Directed by Zack Snyder from a script by John Orloff & Emil Stern, with an admirable cast of Brit & Aussie voices, and stunningly detailed visual designs from Simon Whiterly, this should be a wonder, a delightful film to please all ages. But after so much thrown at us in so little time, and despite the care taken to maintain a lofty approach to the material - it's a befuddlement. Too much rammed into too little time for anyone but Ms. Lasky's admirers.
Oh, the plot? Let me try to simplify it:
We follow two plucky young barn owls - brothers - Soren, the idealist & Kludd, the opportunist. When they discover that the Pure Ones (bad owls) plan a raid on the Great Tree (home of the Guardians, the good owls), Soren sets out to warn & save them. Kludd takes the opposite stand with the Pure Ones. Big battle scene with owls in armor & metal talons, in the air, on the branches, in caves & water - wild, noisy & almost too rapidly shown as to know what really is happening. But it's obvious that the brothers must fight themselves as well, until one wins out over the other. Guess which one wins? Actually, Kludd sees the light before it's lights out for him, so the movie ends nicely, neatly, and all's well in the owl world again.
Or something like that. (I think it's a story within a story with, I think, Soren telling it to a bunch of little owls, concluding with a hint that another tale may be in the offing.)
The charm, the intelligent handling of everything, the overwhelming beauty of the visuals - all make you want to like it. But it's just too complicated, too condensed, too overwhelming; it only confuses. A pity. (Grade: A for effort, C for results)