Alpha And Omega has two wolves, one male and a female, who are captured and taken out of their natural habitat. Read the review to find out how their attempt to return home turns into an adventure.
Business rating: 1 star
Voice cast: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Larry Miller.
What’s Good: The simple story that will appeal to the kids; the quality of animation.
What’s Bad: The absence of endearing characters; the staid humour.
Verdict: Alpha And Omega is a cute film but it has limited appeal.
Loo break: Anytime.
Watch or Not?: Recommended only for kids and their parents.
Crest Animation Productions and Lions Gate Family Entertainment’s Alpha And Omega is a 3D animation film about a pack of wolves inhabiting the Jasper national park in Canada.
Two wolves, Kate (voice of Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (voice of Justin Long), have known each other since puppyhood, but they cannot mate because Kate is an Alpha (a trained and superior hunter wolf) while Humphrey is an Omega (an untrained wolf). Moreover, the laws of the pack do not allow love between an Alpha and an Omega.
Kate is determined to take over the leadership of her pack from her father, Winston (voice of Danny Glover) but Humphrey spends all his time playing games with his three friends, Shakey (voice of Kevin Sussman), Salty (voice of Brian Donovan) and Mooch (voice of Eric Price). He longs for Kate’s company but doesn’t dare to defy the pack law.
Soon, Winston, in a move to unite his pack with a neighboring pack of wolves, arranges for Kate’s union with Garth (voice of Chris Carmack), an Alpha from the other pack. At midnight, when all the wolves howl together and form pairs on full moon night, Kate and Garth meet on a mountain top. Soon, Kate discovers that Garth, handsome as he is, can’t howl properly and she is disappointed. Minutes later, she meets Humphrey and both of them are captured by the park’s rangers who are, obviously, human beings. They are transported to the faraway Idaho national park as part of a wolf re-population project.
Mindful of her duties, Kate wants to return home, but Humphrey is quite happy to be alone with Kate. They meet two birds, Marcel (voice of Larry Miller) and Paddy (voice of Eric Price), who agree to help the wolves get back to Jasper, in return for the wolves sparing their (birds’) lives. Kate and Humphrey now commence an adventurous journey back home. In the meantime, back in Jasper park, the neighbouring packs are about to fight with each other over Kate’s disappearance. Will Humphrey and Kate be able to make it back in time? What happens to Humphrey’s unrequited love for Kate? Is the pack law broken? The film’s climax reveals the rest.
Story and Screenplay – Alpha And Omega Review
Steve Moore’s story is nice and it will appeal to the children. The screenplay (by Chris Denk and Steve Moore) also keeps things simple. However, the writers fail in creating endearing or very funny characters that one is used to seeing in Hollywood animation movies. A few interesting gags in the screenplay would have helped. What also reduces the film’s appeal is the fact that wolves are, by their sheer nature, not animals that one would love, even if they are shown behaving like humans. The dialogues are okay.
Voice Cast – Alpha And Omega Review
As far as the voice cast is concerned, Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere are very good. Dennis Hopper, Eric Price, Larry Miller, Danny Glover, Chris Carmack and Christina Ricci (as Kate’s sister, Lilly) also bring the animated characters to life.
Direction, Animation aand Music – Alpha And Omega Review
Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck’s direction is okay. They tell a simple story in an interesting manner and that is commendable. The animation (by India-based Crest Animation Studios) is of international standards. However, the 3D glasses that one has to compulsorily wear during the film make the hues seem darker than actual. Chris P. Bacon’s background score is good – the ‘howling’ song of the wolves is unique. Scott Anderson’s editing is okay.
The Last Word
All in all, Alpha And Omega is a nice film for kids. Given its poor promotion in India on the one hand and the unpopularity of children’s animation films, it will not find many takers at the box-office windows.