Alpha and Omega talkback

Is anyone reading the Brew going to see this?

No, I didn’t think so… and I don’t recommend it, but if you do, we’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

I saw the film at a press screening last Monday. It’s strictly grade-B fare and NOT up to current standards (those being the standards practiced these days at Dreamworks, Illumination, Blue Sky, Sony Imageworks, Lucasfilm, etc.). It’s filled with cliche characters, in an unoriginal, cobbled together storyline (think BOLT meets BALTO crossed with LADY AND THE TRAMP). The only saving grace: the last bittersweet vocal performance by Dennis Hopper.

C’mon Furries, I’m counting on you. This one’s right up your alley… let us know what you think.


  • TK

    I just check with the popular furry site, and not many of them seemed to go crazy about it. Talk about total marketing epic fail right there. Even furries were reluctant to see it.

  • http://cjcannonworks.com/ CJ

    I like the furry community and don’t mind drawing furry creatures, although I’m not heavy into that subculture.

    I have higher standards than most, and it seems as though it’s only the younger furries, those under 15, that would be into such an asinine production.

    I have friends who are animators and furries, and laugh at this production. But who wouldn’t? The character designs and plot is horrid. It’s only saving grace is certain aspects of animation, but that’s only about 10% of it if that.

  • Kurrel the Raven

    Please. Even furries have standards.

    • Connie Pinko

      News to me.

      • Steve Gattuso

        It’s like any other group. You going to dis women because a vocal minority of them like “Twilight?”

  • Sam

    The trailer is like Lion King + Balto + Brother Bear + Bolt + Lady and the Tramp + Open Season, it felt like so many movies being put together.

    Funny how this, Newt, and Rio has similar story plots about two animals being placed together by humans to populate or reproduce… Maybe that was why Pixar shelved the project?

    • Chris Sokalofsky

      I’m pretty sure that is EXACTLY the reason Pixar shelved Newt. Rather than attempt (and yes, we can assume that in likelihood succeed) to top two other projects already in full production with similar stories, Pixar decided wisely step aside.

      I’m not sure that Rio will be affected in any significant way by Alpha and Omega, simply due to its low profile and consensus poor reviews. Rio will probably be able to shrug any comparisons off provided it delivers.

      • Sam

        Interesting.. And yeah I think I rather watch Rio than this. The characters are way more appealing so far that I’ve seen. Can’t wait to see more trailers from them though.

        I wonder also.. Why don’t the India’s studios do their own flicks like what the Japanese and Koreans did? I mean, they have an amazingly beautiful, rich art culture in their country. The Japanese don’t need Americans that much to do their mangas, animes and all that. They make a ton of money even without exporting their movies/ animes/ comics.

        Don’t they also have Bollywood? Since they have that, I believe they are able to be like the Japanese, self sufficient to provide for their own industry than to depend on the US industry.

        US movies aren’t the only great movies out there. Seriously.

      • Daniel J. Drazen

        I have my own take on this, having just watched the 2006 film “My Friend Ganesha.”

        I was fully committed to the premise: lonely middle class urban boy whose parents are too preoccupied with their careers to pay much attention to him is befriended by the elephant-headed deity Ganesha. Great idea; execution….

        Let’s just say that the animation, both in a stand-alone adaptation of a Ganesha legend in the film and in the sequences that mix live action and animation, won’t make anyone forget “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and looks more like Filmation work than anything else. I won’t go into some of the other standard features of Bollywood productions such as song-and-dance numbers and shameless overacting by some of the characters.

        There’s something hidden inside MFG that would take more study of Indian society to understand, such as who gets to speak English and when in the midst of the Hindi dialogue. One thing Bollywood understands, though, is success; there have been two more films in the series, and the third employs some of the cheapest, worst-looking computer animation this side of a Nasonex commercial. Although on YouTube I found an excerpt from an Indian film on the Monkey King which uses CGI to make him look like Baby Herman with a 5:00 shadow.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Much of what Sam said I think had already been covered here before, but as far as I know, India’s animation industry is still very much in it’s infancy where domestic productions are concerned, as they’re still relying on the emerging subcontracted offers from foreign producers to fill the time and employees hired. It’s still a relatively new venture for them unlike Korea who had for years been a subcontracting haven in the past. Korea itself had a more rockier start in animation in the past century while Japan’s animation flourished. There’s enough material out there to read up on this so I don’t have to remind people further than to simply find out.

        Speaking of Japan and India, I’m reminded of one collaborative effort made between both countries back in the 90′s for the famous tale, “Ramayana, the Prince of Light”. Quite an interesting achievement I say.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I think this was doomed from the start, with the weird “hair-manes” and bizarre proportions of the characters,the eerie deja-vu with Balto ( which also had a goose ) and the high-paid voice actors saying really cliched lines. And “Hungry like the wolf?” Really? They had to appeal to the lowest common denominator with a retarded 80′s pop song?

    If you think about it, a movie about wolves makes sense. It could have been the Bambi of this decade. People like wolves for some reason. They tap into weird mysticism and tribal…crap. I dunno. Have you seen that “3 wolves” t-shirt? But here it just looks like a typical talking animal “journey” film.

    • http://www.filmbuffonline.com FilmBuffRich

      Hey crap on the movie all you want, but this 1980s teenager asks you leave Duran Duran out of this. ;)

  • Matt Sullivan

    One other thing that kinda bugs me, is nowadays any talking animal cartoon is called a “furry” movie. Or at least, that’s what a lot of animators and online critics call them. Is this going to become the norm? Because I personally despise it.

    Can’t we just call it an “animated” film?

    • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com/ mrscriblam

      this isnt the case

      it’s called a furry movie because everything about it screams ‘i was written for the average members of furaffinity and deviantart’

    • Dan Ang

      I’m not entirely sure you know what “furry” means, in this context.

      This movie is like, 100% a furry movie. I’m sure there’s a yiffing scene.

      • tonma

        As it was said sometime before in this site: If you don’t know what furries are, don’t look it up….

    • Andrew

      Man, furries are touchy.

      • Steve Gattuso

        Actually, I don’t think he’s in the fandom. And I can tell, being one.

        He’s just an animation fan sick of things being classified purely on one aspect instead of being judged as a whole. Same problem as those who call animation a genre instead of a medium.

    • http://www.furryfandom.info Furry Fandom Infocenter

      It’s not exactly a recent development, anthropomorphized animals have been called Furries for the past thirty years. It’s a Furry movie because it has talking animals in it.

      That’s pretty much been the norm for a while, though. There’s been a growing and thriving fandom surrounding anthropomorphic animals for decades now.

  • JG

    Needs explicit porn to qualify as furry material. They’re certainly not reaching the target audience with this.

    • Inkan1969

      “You were relocated to, ahem, repopulate.”

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Isn’t that ALWAYS the case? :-)

      • Inkan1969

        Saw the movie today. They sure earned their PG rating with all those innuendos. :-)

    • http://www.totalmediabridge.com Kevin Johnson

      Nah, furries can provide their own porn. When it comes to movies, they just want the shit to look good and be relatively fun.

      • Steve Gattuso

        I’m just amused that folks think Rule 34 only applies to funny animals…

    • Evan_H

      “Needs explicit porn to qualify as furry material”

      That’s like saying Miyazaki’s movies need tentacle-rape to quality as anime.

      • JG

        But… Miyazaki’s movies need tentacle-rape to qualify as hentai.

        When did the talking animal genre became the furry genre?

    • http://www.furryfandom.info Furry Fandom Infocenter

      Nah all it needs is some sort of anthropomorphic animal for qualify as a Furry movie. Period.

      Insisting Furry = explicit porn is a newbie mistake.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Would be. Just the very nature that your animal is showing human expressions and vocalization usually starts it, often it could go even further if you start playing with the physical attributes of an animal and end up making them appear more human-like in their poses (Don Bluth no doubt is the king of that in many of his films).

      • JG

        Well it needs an anthropomorphic animal to qualify as a “talking animal movie” – that’s a very old and quite neutral term. “Furry movie” does imply having something to do with the furry fandom specifically, and not just anthropomorphic animals. Where’s the line? Where does one become the other?

        Sure, some furries aren’t in it for the pr0ns. The ones that are can make their own pornography; arguably, they’re the masters of rule 34, they don’t need a movie to have it. Furry isn’t only about porn, but the insane amounts of it in that particular fandom CAN certainly be poked fun at.

        (P.S.: i’m not exactly a newbie; but I AM cynical.)

  • purin

    Was the 3D in the movie as bad as it was in the ad? The graphics were seriously blurry and hard to look at when I saw the trailer in the theater.

    A much better plot could be made about wolves… These are… blond dogs or something.

  • Andy

    You know, if there’s one thing I could have done without knowing about, it’s the furry “sub-culture”. Thanks, internet! That said, this movie looks about as uninspired as can be.

  • tonma

    Seriusly guys, stop talking about furries, we’re just spreading the disease and… what do we know, maybe creating more fans? :D

  • Toonio

    Alpha and Omega is fair entertainment for kids. It’s not the typical Pixar movie where mostly adults leave the theater with something to think about. And is not your Dreamworks movie full of awkward moments and pop-culture references. This movie has it’s jumps and lows as the down hill rides of the omegas. It makes either a great rental or a movie to watch on a rainy day.

    Talking about animation and design, some sequences looked a little rushed and some characters simply didn’t belong to the storyline. On the other hand there were some really good scenes here and there.

    Guess many people will discourage studios overseas to penetrate the CGI niche, but sooner than later they will catch up and then the whole scene will change. Korea’s 2D hegemony is moving towards 3D (something to watch out). Philippines is still in the early years and India is moving forward at a good pace.

    I really welcome new studios to the arena and wish them the best.

  • Karen

    Horrible movie–badly written and directed, and 10 years late.

    That said, the animation, on the whole, is as good (and sometimes better) than anything in any of the shrek movies. And it looks better, too.

  • http://www.chrisniosi.com Chris “Kirbopher” Niosi

    I don’t even mind the art-style or the “furry” quality of it or whatever, but it simply doesn’t look like it offers anything new.

  • http://austinpthings.blogspot.com Austin Papageorge

    Orson Welles’ last film was Transformers, and now Dennis Hopper’s goodbye is this…?

    • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

      Orson wins! Celebrate with some Mrs. Pehl’s fish sticks– they’re even better when you’re dead!

    • Steve Menke

      Well, there was Orson’s other farewell, a spoken interval on Manowar’s “Dark Avenger” (in return, they misspelled his name on the sleeve):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J30sSRDh9Dc

  • http://www.dfdean.com David D

    Did anybody here on this talkback actually see the movie? 14 comments so far and it’s just on the trailer and some terminology I think I’d rather not know about.

  • Nipplenuts McGurk

    The trailer features the line “That’s gotta hurt” …that instantly means I will not see this movie.

    If any writers are reading this, please…I must know…WHY THE FUCK do you keep putting the line “That’s gotta hurt” in movies!?!? You’re sitting there…and actually say to yourself “Oh – I know what would be great here….THATS GOTTA HURT! HAHAHAHAHAH!!! I’m such a clever chap!”

    *SMACK*

    Seriously….to anyone writing ANYTHING: If you’re even remotely tempted to insert the line “That’s gotta hurt”…please…just…..stop. Stop.

    • Steve Menke

      Same goes for trailers with the opening narration, “In a world where…”

      • Steve Gattuso

        Or that damned “say WHAT?” record scratch…

    • Shmorky

      don’t go there

    • tonma

      So there writers, that’s gotta… huh… nevermind.

  • Chris

    This movie was terrible, and I mean terrible! The character design really is the bad feature of this movie that stuck out for me. There are many other great animated movies that had wolves or dogs in them that they could have referenced, why didn’t they.

  • Martin Juneau

    Just because someone draws furry don’t means they are obsessed at this fandom. I draw myself furry characters as well they are cartoony but i’m not intended to this craze to make them realistic. Besides, i know many peoples on DeviantArt who try now to replicate the bad 80′s saturday mornings cartoons or the bland Anime by those Anthro characters. Depressing how most of my generation kill the fun to draw talking animal characters nowadays.

    • Shawn’s Bro

      Just because someone draws furry don’t means they are obsessed at this fandom.

      Funny how 95 percent of the furry artists say the same thing.

  • John

    if we support films like this all our animation jobs will be going to India, yup that’s where it was animated!

    • juan alfonso

      The indians did a better job on “Roadside Romeo” and the trailer for “Kuchi kuchi hota hai” looks better than “Alpha and Omega”.

    • Toonio

      They took our jobs!

  • Dee

    “if we support films like this all our animation jobs will be going to India, yup that’s where it was animated!”

    Looks like it too, the animation is really amateur, it does not even hit TV quality. There is no understanding of basic mechanics…

  • pheslaki

    For a bunch of people who watch cartoons atarring anthropomorphic animals, you all are pretty hilarious when you try to diss furries. Funny how no one slaps the label “furry movie” on, say, “Up” (which features talking dogs). Oh, nerds and their tribal affiliations, it never fails to amuse.

    Anyways, as someone who draws anthro stuff professionally and who was drafted to take young nieces to see this, I’ll just say it’s a terrible, terrible, terrible waste of effort. The backgrounds were extremely bland and looked like something the company had bought pre-packaged rather than designed themselves. There was no sense of individual style and the detailing was very sparse, which suggests they were trying not to tax low-powered rendering computers. The character design was terrible and the movements rubbery. Story was so bog standard a computer could have written it; I could barely even tell you the character’s names now.

    • Some Wolf

      ^ “For a bunch of people who watch cartoons starring anthropomorphic animals, you all are pretty hilarious when you try to diss furries.”

      Could not have said that better myself. I’m also wondering how many “Secret of NIMH” / “Lion King” / “Robin Hood” / “Watership Down” fans there are here at CB. Stones and glass houses and all that. (And somebody comes in to say something to the extent of “Those animated films aren’t Furry Fiction if *I* like them” in three, two…)

      The late, lamented website brunching.com had a great quote about this especially peculiar kind of fandom, err, dumb behavior: “Look, I might own a copy of _The Klingon Dictionary-, but I didn’t have an ‘authentic’ Klingon wedding like that guy over there! Let’s mock him!”

    • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

      Pixar’s Up is not a furry, seeing the main character is not a dog. Also, the dogs weren’t female in the Pixar film either, so claiming it’s a furry is pretty poor. However, Alpha and Omega has both a male and female animal, where they both could take the chance to do you know what…so that’s why many consider this movie a furry than Up.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Standard romcom plotline (loser meets pretty girl, jocularity and love ensues) shoehorned onto sub Balto 2 character designs and animation. Celebrity voices to try to attract the proles, even if they did phone in their performances (more like a text message in this case). Toss in dialogue that screams “needs a TV laughtrack” and you’ve got a mishmosh that’s ready for straight-to-video. Unfortunately, the decided to slap the thing up on movie screens for tax purposes, thus forcing better films off the market that much faster.

    I can speak about furries with a degree of authority, having been in the fandom for a little while (20 years and counting.) I don’t think the monkeysuits responsible for this tax write-off could tell a furry from a phlebotimist. They just figured talking animals are surefire kiddie bait, yet they want to draw in the parents too so they use all sorts of ironically hip jokes that would go over the kid’s heads. Horrible.

    (Let’s get this out of the way. All furries are pervs. Also, animation is only for kiddies, Star Trek fans all dress up as Klingons, and NASCAR aficionados are racist rednecks. In addition, Blacks love fried chicken and watermelon, Italians are all Mafia members, Jews are greedy, and Germans are all Nazis. Aren’t blanket statements founded by retards glorious? Mass media focuses on the most egregious examples of any stereotype because it draws ratings, and any assumption that what you see on the internet represents reality should be basis for your immediate sterilization. Now shaddap.)

  • Furry Cartoon Brew reader

    Arright, you want a furry’s opinion on it… well you DID ask. First thing to understand is that when furries go out to see movies like this, objectivity takes a major hit. There’s not a tremoundous amount of anthropomorphic stuff to be found in mainstream culture, so it’s often a case of grasping at whatever straws can be found, quality be damned. That’s why it’s a heavily art-based subculture: generating its own content is the only way to get the furry fix until the next sporadic movie or cartoon comes out. A lot of furries won’t watch the film for the plot, they’re looking for cute scenes, poses, clever species-related humor, symbolic aspects – if enough little fleeting sparks happen of whatever appeals to the viewer, entertainment has been achieved.

    Initially I had no intention of watching this film. Actually I learned of it here on Cartoon Brew and agreed with the general consensus. I deliberately avoided telling my local furry community about it, because I didn’t want to give it any additional publicity. As it turned out, someone else clued in and went all (and I quote) “OMG WOLVES!” This is the grasping-at-straws thing I’m talking about. What’s sad is this person is over age 30, like me.

    What’s also sad is that I still haven’t thrown off similar attitudes. I must admit to being partially interested in going to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader to see the CGI critters. But with age comes maturity. I didn’t watch The Secret of Kells for the critters; I sat awash in the beautiful designs. Curious to see The Illusionist. I love animation, furry or not. If it happens to be anthropomorphic, great, icing on the cake, unless it’s a complete piece of shit like Roadside Romeo. I need good writing, anthropomorphism be damned.

    Anyway the reason I ended up going was that there was a get-together happening afterwards that I wanted to attend and I needed a ride, so it was part and parcel. First bad sign, in a city of over 600,000 people it was only showing on two screens, 3D only. Opening weekend Saturday matinee… 30-ish people in the audience, a very bad turn-out. Most of them were a large group of 5-to-8 year-olds. Of the local furries, besides me and the OMG guy, only two others showed up. So the trailer had not made much of an impression on our group either. Another over-30 furry friend of mine, living in a different city with 4 times the population, had only 12 people in the theater when he went. He too questioned why he was there to begin with, and described his experience using the words “pain”, “make it stop”, and the characters as “boring” and the design “gross”.

    Still, let’s start at the beginning: Trailers. Yogi, most of which I missed (uuugh, thank god) because I was out getting a drink. The only thing I saw was BooBoo hanging onto the side of a vehicle while his butt was pummeled by the tops of passing fenceposts. As if the Cartoon Brew posts about it haven’t been nightmarish enough. Second trailer, Tangled. Enh. (Personal bias.) And that was it – only two trailers. I was surprised.

    Film plot: “alpha” and “omega” are class differences within the wolfpack. There are multiple alphas (trained hunters, duty, responsibility, seriousness) and omegas (lower class, who are supposed to ease tensions, by telling jokes, etc., their duty is to encourage fun in the pack; surprisingly didn’t often use the clumsy-goof trope). Custom has it that alphas and omegas don’t form relationships together. Main protagonists, Kate and Humphrey. What the trailer didn’t show is that the two of them are long-time childhood friends to begin with, they’re not especially adverse to each other’s company; but now that Kate is becoming a trained alpha, she must move on. There is also a neighboring wolf pack, the “Eastern wolves”. They have no more caribou on their territory, are beginning to starve, and are crossing territorial lines. An agreement is made that the two packs will unite to ensure survival and avoid war, to be sealed by an arranged marriage between Kate and the son of the Eastern pack’s leader, Garth.

    Kate is initially impressed by Garth’s many skills until she finds out that his howling is epically terrible. In fact his howling is so bad, it stuns birds right out of the sky. (This is one of the few better jokes in the film.) Before she can reconcile what she wants to do, and before Humphrey gets a chance to express his feelings for her, they’re tranquilizer-darted and carted off to a park in Idaho as part of a park repopulation program. Immediately they start heading back north, because without Kate, the two wolf packs will go to war. To appease tensions until the full moon deadline, Kate’s sister Lilly (an omega) hangs out with Garth.

    At this point we get the road/buddy film thing happening. Humphrey gets Kate to be a little less serious, and earns her respect by saving her life at one point. They travel with the occasional help of a French-Canadian goose golfer and his bird sidekick caddy. Meanwhile, Garth encourages Lilly’s self-confidence, and she teaches him how to howl. In fact his howling gets so good that now he attracts birds to him instead.

    Anyway, war is about to break out and Kate arrives in the nick of time. She appears to be sacrificing her own interests for the good of the packs, but at the last moment can’t go through with it. Fighting starts to break out, interrupted by a caribou stampede that almost kills the two pack leaders, who are saved by Kate and Humphrey. Their deep friendship and Humphrey’s mourning over Kate’s near-death impresses them that maybe custom should be broken and alpha-omega relationships be given a try, so Kate hooks up with Humphrey, and Garth with Lilly. The end.

    Sex jokes: surprisingly few, though a good bit of leering-at-potential-girlfriends. The word ‘mate’ (noun, not verb) is barely used, thank god. Toilet humor: a lot. I counted at least 14 instances, not including many butt shots. The toilet humor stops abruptly after the road-trip part of the movie ends; this was refreshing. The end portion gets a good deal more serious and dramatic.

    I have to tangent here momentarily to talk about 3D. Personally I’m not a fan of the trend. I don’t like how it causes directors to frame shots, it makes my eyes water, and the glasses make the lighting less vibrant. 3D animation falls into three categories for me:

    (1) Innocuous 3D – this is the most common, and is the general state of affairs in Alpha and Omega. You forget the film is in 3D, can suspend your disbelief, and although nothing special is happening, it’s quite passable as is. This was, in my opinion, the only thing that made Avatar in any way notable; the successful creation of a full CGI/live-action 3D world you could suspend disbelief in. Pity the rest of it was such a piece of crap. Unfortunately this effect is immediately ruined when…

    (2) A film sets up a shot specifically for 3D purposes which will look all too obvious in 2D, making one’s brain leave the film. Things flying out of the screen, “Oooh, look at THIS in your FACE!”-style, or over-dramatic shots to show depth and layers. I absolutely HATE all of it. There’s a good deal of this in Alpha and Omega, espcially right at the beginning of the film. Frankly Coraline did this too, as did the run-from-the-dogs-over-cliffs chase scene in Up. (Which also felt like a videogame tie-in.)

    Films that do it right? Yes, you can set up shots that work in 2D and 3D, that don’t make you feel like you’re missing out while watching the 2D version. Films that successfully did this: Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon. Excellent work, people!

    (3) Full immersion. Very, very fleeting. Very rare, and hard to pull off. Something about the 3D atmosphere of the scene just clicks. You get goose pimples… and then it’s gone. If 3D is going to continue, this is what I want. I’ve only experienced it twice. One of the forest scenes in Avatar, and a single point in Bolt. What did it? Blades of grass waving in a light breeze in the foreground.

    Okay, back to the film. Alpha and Omega goes between (1) and (2) a lot. (3) is never achieved. Animation quality, enh. Could be a lot better, could be worse. I didn’t personally like the character designs – but they’re good enough to achieve their purpose. Only had two “WTF?” animation moments: when some of the wolves are doing a weird curvy dance early in the film; and a section near the end when the packs had been united, and all the background characters start doing a weird hopping-skip thing. I mean seriously, wha? Fur textures, passable, works better on some characters than others. Body language, passable. Two major fails: the CGI motion of saliva and mud. Seriously, get help.

    Here’s something that I liked: No one breaks out into song. THANK YOU. Bonding and cameraderie between wolves is done by howling, and it’s not “Awoooo!”, it’s basically musical singing without words. Whoever’s responsible for that decision in the film – you deserve recognition. It was an excellent choice. Sadly, because of songs in previous films, it felt like the characters were about to break into song. Such relief when they didn’t!

    Script dialogue: nothing special. Voice acting: good work. Also nice touches: Garth isn’t a jerk. He’s a nice guy as it turn out, no idiotic male rivalry. Closing credits: Looked more 3D than the rest of the film! Lots of the animators’ sketches, 3D models, reference sheets – really nice to see the work behind the film shown during the credits like that.

    Canadian goose and sidekick: boring. Their wacky dialogue wasn’t; it lacked snapiness and pacing. As characters they were ok, but… yawn. This film takes no risks. All very formula, doesn’t stretch boundaries or even experiment with them. The only thing in the film that surprised me was just how… vicious Kate’s mother is. She was a bit scary, to be honest. The effect was enhanced by her facial design being worse than everyone else’s. And given that “alphas-and-omagas-shouldn’t mix” was the whole defining pivot of plot conflict, an attitude so well-entrenched in wolf society, it felt really weird for it to be dropped so readily to achieve the happy ending.

    Worth watching? If you’re an animation fan, no. Animation student? Maybe, to analyse and critique. A parent with 5-to-8-year-old children? Actually yes, if you need to fill some time. This is what I’d describe as a “babysitting movie”. There’s very little in it to appeal to adults except for the odd throwaway line here and there. None of the writing-on-two-levels that Pixar does so well.

    But it’s not a movie that’ll have you writhing in pain for an hour and a half. Certainly a lot of eye-rolling, at worst an eyes-glazing-over moment or two. It’s animated fluff that doesn’t stand out, and would make a decent rental for young kids.

    Sure, you could do better. But contrary to expectations, it could have been a LOT worse. It’s cohesive despite the toilet humor. The kids in the theater laughed, they had fun. And for some it was their first 3D experience. Heck, all it took was a non-descript cloudscape at the start and a whole bunch of them went “Whoooooaaaaa!…”

    For me, it passed the time I guess; no desire to watch it a second time, and I don’t think the recent rise in 3D ticket prices was worth the experience. It’s a run-of-the-mill, dumb “let’s see if we can make some money from kids” formula movie. I don’t think it’s worth praising or demonifying; it will not stand out in the annals of animation history.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Great review here for something I figured was babysitter fodder from the start.

    • http://exitplanetwhom.blogspot.com doctorwhom

      That has to be the longest reply I’ve seen on Brew. Frankly, I think the trailer says it all.

      • Furry Cartoon Brew reader

        I agree, the trailer pretty much encapulates it all. Still, Jerry asked for impressions, and not too many people have posted first-hand reports. Currently, Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 15%, with audiences at 62%.

        The friend-in-another-city I mentioned wants me to add his comments. He’s got a much more critical eye than I do, so here’s his much-needed venting:

        1. The conflicts in the film, as few and weak as they are, are entirely the fault of our supposed protagonists. The war brewing between the two packs is because Kate’s father is a stickler and and a jerk. And every scrape they get into is because Humphrey is an idiot.

        2. Tons of badly-handled expository dialogue, especially at the beginning, much of it totally unneeded.

        3. Compounding (2), repeatitious dialogue. Characters say something and then another character repeats it. Happens with all the characters, and for the duck/goose pair, it’s their whole schtick. Speaking of schtick…

        4. It kills all the jokes completely dead. Most of the running gags go on so long they begin to sustitute for character arcs.

        5. Repetitive action. How many times do we need the bobsled chase?

        6. The background characters, especially Lilly, Garth, and the mom, are by far and away more interesting characters than the leads.

        7. Some of the laziest, stupidest, cheapest writing I have ever seen in any movie, [which is saying something, knowing] the kind of movies I watch.

        8. The main [characters] wake up in Idaho, no idea where they are, and luckily the first two characters they meet ([the birds]) know exactly where they need to go, and hey, there’s a direct ride that just happens to be leaving that day, and they also happen to be a mixed personality couple! (I would have loved to see more of those two… but they’re set up and never used.)

        They lose their ride, but their avian friends have been following along (although they have no reason to do so really) and there just happens to be a train that takes them straight home, literally to the climax of the film, just over a mountain!

        All this despite the very complete flyovers we get of the terrritory, which have no train tracks until the plot says so. If they’d foreshadowed the tracks at all I would let it slide, but they go RIGHT to the final battle, and those tracks are not there in previous shots.

        I could go on about how awful the character designs are (I think the wolves live in the Uncanny Valley) or the fact that Kate moves like a video game character (She does a spin jump like Samus Aran or Sonic the Hedgehog) but I think I’ve given this more thought than the writers did.

        [endquote]

        …I don’t this this film deserves any more attention. :-)

    • juan alfonso

      At least “Roadside Romeo” was made by indians for indians(who I suspect enjoyed the “indians only” humor and the Bollywood send-off) while “Alpha and Omega” was for the international(and mostly bored)audience.

  • Gobo

    Furries don’t automatically enjoy talking animal movies. They like GOOD MOVIES, the way anyone does. This is a bad, bad movie. Furries don’t like it any more than the average joe, because it’s a bad, bad movie.

    FANTASTIC MR FOX was a very good movie — well written, directed, designed, etc. Furries liked it because it was a good movie.

    From now on, every time an animated movie comes out with an African-American doing one of the voices, will this site say “Hey, black people! I’m counting on you!”

    • http://1me0.deviantart.com/ Joel

      I completely agree with all of that, though I’m not a furry.

    • Help, help, I’m being repressed!

      Except that furries are not, and never will be, a social minority. A furry is a member of an internet subculture, one that they CHOOSE to be a part of. Should I put my oppressed hat on if someone starts bad mouthing the people who play on neopets and claim that this bad mouthing is totes like homophobia?

      A black person is born black. A gay person is born gay. A furry is not born a furry, for goodness sake.

      • The internet invented furries?

        Oh please. Furries are about as much an “internet” subculture as comic book fans are.

      • duck

        saying that a gay person is born gay, but a furry is not born furry, means you have no clue what furry really is. many furs, like furry fans, are furry by choice. I’ve been furry since as far back as I can remember, I was furry for 25 years, thinking I was the only one in the world. Being a furry was not a choice I made, I just WAS. I did not label the feelings “furry” (given that I always felt I was a bird, the term furry is not what comes to mind..)

        Furry is not an “internet subculture”, for a large number of furries, it is who we are, it is no different for us than for a gay person.

        You may think of us as therians, it is not about yiff to us. You may never understand us, but just realize that the impression you get from furries in media, where you will mostly be seing the “furry fan” aspect, since true furries do whatever they can to avoid media, is NOT CORRECT.

      • HHIBR

        I don’t get my impressions of furries from media, I get them from them. How they act.

        I have a friend here at school who’s a furry, actually, but you see, he doesn’t go around claiming that people are oppressing him. When I first found out that he was a furry because he talked about getting fabric for making a fox suit, I said, “What are you, a furry?” like it was a bad thing. He simply and calmly said, “yes,” and I felt like a dick as a result. I apologized to him immediately

        I realized then that furries shouldn’t be made fun of for their choice. If they should be made fun of at all, it’s for blowing other peoples’ misunderstanding of them out of proportion and comparing it to racism. Have there been any furry lynchings? No? Are you not allowed to get married to other furs just because you’re both fur (same-sex issue notwithstanding)? No. And getting made fun of for blowing things out of proportion shouldn’t be done because they’re furries, it should be done because this is what we do when people act stupid. We point it out and laugh.

        But whatever. I wish you a good rest of your life, duck and whoever else is reading this.

      • Debunking D. Strawman

        Has any Furry fan in the history of Furry fandom ever equated people’s misunderstanding with racism? Even once?

        Because as someone who’s been in the fandom more than a decade, I see people _claiming_ furries do this a lot more often than I actually see furries doing it.

  • Spencer

    Anyone notice they stole the same Russian goose from Balto?….. And then animated him like shit?

  • James E. Parten

    In science, there exists a truism. If you steal from one, it’s plagiarism. If you steal from more than one, it’s research!

    “Alpha and Omega” did its research, all right!

    Tropes from “The Incredible Journey”, “Lady and the Tramp”, and Heaven alone knows what else were boiled into a slumgullion of a movie, which was held back from the competitive Summer season, and instead, released on Yom Kippur! (If the box-office is as bad as I figure it will be, it might as well have been Tisha B’Av!)

    This film was not even good enough to regard as a curate’s egg–the disappointments outweighed the felicities by a good margin.

    On the good side, voice casting and musical score were quite acceptable.

    On the bad side, the more perceptive viewer could spot problems with character design (even I noticed some!), plot points, and general workmanship.

    As for laughs, they were few and far between.

    Prediction: bad box-office, and bad video sales may help seal the doom of this new studio in Mumbai. It’s not as good, even as a first effort, as “Hoodwinked” or “Open Season”.

  • duck

    Being therian, furry lifestyler, I mostly pounce on the chance to see movies with talking animals. But I’ll pass on this one. I do not even think the local furs will bother planning a meet for this movie. Heck, I am amazed if it even makes the cinemas here.

    Fantastic Mister Fox is the kinda movie we go for. Even low budget movies can be great, Hoodwinked clearly shows this.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    And yet, my view of furry is still terribly narrow-minded even after knowing about it for over a decade (really, I just like watching cartoon animals do what real-world animals can’t, why anthropomorphism lives). I’m more of the opinion that you can do anything you want as long as it stays on paper, that’s my philosophy on the matter.

  • Gregory the cat.

    Oh god, this looks hideous.
    What do you want to bet they were trying to cater to us furries.
    Sorry but slapping hair and bulgy human eyes on a wonky feral wolf is not going to get furries to buy it or care about it, we care about quality just as much as the next Tom, Dick, or Harry.
    If a movie is bad, its bad, no amount of talking animals can save it.

  • Eric Graf

    Ehhh, I don’t think anyone was catering to furries here. For one thing, I doubt there are enough furries to cover the production cost of any animated feature. For another, it did not contain any yiffing, yaffing, or any other NSFW shenanigans, although the howling thing is clearly intended to imply something else. (“Alphas don’t howl with Omegas!”)

    My “none-of-my-best-friends-are-furries” reaction was summed up quite well by none other than the Furry Cartoon Brew Reader when he (or she) said:

    “it’s not a movie that’ll have you writhing in pain for an hour and a half. Certainly a lot of eye-rolling, at worst an eyes-glazing-over moment or two. It’s animated fluff that doesn’t stand out …”

    I don’t know that I’d rent it for young kids unless ALL the better stuff is checked out – and that’s pretty unlikely – but I found it tolerable. Dazzlingly mediocre, but tolerable. It’s a bit better than the trailer makes it look. (A common ailment nowadays, it seems.) It moves along at a brisk pace, it’s easy to follow, it doesn’t make any attempts (clumsy or otherwise) at being meaningful or deep, and there were only a few times that the animation became sufficiently awful to cause a distraction to my untrained eyes. Yes, the dialog was stale, the storyline contrived, the characters one-dimensional, the gags flat (with isolated exceptions), but there was nothing worth throwing your popcorn at the screen over.

    Well, OK, the moose thing was pretty awful, but that gag had an unexpected payoff not seen in the trailer, so I forgave them.

    The animation and character design did remind me of Roadside Romeo, and that was before I saw all the Indian names on the credits. But it was definitely a few notches higher than Roadside Romeo, visually speaking. (Plotwise, I will defer to people who actually got RR’s many Bollywood references, without which, I’m told, you miss the whole point of RR.)

    I’m certainly not recommending that anybody go see Alpha and Omega, but ranting about how terrible it is just indicates that you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a truly terrible movie. Rent Fly Me To the Moon, then come back and tell us again.

  • Denisha

    I saw the film and I am not a furry. (Not a part of the subculture but I like anthromorphic animals).

    I saw the movie yesterday afternoon after I left math class early. I wanted to see a movie on a whim, one that I didn’t expect much from.

    I chose Alpha and Omega. I liked it too.

    Sure the movie didn’t have the best animation or voice acting, but I liked the characters alot and the tropes they messed with in the movie.

    For example the white wolf Lily, is an omega wolf due to her clumisness, but I was shocked that she WASN’T THE LEAD FEMALE. BUT SHE IS WHITE AND PRETTY. Nope. she’s considered unattractive due to her meekness.

    Looks to me the writers did research on wolf behavior,especially with Kate’s courtship to Garth.

    Its not a bad movie and I seen worse (Planet 51. ugh.)

    • Planty

      My thoughts exactly.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Is ALPHA AND OMEGA to Dennis Hopper’s career what TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE was to Orson Welles’ (i.e. – AMAZING)? Anybody?

  • http://infurnation.com Mark “Sylys” Merlino

    Long before there was a Furry community, I was an animation fan. I went to every college animation festival and bought tickets to every animation screening at FILMEX (remember when LA had their own everybody’s welcome film festival? I do… *sigh*) I told everyone (and myself) that I would see ANYTHING that was animated. I sat through Tarzoon, Shame of the Jungle (in a theater!), but I did finally have to admit defeat when I walked out on an exclusive screening of “Symphonia Amazonica” (a “lost film” that should have remained that way…) At least I got my money back…

    Being involved in the Furry community as I and many of my friends are, I do try to see every film that fits the genre. Usually I find something to like in even the most 3rd rate production. (isn’t it great that we live in a day when we actually HAVE 3rd rate animated films being released! Thanks to the now wonderfully common 1st and 2nd rate films. Anyone remember the 80′s? I’d like to forget some of them…)

    Here is what I enjoyed about Alpha and Omega.
    The overall look of the film was pleasing. (though I could not warm up to the look of the wolves. The thin lower jaw just didn’t work for me)
    The clever take on how wolf society works, with the omegas doing their very important work, AND being recognized by the pack leader for their effort! The main character was, in fact the Alpha-omega. His leadership qualities (considering who he had to keep in line) might lead one to believe he could make a good pack leader…
    The characters. They took the time to develop several characters that would normally been just “props”. Even the human “odd couple” that provide (unknowing) transport for our hero and heroine were clever. (I would say “original”, but I have been to several wilderness parks, and that sort of couple is quite common!) This reveals some positive aspects in writing.
    The animation (not all of it) was above average. Certainly better then some other non-major CGI animated films.
    Some of the concepts, like the pack and couples singing (howling) together were clever. The fact that the “singing” was without lyrics was a good idea (though the actual music in these scenes could have been better). The establishment of a “frivolous” skill (tobogganing) turning out to “save the day” (though they overdid this) once again proved that someone was at least TRYING, story-wise.
    I won’t go into detail about what I didn’t like… stilted dialog, extra characters with ridiculous motivation (yet important to the story…) You can read all about the shortcomings of the film in the voluminous text above…
    My realization about Alpha and Omega is that it was a labor of love for some (many?) of the people involved in the production. It was not something they just “mailed in”. I’ve seen enough of that sort of fare. This films was somebody’s “pride and joy”, and I would be glad to pat them on the back and say “good job”.
    I laughed, I cringed, I even teared-up a few times. (wolves are COOL!)
    I’ll try to quote the honorable Chas Jones…
    “When you create something, you put into it a lot of work and a lot of love. In the end, only the love should show…”
    Alpha and Omega didn’t reach that lofty goal, but I sure felt some love in there…