This is the classic story of the underdog, and the underdog wins.
Some say classic. Some say over told. It's a movie worth seeing, but with a little warning. It can be a little disturbing.
Let me get the obvious done with. It's visually appealing. The colors, the detail, the animation...all wow. They also didn't hold back on making the vicious look truly vicious. But evil also looked good, as in the case of Nyra (voice of Helen Mirren), and thus can be deceiving. The owls were distinguishable and had distinct characteristics. The use of 3D was effective and seamless.
I love the triumphant underdog, the dreamer who rises to victory, and the band of misfits that save the day. They are all in this movie. Some may say that the plot sucks because it's predictable and overdone. I see that point, but look at this movie with the eyes of the young. I believe children need movies where good triumphs over evil, and the underdog can rise to victory. They need to believe that they can chase their dreams, and believe in things they may have never seen.
Now for the disturbing parts. I say disturbing because this movie tackled a lot of darker themes. This children's movie is rated PG for sequences of scary action.
There were owls clawing at and killing each other, intensified by 3D. The movie culminates in a war. One of the Guardians pointed out that the stories are far more glamorous than what really happened. They fought as Guardians and legends were built about them, but what they really ended up with were battle scars. I like that this was brought up. War wasn't glorified. They fought because it was the right thing to do at the time.
There was kidnapping and making soldiers of children/owlings. All too familiar, right? There's a Cain & Abel type of jealousy. There's betrayal. Choosing to follow the dark side. Revenge. Manipulation of the weak. Racial superiority. And a whole lot of fighting, killing, and dying. All these can be disturbing to a child, so parents guide them.
It's a good movie to watch, especially in 3D, but let younger audiences be warned.