The folks at USA Today have debuted the first look at the upcoming animated adventure Legend of the Guardians, from 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder. As we reported a few days ago, this film was recently retitled from Guardians of Ga’Hoole, the title of the book upon which it’s based. Now that the title is settled, Warner Bros. has released the first five photos from the film — and they look beautiful.

The ultimate test of this animation — which looks to be closing the uncanny valley in a similar way to Avatar, creating an environment that looks more real than animated, without looking hokey — will be in how it moves. But for the moment, the still shots looks great.

I’ve grabbed a few favorites from the gallery and posted them below. More can be found over at USA Today. Check them out. They’re certainly worth a look.

Legend of the Guardians

Nyra is an evil queen of the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, where the birds are actually brainwashed into becoming soldiers. Helen Mirren, who played a conflicted monarch in The Queen, gets to “become kind of a female Darth Vader” this time around, Snyder says. Though she has a reputation for being regal, Mirren plays a vicious leader “who pulls some of the strings and has a need for power.”

Emilie de Ravin plays Eglantine, left, a good friend of Soren, center, and a member of the owls’ search-and-rescue team. Jim Sturgess plays Soren, while Ryan Kwanten provides the voice for Kludd, right, Soren’s jealous brother. “Soren is a classic hero,” Snyder says. “He loves his sister, who is sweet, but smart beyond her years. He’s a dreamer. He loves myths and stories. Kludd sees all that as weakness.”

Richard Roxburgh plays Boron, center-left, the kindly King of Ga’Hoole. He’s fond of scatological humor and carousing with sea gulls, which keeps things lively in the tree.


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