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Parent reviews for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Common Sense says

Sweeping owl fantasy adventure is impressive but intense.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 49 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 52 reviews
Parent of a 8 year old Written bymattsdad September 20, 2010

A war movie for kids?

Yes, it's got fluffy looking, beautifully rendered owls but make no mistake it's a movie about war and has long, intense scenes. I would have preferred a bit more character development and a little less action for my son. As with many movies, I am left wondering who the target audience for this movie is. Kids over the age of 14 aren't going to see "a movie about owls" and children under 10 are going to find themselves exposed to war themes and scenes.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bykinderqueen September 26, 2010

evil images for small children

I think owls are really beautiful, so my children and I were very excited to see this movie! I was extremely disappointed, however, when the first thirty minutes of the movie depicted young owls being kidnapped from their homes and brainwashed into a cult. When a hero finally showed up in the form of a sweet, protective, older owl; he was killed off in a violent confrontation. The movie made me very uncomfortable for all of the littles who were in the theater. Small children do not have an adult's logic to make sense of disturbing scenes that stay with them long after a movie is over. It plays on their worst fears...kidnapped from your parents?? I took my daughter and got a refund. I wish this would have been a comforting movie about how beautiful owls watch over the forest in the night. Maybe I'll make my own owl movie. And you bet your boots it will be appropriate for children!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 9 year old Written byfriendlytoanimals February 21, 2011

Extremely violent. Animation doesn't change this fact.

our whole family hated this movie. I can't believe that people act like it is just little scary. Full on war scenes; torture. Just because it is animated doesn't make it benign. People talk about the positive message, but as far as i can see it's the same old hollywood message as always; and that message is that violence is entertaining and the only way to deal with problems. Beautiful animation does not make up for this.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 7 year old Written byjudybee October 30, 2010

Good, but one particularly disturbing aspect for my 7 year old

My 7 year old an I enjoyed the movie, but it was a little darker than ideal. The most disturbing thing that left the biggest impression w/her is "moonwinking" (in which the kidnapped baby owls forget about their families, and their eyes turn all white.) We've heard about that one at a few bedtimes...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 3 and 8 year old Written bymelindam15 January 29, 2011
Way too violent and the issues it deals with are not age appropriate for young children, or even older children. Master Race? Slavery? Brotherly Betrayal? Characters Falling to their Death? NOT COOL.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent Written bymacmomdaly September 27, 2010

May be too dark for younger children

This is a dark movie. My eight-year-old is reading the book and couldn't wait to see it. As with most books right off there are several differences and not much character development. Most of the movie is pretty dark so if that effects your child don't see it in 3-D. We saw it IMAX/3-D. My son really didn't like that owls got hurt and the "moonblindness". My 11-year-old thought it was great. As an adult I enjoyed it. I was disappointed that my son, who most looked forward to seeing it, was not a big fan. Go see with caution.
Adult Written byshine November 24, 2012

You might as well watch it without sound.

We read the first book in the series and loved it. We knew the movie would cover more than the first book but we didn't realize it was going to speed through so much character development and make little sense. The animation is good, but the story, modified for the movie, fails to deliver anything worthwhile. You might as well watch it without sound.
Parent of a 10 year old Written byMichmom March 29, 2011
Surprisingly good! Definitely not for young children who are easily frightened as it was intense at times.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written bykuromii3 February 5, 2011

Not so good for 8 year olds!

Im a parent with a 22 yr old and a 8 year old i think there was alot of violence and language. i also rate it for 8+... please watch the preview first before you see this. and it is NOT PG.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 9 year old Written byCBeth March 20, 2011

Valuable lessons and engaging story

This movie was a surprise hit for us; it hadn't received great ratings so we didn't see it in the theaters, about which we are now sorry, because the visual effects seem impressive (not so much on our older TV!). I for one appreciate stories that present serious moral and ethical issues that reflect real history and current events in a way that is understandable to kids and also in a way that they can discuss it without feeling immediately threatened (as some might in discussing real world events). It is of course incumbent upon parents to help their children reflect upon these things. I didn't find the violence level worse than what we have come to expect from PG ratings, but it does seem like it would be too much for littler kids ... although it does have some quite humorous moments, it is pretty serious as well.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byLMEDDY January 13, 2011

Intense Themes

We were very disappointed in this movie. Although it's beautiful to look at, the storyline and experiences the characters have throughout the movie would be quite scary for children under 10. These range from the owls being kidnapped, to the youngest owl being "mooned"...turned into a zombie creature, fighting amongst sibling and intense fighting scenes. I thought this was a cute kid's movie...not!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written by_Lizzy_ October 1, 2018

The movie is alright! It is a bit too voilent for little children... It was not the best movie I have ever seen, I would not watch it again, but I guess it is not too bad!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byElisa D. May 28, 2018

Gorgeous looking movie, but nothing like the books

I read the books when they first came out and absolutely fell in love with the characters so of course I wanted to see the movie! But for someone who is quite passionate about "does the storyline in the movie follow fairly closely to the book storyline?", I was thoroughly disappointed. The characters were changed or else their personalities were mixed up with the personalities of other characters not to mention introducing a character within the first half hour that does not exist until the 4th book all made the movie hard to watch as well as disappointing. For children, it does have a tendancy to become fairly violent although in regards to the dark nature of the storyline with baby owls being kidnapped and everything, those are things that have been pulled straight from the books themselves. Overall, the movie was a gorgeous cinematic experience but in the end left much to be desired when comparing to the books themselves.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byFrederick W May 28, 2017

Bird lovers take note.

A feathered version of the epic struggle between good and evil; between freedom and slavery. As the various avian characters' habits and habitats are depicted there's plenty of comic- and naturalistic-relief. See, for instance, Digger, the burrowing owl. This tale is timely and eternal. The evil continually find ways/weapons with which to enslave or exterminate the weak, the dreamers of a better world, the egalitarians. The visuals are stunning. It seems ornithological insight is at work here too, which provides some humor for bird lovers. In the end, the Guardians -- the good -- overcome evil, despite a traitor among them. Given current and seemingly universal political developments, adults will find simple parallels abound in this stunning little animation.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 year old Written byGerald Z. March 2, 2017

Excellent plot. Great visuals.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byKen P. October 7, 2016

Kidnapping

My daughter who is 8 said she likes the books... we watched thr movie in the first 10 minutes of the movie the kids fall out of their home in a tree, are attacked, and then are kidnapped and sent to an "orphanage" for forced labor. TERRIBLE message. I TURNED IT OFF.
Adult Written bylitosjr September 12, 2015

students

Fine

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byterrislp November 16, 2011

Good conversation starter.

It's a great movie to spark a conversation about standing up for yourself and others and doing what you think is right, even when it's not popular. It is scary for younger children.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byMisterDad August 26, 2011

Epic.

This is an epic movie. The themes of war and oppression are handled responsibly and starkly. This is a story of unlikely heroes and betrayal. The adults will enjoy this movie. The children can enjoy the movie as well, as long as they can handle these themes. This is not Pollyanna, but more of the Odyssey with owls.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 5 year old Written byInconceivable March 5, 2011

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