In case you hadn't figured it out, my rush to get “Idiots and Angels” in the cinema this fall is because in order to be eligible for Oscar contention, it has to be released by the end of 2010.
This year has a very promising group of films for my competition, “Toy Story 3”, “How to Train Your Dragon”, and “Tangled”.
It's important for me to try to see all of the animated feature films released this year so I can get a sense of what my odds are. Also, if there are over 15 features released, then the number of nominated films bumps from 3 to 5, which also gives me better odds.
In any case, I rushed out to see “Legend of the Guardians, Owls of Ga'Hoole” (The owl film) to check out my competition. It was directed by Zack Snyder (of “300” fame) with voices by Helen Mirren an Jeffrey Rush.
Even though I saw it on a giant 3D screen, the audience was quite small. My big problem with the film is that I had no idea what the hell was going on and who was who. Imagine a kid trying to decipher who the bad owls are and who the good owls are when they all look essentially alike.
There must be 20 speaking owl parts and other than the hero owl, I could never really get them all straight. The result was that I couldn't really figure out the plot other than there were bad owls and good owls. Consequently I fell asleep numerous times – and thus I probably missed more important plot points.
In my film, I try to engage the audience immediately so I know later I can get very weird, because the basic premise is laid out already.
Even though the owls are rendered beautifully, especially their feathers ruffling in the wind – that's not enough to engage me in a feature-length animated film.
On a scale of 1-10, I give the owl film a 4.