When I look at "Horton Hears A Who" and then I look at "Jonah Hex," I don't see anything that unites the two films in terms of style or visual vocabulary or rhythm in the filmmaking. I don't know who Jimmy Hayward is as a director because those two films have nothing in common.
When I look at this new trailer for "Legends Of The Guardian," I can tell you conclusively that you're looking at the work of Zack Snyder. It's amazing how much of him is in this footage, and in an animated film. He obviously is using every single stylistic tool he's developed, but in an environment that he controls completely here. Animation is a perfect medium for Snyder, and here he's working with talking animals, but we're a million miles away from the worlds of Pixar or Disney.
Watching this footage, I'm not expecting anything to break out into song. I don't think these owls are "cute," except in the way that owls are inherently "cute." There's a great near-realism to the look of the characters, and the action beats in this footage don't feel like they've been softened for kids.
Animal Logic is the lead house on this stuff, and I love what they did on "Happy Feet," and between this and "Happy Feet 2," there's a whole lot of good-looking Animal Logic animation coming in the next 18 months or so. And I like the way this is filled with strong voices that seem vaguely familiar instead of movie stars who stick out as movie stars. We saw some of this same footage in the first trailer, but the way this one's cut makes a world of difference.
Here's the trailer:
The film, which now appears to be titled "Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'hoole," is in theaters September 24.
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