Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Rated 3.0

A young fledgling owlet (voice by Jim Sturgess) revels in tales of the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole—a sort of Owls of the Round Table who vanquished the evil Metalbeak and brought peace and freedom to owls everywhere. Then he’s taken prisoner by warrior owls and learns the stories are true, Metalbeak is real and evil is on the rise. The animation under director Zack Snyder is gloriously supple, but John Orloff and Emil Stern’s script (from Kathryn Lasky’s novels) is often as cumbersome and ungainly as the movie’s title. It doesn’t help that many of the characters have names that are probably easier to keep track of while you’re reading than listening to them in a movie: Kludd, Gylfie, Otulissa, Ezylryb. The movie never quite has the mythic, heroic punch it tries for, but it’s beautiful to look at.