Over the weekend the trailer for the animated Aussie film Legend of the Guardians was released. The film is based on the young adult-fantasy book series: Guardians of Ga’Hoole. The film is produced by Australian outfit Animal Logic who did the animation work for Happy Feet (and also co-produced that film with Kennedy Miller). They were primarily a visual effects and animation outfit (they worked on The Matrix among others), and this is their first foray into developing and producing a feature film on their own. They certainly aren’t doing things by halves, because this is a big budget animated feature designed to go up against anything DreamWorks and Pixar can come up with.
To be honest I know very little about the series, but I have to say I’m damn glad they changed the name from Guardians of Ga’Hoole because somehow I think a film title that would have most people thinking “What the?” is not the way to make money.
The voice work is being done by a pretty good cast – Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neil, Abbie Cornish, David Wenham.
On first blush a film about owls would not seem to be a hit, but I was a guy who when he heard about a film centred around a penguin that dances thought “Well that’ll bomb”. So I’m going to say I have no real idea how well this will do – but only that my 6 year old daughter and fantasy-loving wife think it looks great (and indeed it does – you can’t fault the quality of the animation – it will also be in 3D) . The trailer also has a very Lord of the Ringsy feel (helped by the Hugo Weaving voice over).
So enjoy – it comes out in September in the US, but for some reason is only slated for release here in December (most likely to get the school holiday market)
In other Aussie film news, I was recently talking to a friend who had seen some cuts of the adaptation of the John Marsden novel Tomorrow When the War Began (another film produced by an Aussie outfit that used to do only do PDV work – Omnilab). The word was that it “looked fantastic”. I have big hopes for the film, as I would dearly love to see more Australian books being adapted into film by Australians. It comes out in September – hopefully a trailer will be on the way very soon.