Box art for Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga'Hoole

anime & animation, children & family, sci-fi & fantasy


Soren, a young owl, falls into the clutches of the evil Pure Ones and must set out to find the legendary Guardians of Ga'Hoole - his only hope of saving the owl kingdoms.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    50%
  • Audience Score
    63%

common sense

ON for kids age 8
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
3 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Educational value
2 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5

Sweeping owl fantasy adventure is impressive but intense.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this 3-D adaptation of Kathryn Lasky's best-selling Legend of the Guardians books is more intense and violent than most animated adventures -- even though the characters are all owls. The movie focuses on the conflict between a group of owls that considers themselves a master race entitled to enslave "lower species" of owls and the Guardians, a hidden group of warriors that fights to defend all owls from evil. With such a heavy plot and many action-packed battle sequences, this isn't age-appropriate for all young children. But kids old enough to read the books and mature enough to handle the themes will benefit from the movie's message that all owls (and therefore people) are worthy, not just those whom one group thinks are better than the rest. Note: The 3-D factor makes many of the movie's battle/fight scenes much more intense.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's overall message about owl equality. How does that translate into human culture? Is it ever right for a group to decide that they should be served by others?
  • How does the movie's violence compare to that in other animated movies you've seen? Is it more or less scary because the characters are animals? Why?
  • For kids who've read the books, how does the movie compare? Were the changes understandable, or did they impact how much you enjoyed the movie?
  • How does Soren's journey remind you of other cinematic heroes, like Frodo, the Pevensie children, or even Harry Potter?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Let's be honest, it's a movie with owls fighting each other while wearing helmets. Sounds horrible? I agree. But, as it turns out, the movie deserves a chance. It may be a bit too scary for the really young ones and a bit too cute for older teenagers, everyone in between and adults young at heart should have a good time with this, though. The animation is breathtakingly beautiful, as are the landscapes that give this world a sense of depth and mythology. That works great for the film's fantastic atmosphere. The characters are likable enough, the story engaging and even offers a surprise or two. That makes for a really entertaining adventure that showcases what animated films can do in terms of photorealism. I stand corrected.

- ironclad1609, Thursday, October 10, 2013

3 stars

Cute little owls. This was a film that I really wanted to see, and sometimes my expectations are just too much. I expect this was one of those cases. I wanted to love this, but I ended up just saying, "that was pretty good". Bummer...

- itsjustme2004, Saturday, August 13, 2011

2 stars

Zack Snyder has stooped very low to male a film like this but there are a few good cinematics.

- scottgreen96, Saturday, March 24, 2012