First Look: Zack Snyder's Animated Legend of the Guardians
Zack Snyder has been a busy man. Not only has he been directing a new action movie called SuckerPunch, but he's also been directing an animated movie about owls based on a popular series of novels. The books are known as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, but Warner Brothers has changed the name to Legend of the Guardians for the movie. The first trailer is attached to Alice in Wonderland this weekend, but before we get to see that, USA Today has debuted an extensive first look with a few photos and our very first look at the owls in the movie. This looks surprisingly good and has kind of a Happy Feet vibe to it. Check them out!
Ah no wonder - Animal Logic out of Australia is doing the animation and they did Happy Feet, too. Seen in the first photo are most of the main characters: farthest to our left, the lil' cute one, is Eglantine (voiced by Emilie de Ravin), who is on the owls' search-and-rescue team and a friend of our hero Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess), seen to her left. The other big guy is Soren's jealous brother Kludd (voiced by Ryan Kwanten).
"Soren is a classic hero," Snyder explains to USA Today. "He loves his sister, who is sweet, but smart beyond her years. He's a dreamer. He loves myths and stories. Kludd sees all that as weakness." In the movie, Soren is kidnapped by the owls of St. Aggie's Academy. The academy is supposed to be an orphanage, but instead it brainwashes its pupils into becoming soldiers who will ultimately clash with the peaceful owls of Ga'Hoole.
Other actors providing voices: Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, David Wenham, and Hugo Weaving, who plays Noctus, Soren's father, seen in the middle photo. So why Zack Snyder for this project? He says it's about his family and doing something "not as hardcore. We wanted a beautiful, computer-generated, 3-D world the kids had never seen before." But Legend of the Guardians is still action packed - think Lord of the Rings. "There are a lot of intense themes in the books," Snyder says. "Scenes that might not seem so intense on the written page but would be too much on screen. We wanted to pull back."
Stay tuned for the trailer in the next week. Warner Brothers has Legend of the Guardians currently set for release on September 24th later this year, so I'm sure we'll see plenty more from it in the coming months.