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Rated PG · 88 minutes · 2010

Someday they'll make an animated movie in which carnivorous animals actually kill and eat their prey; until then, we're stuck with the likes of Alpha and Omega, where the big lion-vs.-dinner encounter involves felines dodging a caribou stampede. That scene is shamelessly stolen from The Lion King, and in general—befitting a film co-directed by the force behind Brother Bear 2, and written by two guys whose credits include Happily N'Ever After 2 and Open Season—this is a shameless mélange of plot elements from already plenty generic Disney knockoffs. There's an "omega" male wolf (Justin Long) and his "alpha" female love (Hayden Panettiere); stupid "tribe laws" prevent them from mating. The outsider wolf will, naturally, win over his haughty love, and anthropomorphized animals will learn not to blindly revere social hierarchies (while still respecting their parents). The cut-rate 3D (good on depth, but the lions' faces look more like sloth blobs than anything) doesn't help. The only quasi-original particulars: gyrating lions who coo generic r&b and comic relief in the form of a golfing bird who repeatedly claims he's French, rather than the more honest French-Canadian. Otherwise—hey, they stole the bobsled from Cool Runnings! Is nothing sacred?
Official Site:
Director: Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck
Writer: Steve Moore and Chris Denk
Producer: Richard Rich and Ken Katsumoto
Cast: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper, Larry Miller, Eric Price, Chris Carmack, Vicki Lewis and Brian Donovan


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