|DVD Alpha and Omega
Run time: 88 min
Genres: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Director: Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck
Writers: Chris Denk, Ben Gluck
Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Justin Long
In Jasper National Park, the wolves, Kate and Humphrey, have known each other since puppyhood, but they are on the oppose ends of the Western Pack’s social structure with Kate as the energetic Alpha daughter of the pack leader and Humphrey being the good humoured Omega. That social structure forces Kate to accept an arranged marriage with Garth of the Eastern Pack to unite the packs for peace, regardless of Humphrey’s hopeless attraction for her. Before that union can occur, Kate and Humphrey are captured by the park’s rangers and sent to an Idaho park as part of a wolf repopulation project. Mindful of her duties, Kate is determined to return to Jasper and Humphrey offers to help with the assistance of two odd geese. However, as this disparate pair struggle through the dangers to get home, a growing mutual appreciation of their talents and then a deeper love threatens to disastrously complicate everything if they make it back. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
|Plot Keywords: park, idaho, geese, national park, arranged marriage|
Country: USA, India
Release Date: 22 October 2010 (UK)
Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: £643,425 (UK) (22 October 2010)
Gross: £2,996,462 (UK) (3 December 2010)
"Alpha and Omega" is your standard kiddy flick of conflict and resolution with much detail to the 3D imagery and not enough to keep Mom and Dad entertained. The story brings nothing new to the party; it's like the friend that you invite and tell him to bring a side dish. "Toy Story 3" spends all night baking cookies for everyone. "Despicable Me" puts forth an effort by bringing barbecue weenies in a Crock Pot. "How to Train Your Dragon" takes the time and mixes 7-Up and punch. Then there is "Alpha and Omega," who stops at the local gas station and picks up a fun sized bag of Doritos for itself and arrives 30 minutes late.
The story begins by introducing us to the main characters, Humphrey (voiced by Justin Long, the guy from the Apple commercials) as the Omega wolf and Kate (voiced by Hayden Panettiere from "Heroes"), as the Alpha wolf. They are acquaintances at the beginning of the movie, where it is hinted at that Humphrey has a crush on Kate. After a winter at Alpha school Kate is being trained to become a leader of the pack and Humphrey is still palling around with his knucklehead friends.
Humphrey and Kate's wolf pack has a rival pack that is trying to take the caribou hunting from them. That doesn't fare well with Winston (voiced by Danny Glover) who is not only the leader of the pack but also Kate's father. And, who is the leader of the rival pack? It's Tony (voiced by Dennis Hopper, in his last film), who has some unexplained history with Winston. Tony. Really? This great wolf is the leader, the old wise sage, and that's the best name they could come up with? Tony the Wolf. Sounds too much like Tony the Tiger.
Humphrey is in love with Kate but she is arranged to be courted by the rival pack's Alpha male, Garth. The packs have a ritual where the adolescents meet at a mountain in Jasper National Park to howl at the moon. It's comparable to going to a junior high dance at the taxidermy display inside a Cabela's. There was a song and dance element here that felt out of place. I felt uncomfortable to see these wolves dance seductively together in a kid's film. At that point, I understood why wolves chewed off their own leg when caught in a trap.
At the "howling" Humphrey and Kate are hit with a dart gun and transported from their park in Canada to a park in Idaho. Here they are set free and it's up to them to find a way back home.
The couple is eventually befriended by Marcel, some sort of a cross between a Canadian goose and either a bald eagle or a vulture (I couldn't tell) and his side kick Paddy, a yellow duck. These two birds are avid golfers. Hitting the golf ball gives the movie a reason to exploit their 3D technology. Hey, you paid for it; you might as well use it, right guys?
Marcel and Paddy keep showing up during the movie to act as guides for Humphrey and Kate. It's not fully explained how these four keep running into each other but it just so happens that they always show up at the right time.
The rest of the picture is about how Humphrey and Kate work as a team to get back home while realizing an Alpha and Omega wolf can have deep feelings for each other.
Should you see this movie? Nope. It was trying to be kiddy movie with goofy elements of bathroom humor and at the same time a movie with adult themes about falling in love.
The 3D action sequences were well done. There were several scenes of Humphrey finding old trees to slide down hills and incorporate the first and second person angles of sliding. And, as my 11-year-old daughter pointed out, whenever these wolves needed an old tree to use as a sled it just so happened to be within reaching distance. How many dead trees are there in a forest?
If you absolutely feel that you still need to go, bring your kids if they are under the age of 10 and if they have very little imagination on their own. Or just wait until it's out on DVD because after you spend $10 each you won't be howling with excitement, it will be more of a whimper.
Alpha and Omega is a competent baby-sitter but doesn't have quite the chops to be as absorbing for adults as well, as Pixar movies do. The movie is a standard fare love story and standard fare animal animation somewhat encased in a male bashing advertisement's philosophy. Humphrey is the idiotic male whose carelessness actually is a major plot point in the story while Kate is a mature, responsible, competent hunter, pretty, yada yada and so on.
The quality of the movie is top notch, and has a beautiful 3D that creates makes the scenes look much better and vibrant, though darker like using sunglasses using the 3d glasses. The movie is reminiscent of a lot of animal movies that happen in jungles that partially cross paths with humans. The golfer geese are funny and the bears, caribou all provide a lively background for the story to unfold.
Great movie to go with your daughter if you can bear the kid directed non-Pixar movies.
Saw this lovely animation movie with family during my vacations. Had not heard much about it as there was not much TV promotions and publicity before the release, but was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of animation, character building, the story and many other aspects. For my family it turned out to be a perfect vacation movie. The soundtrack of the movie is also worth mentioning here. Referring to another review here criticizing the movie for beyond understandable reasons, I believe movies are made for having fun, and criticizing them for stupid reasons like this movie was inspired by whatever is nonsense, because at the end of the day most of the animation movies including by all top studios follow the fun, family, adventure, thrills, some moral/ethics at the end of the story themes and this one's no exception. We enjoyed it throughly until it lasted plan to buy the Blu Ray disc for the kids as they loved it as much.
I've been waiting for this movie for years, mainly because I am a wolf-lover and a cartoon lover.
First off, let's get into what the movie is about. Kate is an Alpha wolf of a pack, Alpha's are the pack-leaders. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, who's job is to play as peacemaker and retain calmness in the pack, so the story-writers got their jobs fairly accurate. There are two rival packs who want to fight for each others land… why? Small amount of caribou, good reason, so it make the rival pack more like anti-heroes rather than villains who want to hurt others for the sake of it.
To keep the peace, Tony (Kate's father) arranges Kate to marry the rival pack's Alpha son, Garth. At first, I was going to expect Garth to be some snobby rich-like stuck-up who doesn't care about Kate… I was taken off-guard when Garth actually was handsome AND had a heart of gold. So the movie wasn't TOO predictable! In the scene where Humphrey and Kate were tranquilized, it just… happened! No build-up of the park rangers coming, Humphrey and Kate were just talking, suddenly SNAP! I was taken off-guard by that! I mean, I KNEW it was coming due to the trailers, but didn't know WHEN. I also liked the conversation Humphrey and Kate had between the crates, you can't see their faces, allowing the viewer to use their imagination on what's going on.
Some people can't wrap their minds around a golfing goose. Right, WHY was a goose golfing? … my answer, WHO CARES?! Just WATCH it and ACCEPT it… a GOOSE is playing GOLF… it's FUNNY! Who cares if it doesn't make sense (except for nit-picky perfectionists who are incapable of finding/keeping jobs that require creativity)? Some people complained about the potty-humor. I personally LIKE potty-humor, and to those that don't, there's only like one or two of those scenes. To those that like that kind of humor, there are only a few scenes of it, but they're WORTH it LOL Humphrey and Kate combine what they have learned as Alphas and Omegas to overcome obstacles, such as the bear-slide. Over time, Kate learned how to have fun like an Omega, giving her some character development. At first, she was annoyed by Humphrey's "rain dance" but then she laughed and enjoyed the log ride at the end.
Meanwhile, back at the packs, Kate's sister Lilly offered to show Garth around. She even taught him how to howl, whom Garth was a BAD howler, birds falling out of the sky twitching. As the movie progressed, the pile of birds kept getting bigger (to me, THAT'S funny!). However, over time, Garth and Lilly started to fall for each other, and it was coming SLOWLY, so it wasn't rushed, you know. To me, that's "I'm marrying you because I love you" instead of "I'm only arranged to marry you." Eventually, Kate and Humphrey return and, even though Kate admits to herself she's in love with Humphrey, she uses her responsible personality to go on with the marriage with Garth. During the wedding, both Kate and Garth are unsure of each other, Lilly looks sad… but in the end, they both agree that they couldn't do it because she said "I've fallen in love with an Omega" … everyone was shocked to hear that (can you BLAME them if you were them?!) But Garth understood, because "I've fallen in love with an Omega too" and Garth and Lilly embrace, but the rest of the pack fights! … which provokes a caribou stampede! During the stampede, Kate's father and Garth's father, leaders of the rival packs, get caught in the stampede! Soon, Kate and Humphrey use what they've learned in their journey to rescue them! But Kate is hurt. This was a sad scene. I knew it was going to have Kate come back, but it still felt like an eternity… kind of like in "Toy Story 3" where the toys were in the incinerator ready to be burned alive… but saved at the last minute. Finally, the packs are united, Kate is with Humphrey, and Garth is with Lilly, and everybody's happy. Some people don't like happy endings… WHY?!
My only complaint was I wish Humphrey and Kate's journey would have been longer, like in "Bolt." But "Bolt" was all about the journey whereas "Alpha and Omega" were about feelings. I guess they overdid it with having the wolves stand on their hind legs, but it was still most on all fours. Some people complained about how the wolves LOOKED… well, play this game called WolfQuest (it's free to download at the WolfQuest website) and look at the 3D models of the wolves in that game. Are they realistic? VERY! Would they make for believable faces, express lots of emotion, and could we relate to them? I know I wouldn't. A real wolf's face, up-close you can see emotion, but a normal view it's hard to tell, that's why the animators make them look the way they did.