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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole | 2010 | PG | - 1.4.1

Several owlets are swept away from their homes and families and placed under into slave-like conditions, where they are forced to perform assigned tasks by the Pure Ones. When two of the owls manage to escape from their captors, they make their way to the legendary tree where the Guardians reside in order to find help. With the voices of Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony LaPaglia, Miriam Margolyes, Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham. Directed by Zack Snyder. [1:30]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - An owl talks about being "mate" to another owl.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - Two owls fight and one is thrown into limbs of a tree a couple of times where a raging forest fire burns; the wing of one of the owls is broken and when the limb that is holding him breaks he falls into the fire below and dies (he calls out for help on the way down). Two owls fight with talon slashing, wing flapping and head-butting until one holds the other on the ground, a fire starts, the two owls tumble off a ledge and fall through the air, and one grabs the other in mid-flight (his feathers are blood-stained) and throws him (he appears to take a last breath, falls motionless through the air and we understand that he dies). Two owls fight with talon slashing and one is thrown to the ground. Owls attack what they think are other owls but they turn out to be decoys, and the owls fight with bats, slashing and screeching (we hear talons striking) and the attacking owls are caught in an energy beam that makes it impossible for them to fly. An owl is attacked by several bats (feathers fly and we see the owls wings stained with blood).
 A large, rodent-like animal attacks two owlets, it snarls and bares its sharp teeth, its eyes glow red, and pins one owl to the ground, but it and the other owl are swept into the air by two other owls.
 An owl lunges toward another owl that is pinned against a large rock and it is impaled with a flaming stick (we hear the owl sigh and see it slump over onto the ground dead).
 We see a few quick glimpses of a battle scene while we hear a description of the action that shows an owl wearing a heavily armored mask and metal talon covers and we hear a loud screech as it swoops down toward its victim.
 A large, blue energy web glows and flashes as an owl carries a piece of metal toward it (the owl appears to be feeling pain from the energy beams), and a bat screeches and takes the metal from the owl. A small bird is thrown into the air and several owls chase it; the owls fly into each other trying to beat each other to the bird and one grabs it in its talons. Large, masked owls chase two young owls, and they fly through a narrow passage where the large owls get stuck. Several crows chase and peck several owls and snatch a lute where a snake is hiding; the owls pursue and retrieve the snake unharmed. Several owls throw rocks at bats.
 An owl carrying an oil pot flies through a raging forest fire in order to light the oil (he is unharmed). Several owls fly into a heavy storm; one owl's wings are coated with ice rendering him unable to fly and he falls toward a raging sea below (he is caught before going into the water). Two young owls fall off a ledge and struggle to fly before landing on rocks below them.
 Owls are shown being "moon-eyed," when they are forced to look toward the sky with their eyes closed and "sleep," and they end up in what appears to be a trance, with their eyes covered in a gray haze.
 Several owls carry owlets (we see their frightened expressions) in their talons and fly a great distance; one owl breaks free and falls toward a waterfall before being snatched up again.
 An owl grabs a snake in its talons and thrashes it, then throws it on the ground pronouncing it "lunch." An owl snatches a mouse off a tree branch (we do not see the mouse again and there is no reference to what happened to it). An owl catches a moth to eat, and another owl complains that the moth was his; the moth gets away.
 An owl shoves another owl trying to balance on a tree limb causing them both to fall to the ground below (they land hard but appear OK).
 An echidna with sharp, pointed tines approaches several owls and pounds a walking stick on the ground while telling them what they should do next. Several owl pellets are thrown on the ground in front of captive owls that are instructed to pick through them and find metal pieces.
 An owl relates a legend to a young owl about someone "terrorizing the kingdom" and a battle that ensued. An owl talks about evil owls taking his family and enslaving him and we see an owl with metal talons holding another owl by the head while yet another owl is being taken away. References to "vanquishing evil" are made in a couple of scenes. We hear that an owl wears a metal mask because he lost his beak in a battle. Two owls (with horns on their beaks) practice their menacing voices and stares while flying with two captive owlets in their talons. Armor is prepared for an attack. An owl sings an "inspiring" battle song with phrases like "we'll keep fighting even if we are going to die" and "even if our wings get torn clean off." An owl talks about "dingoes, buzzards and hawks" as the scary beasts they will encounter. An owl announces to owlets that they are there to "serve the pure ones."
 A few owls have deep and booming voices that frighten smaller owls and those who are subservient. Owls are shown wearing heavy metal masks and sharp metal talon covers in several scenes and one scene shows masked owls with glowing red eyes.
 A few scenes show owls that have bloodstained feathers. An owl is shown a with a scar across his eye. A young owl gags several times and spits out a large glob that splats on the ground and we hear that it is a "pellet" made of fur and bones (that is, the remains of the mouse she ate earlier; we do not see the mouse being eaten). An owl burps.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (lower species, lame, gross and old).


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Legends, belief, power, dreams, preparation, family, orphans, forced labor, slavery, class distinction, lying, heroism, honor, monsters, myths, adventure, vengeance, weakness, rushing into war, peace, celebration.

MESSAGE - Power corrupts.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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