I saw the animated film Legend of the Guardians the other night.  Seeing a movie like that late on a Tuesday night, I had the entire theater to myself!  A reminder of what it’ll be like when I’m rich!

Anyway, visually, the movie is one of the most beautiful animated films ever made; the fantasy world with giant trees and mountains is just so… welcoming.  You just want to fall into it.  They also did an amazing job with the feathers and fur on the creatures.  The character design was also fantastic, and they’ve done something no other animation studio has done (that I can think of); they were able to find this wonderful balance between the stylized and cartoony design, which allow you to read a facial expression on non-human creatures, and realisticity.  These animals (mostly owls) don’t look Disney-ified (or Pixar-ified), which leans to the more cartoony side.  Yet they definitely don’t look like real owls either.  To me, the balance they came up with is just awesome.

And, should you desire to see the movie yourself, I do highly recommend the 3D version.  I know a lot of people don’t like paying extra, but to me it’s worth it, it just looks some much richer, more tangible.  Some say it’s distracting.  Well, you can be just as distracted by any aesthetically beautiful non-story element, so what does that matter?  As long as it’s not distracting because it’s awful… and it’s not!

Oh, some of the action sequences reminded me of the movie 300… which I suppose makes sense, since these movies were directed by the same guy!  Zack Snyder.  He loves those epic action slo-mo closeups.  Really fun style.  According to IMDb, the director is working on a sequel to 300 called Xerxes.  I usually don’t much like the idea of sequels, but I do hope there is a sequel to Legend of the Guardians.  It seems like there is still more story to tell here… unfortunately I’m not sure the film will make enough money to warrant a sequel.  We’ll see…

Finally, I loved the 3D animated Looney Tunes short before the film!  My only complaint is that it was too short!  But I hope they continue the trend, and bring back even more animated shorts before films, even for non-animated films.  Pixar has always done it.  (Except for Toy Story, I guess.  And they sometimes cheated and used shorts they had made in the 80s.)  Anyway, film distributors should bring back the tradition!



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