate||Combined||Compression of plot|
|Twilight's lute||Doesn't have one||Has one||Most likely to make his character more comedic, and to start the beginning of "To the Sky."|
|Chaw of chaws||Formed||Never formed||Compression of plot|
|Kludd and Metal Beak||Same character||Separate characters||Compression of plot, gives Kludd more backstory, sets up how Kludd later may become Metal Beak.|
|Hortense||Appears||Doesn't Appear||Compression of plot.|
|Mirror Lakes||Appears||Doesn't Appear||Compression of plot|
|Ice Narrows||Appears||Doesn't Appear||Compression of plot|
|Ezylryb going missing||Occurs in The Rescue||Doesn't occur||Compression of plot|
|Ezylryb's morals about war||Never participated in battles since he hung up his battle claws after his mate Lil died.||Quite the fighter, having fought Metal Beak in the past, but seems to show some remorse about it.||This may have been done to avoid complicating the movie or to give him more screen time.|
|Otulissa and Strix Struma's species||Spotted Owls (Strix occudentalis)||Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus)||Unknown, it was possibly to give them more appealing designs, but that is subjective.|
|Strix Struma and Bubo||The two are prominent characters with important roles.||They only appear several times with few voice lines, mostly in the background of battles or Parliament scenes.||Compression of plot and to focus more on The Band|
|Ezylryb being Lyze of Kiel||The Band finds out in The Rescue while Ezylryb is missing. They sneak into his hollow and discover his battle claws.||Lyze tells Soren that he is Lyze of Kiel after Soren sees him place his signature stamp.||Compression of plot.This was also possibly done to show the viewers the contrast between the legends and real life.|
|The Great Tree's knowledge of Ezylryb being Lyze of Kiel||Only Octavia and the Band knew until after his death.||The whole tree already knew except the Band.||This was possibly done to make Ezylryb seem more open, but humble about his past.|
|Death of the High Tyto||It is mentioned that Kludd and Nyra conspired to killed the former High Tyto so Kludd could take over.||Soren and the High Tyto, known as Metal Beak in the movie, battle, ending with Soren impaling him with a burning branch.||This could have been done to give Kludd more development, rather than leave him shrouded in mystery. The writers could have also wanted to avoid the relationship between Nyra and Kludd, due to their age gap.|
|Death of Kludd||Kludd is killed by Twilight in the Battle of the Burning.||Soren and Kludd have an encounter inside the forest fire at the Beaks. Soren is unable to save Kludd after his wing is broken, and he falls into the flames below. He is shown to have survived.||This could have been done as a cliffhanger to create hype for a potential sequel.|
|Grimble's Family||St. Aggie's was impressed with Grimble's fighting skills, so they ask him to work for them, allowing him to visit his family on small occasions. Eventually, they disappear.||Held hostage so Grimble would work with the Pure Ones. Their fate is unclear.||Compression of plot|
|The Great Downing||Occurs||Doesn't occur||This may have been done to avoid controversy or because the Pure Ones and St. Aggie's Owls were associated.|
|Digger's personality||Philosophical, serious and deep-thinking||Eccentric, high-strung jokester||This may have been done for comic relief.|
|Devil's Triangle||Used to confuse and trap Ezylryb in The Rescue||Used to capture all of the Guardians||This may have been done to portray the Pure Ones as cunning.|
|Noctus and Marella's death||Kludd kills his parents. This is confirmed by Soren when he meets their scrooms in the Spirit Woods.||Noctus and Marella aren't killed, and instead reunite with Soren and Eglantine at the Great Tree in the end.||Considering the movie was particularly aimed at children, this may have been done to avoid a negative reaction.|
|Slipgizzle||Dewlap is a slipgizzle for the Pure Ones.||Allomere is a slipgizzle for the Pure Ones.||This could have been done to simplify the motives behind the traitor character, As Dewlap's motivations are far more complex than Allomere's desire for power.|
|Soren's feathers||When he is captured, he's only covered in fluffy down feathers, much like Eglantine in the movie.||Soren's feathers are almost fully fledged when he is first captured.||This was likely done to avoid having to make another model for the character, and to give him a recognizable appearance throughout the movie. It could also be due to time constraints.|
|Eglantine's feathers||When she is found, she is fully fledged.||She remains as an owlet throughout the entire movie, however in concept art she has a fully fledged version.||This was most likely done so they didn't have to create a new model and find another voice actor.|
|Eglantine's spot||Twilight and Digger only recognize her because of a small spot by her eye that Soren told them about.||She doesn't have a spot by her eye.||This was probably just an oversight.|
|Nyra's appearance||Looks like a normal Barn Owl in coloration, except for her large, white moon-like face. She has a diagonal scar running across her face.||She is mostly white, has red face paint, and blue eyes.||This was most likely to give her a more striking and intimidating appearance.|
|The Battle of the Ice Claws||Instead called the Battle of the Ice Talons, a battle within the War of the Ice Claws between the Kielian League and the League of Ice Talons. The battle was over differing political agendas, with the Ice Talons wishing to unite the Northern Kingdoms, while the Kielian League wanted the clans to remain independent.||The battle was between the Guardians and the Pure Ones, with Lyze of Kiel in the lead.||This was probably done to introduce the Pure Ones and Lyze of Kiel. They also most likely wanted to avoid introducing information unrelated to the main plot.|
|Orphan School of Tough Learning||Twilight consistently brags about his upbringing.||It is never mentioned.||Considering the movie was rated PG, it is possible the "Orphan School" remarks were excluded during production to avoid controversy.|
|Twilight and Digger's families||Twilight was separated from his family when he was kidnapped by a St. Aggie's patrol, but he managed to escape before arriving at the Canyonlands. Later, he meets his brothers, Tavis and Cletus, and learns about his mother, Skye. Digger's brother was eaten by Jatt and Jutt, and his family went missing.||They are never mentioned. An owl that is potentially Digger's brother, Flick, can be seen in a deleted scene being slain by bats.||This was likely done to avoid complicating the story and showing graphic content.|
|Moonblinking process||It took several nights to moonblink an owl properly.||The owls were moonblinked after one night.||This was likely to simplify the process and show the results to the audience faster.|
|Moon scalding chamber||Soren and Gylfie are punished by being put in the moon scalding chamber, a bright chamber full of reflective rocks.||Does not appear.||Compression of plot.|
|Nest maids used as tables||Occurs||Doesn't occur, they use normal tables and platforms.||This may have been done as it could have been difficult to animate, or they possibly wanted to avoid controversy.|
|Digger's injury||Injured by crow mobbing.||Not injured during the mobbing, but when his wings later freeze while flying over the ocean.||This could have been done to make the crow mobbing scene more lighthearted action, rather than frightening and violent.|
|Strix Struma's age||Elderly||Young||This may have been done to make her seem more physically fit for battle.|
|Blind snakes' eyes||No eyes, only small indents where eyes should be.||They have eyes, but they are greyish and blank, appearing blind.||This could have been done to make Ms. Plithiver more expressive.|
|Pure One masks||Only Metal Beak wore a mask.||All Pure One soldiers wear masks.||This was likely done to portray them as villainous, and to distance the audience from seeing them as individuals.|
|Jatt and Jutt's death||The Band fight Jatt and Jutt in Kuneer, killing them.||They take part in the battle against the Guardians at the end. Their fate after Nyra calls for a retreat is unknown.||Considering the violent nature of the original fight, this may have been done for rating reasons, but the scene could have also been cut due to time constraints.|
|Jatt's jealousy||Jatt is jealous of Jutt.||They are friendly with one another, without any jealousy being shown or mentioned.||This may have been done to avoid suggesting internal strife amongst them, or to avoid fleshing out their characters too much in order to give more attention to the main characters.|
|Battle with a bobcat||Occurs||Doesn't occur||This was likely cut due to the violence of the fight, which could have gotten the film a PG-13 rating.|
|Harp Guild||Appears||Doesn't appear||This was likely done to focus on the main plot. However, Madame Plonk is seen singing in a choir. Furthermore, in an exclusive extra in the blue-ray version, as Soren goes through the chaws there is the 'harp guild' listed.|
|Male and female owl size differences||Male owls are smaller than females, as they are in real life.||Barran is smaller than Boron, Nyra is smaller than Metal Beak, and Noctus and Marella are the same size.||This may have been done to make characters better fall into gender roles and appear however more feminine or masculine the character designers wanted them to be.|
|The Band becoming Guardians||Happens at the beginning of The Burning, in the prologue. This takes place after the Battle of the Siege, and right before their mission to the Northern Kingdoms.||Happens at the end of the movie, after the battle in the Beaks.||This was most likely done to give the movie a satisfying ending.|
|Western Kingdoms||No mention of them.||Allomere mentions wanting control over the Western Kingdoms.||He could have meant the western half of the Southern Kingdoms, or the movie wanted to further flesh out the universe by adding another kingdom.|
|Eglantine's affliction||Stone-stunned||Moonblinked||This was likely done to avoid introducing too many concepts at once.|
|Strix Struma Strikers||Appear||Don't appear, but could possibly be "Strix's Battle Chaw" that was mentioned in the movie.||Time constraints or compression of plot.|
- Mrs. Plithiver has greyish, blank eyes, indicating that she is blind although it is never mentioned in the film.
- Metal Beak is a Sooty Owl in the movie, but in the books, Sooty Owls were considered the least pure of the Pure Ones. It is possible that a change was instituted after Kludd took control.
- The following characters don't appear in the movie: Hortense, Streak, Zan, Elvan, the Barred Owl rogue smith, Skench, Spoorn, Octavia, Ruby, Martin, Stryker, Uglamore, Wortmore, 47-2, Silver, Nut Beam, Poot, Trader Mags, Bubbles, Matron, Martin, Aunt Finny, Unk, Sweetums, Swatums, the Puffins, the obnoxious Masked Owls, and the Rogue smith of Silverveil. This was likely done due to various constraints.
- Streak appeared in the video game voiced by Anthony LaPaglia (Twilight)
- Primrose had a cameo in the film voiced by Emily Barclay (Gylfie)
- Dewlap had a one-line cameo and various small background scenes, but in concept art she is named "Speo", indicating that she may be intended to be a different character.
- Matron is mentioned by Otulissa.
- Vaygar from Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole has a potential cameo as an Masked Owlet trying to impress Nyra, but this is only fan speculation.
- Madame Plonk is seen in a choir when Otulissa takes Soren & Gylfie around the Great Tree.
- In The Journey there is an owl that has no name, and agrees to go with Bubo and Dewlap to find clues of the Barred Owl's death. It has been speculated by fans that this owl may be Allomere, but there isn't any solid evidence to back up this claim, as this owl is not a traitor and has no further appearances.
- A special font was created for the movie called "Ga'Hooligans", a play on the word "hooligans".
- It is possible that Allomere is actually Elvan, as they are both Great Grays, and some concept art is labelled with the name "Elvan" rather than Allomere.
- In the beginning of the movie, when Eglantine is gazing at a picture of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the picture is identical to the illustration of the tree in the books.
- Emilie de Ravin was going to play Eglantine while Rachael Taylor was supposed to be part voice cast
- The Pure Ones only moon blink owls that aren't related to Tytos, however, owls such as Jatt, Jutt, and Grimble, Long-eared and Boreal Owls, are not moon blinked, showing as they still have their free will.
- It is possible that Jatt, Jutt and Grimble, being responsible for capturing owlets, were not moonblinked due to the need for them to being able to think, while the pickers that were moonblinked had a relatively simplistic job in comparison and thus could be moonblinked without consequence.
- In an interview with Zack Snyder, he states that, since the movie/books take place in a world in which humans are extinct, you can see the Statue of Liberty in the beginning of the movie if you look closely.
- During the montage at the tree, Twilight is the one playing "To the Sky."
- It was Bill Hunter's (Bubo) final film before he died on May 21, 2011.
- Allomere is the only owl shown to have slate grey eyes.
- Early articles stated that Jay Laga'aia was the voice of Twilight
A video game of the same name was released September 14, 2010. It is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, and Wii.
- “There hasn’t been anything specific around a second Legend of the Guardians at this stage. We have discussions with Warner Bros. across a range of projects; we have projects in development with them, as well as projects in development outside of Warner Bros. Legend… lines up alongside all the projects we have, in terms of what’s the most attractive, commercial proposition to do next.”
- -Zareh Nalbandian in an enterview with Encore
According to Animal Logic's CEO, Zareh Nalbandian, there have no discussions for a sequel to Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole at this point.
Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten have both said in interviews that they would reprise their roles as Soren and Kludd if a sequel was ever made. In the same interview, director Zack Snyder also stated that he currently isn't working on the sequel.