"Legend of the Guardians" may have owls in 3D, but there's
nothing more lifelike than...real owls. After my interview with
Zack Snyder, I caught up with Geddy, an 8-year-old barn owl at the
Zoo. (You can also find these birds of prey at the
Zoo and Cosley Zoo.)
Director Zack Snyder doesn't have what you'd call a kid-friendly
resume. There was "Dawn of the Dead," the 2004 remake of the
'70s-era horror flick, then "300," the intense, bloody and artful
portrayal of ancient Sparta. Even "Watchmen," with its DC Comic roots, was rated
R for some seriously graphic violence.
Starting Monday, Sept. 20, win tickets to "Legend of the
Guardian: The Owls of Ga'hoole" on our contest
But Snyder's latest film, "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of
Ga'Hoole," comes with a PG rating and a storyline kids will
love. The film follows Soren, a young owl in search of the
Guardians of Ga'Hoole, a mythic band of owl warriors, to save all
of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones.
"It's really just an adventure story," says Snyder, who was at
the Lincoln Park Zoo on Wednesday. "It's intense in places, funny
in other places. I tried to ebb it and flow it, so right when it's
getting scary, something funny happens, and then when something
funny happens, something serious happens."
Snyder got some inspiration from his own brood of six kids, who
ranged in age from 10 to 14 when production on the movie started
three years ago. His 12-year-old son is an "Owls of Ga'hoole"
authority, Snyder says, and has read all 15 books.
"Being a dad is a huge part of [directing a kids' movie]," he
says. "I showed them bits of the movie to see 'is this too scary?
Is this cool?'"
And don't expect any film of Snyder's to be a snoozefest for
parents. The movie is a treat all around, with spectacular visual
effects and some voices parents will recognize, including Geoffrey
Rush and Helen Mirren.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole comes out in
theaters Sept. 24. Starting Monday, Sept. 20, win tickets on our contest page.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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