5-Word 365 #321 – Alpha And Omega

Sometimes I am really concerned about the level of intelligence that the makers of films for children assume of their audience.

Alpha and Omega

From Easy Rider to this?

Two wolves from a pack living in Jasper National Park, Canada are captured and taken to Idaho to repopulate a park there. Kate is an alpha, destined to become the leader of the Jasper pack, while Humphrey is an omega. Think princess and stable-boy. Anyway, Kate and Humphrey decide to make their way back to Jasper to rejoin their pack and halt a brewing invasion from a rival pack. Will they fall in love on the way? Does anyone care? Did this really have to be Dennis Hopper’s last movie?

I don’t enjoy being mean about the films I watch. Okay, sometimes I do, but occasionally I feel like I’m shooting fish in a barrel. Tranquilised fish, in a really shallow and well-stocked barrel. With a rocket launcher.

This is not a good film. The animation is of a standard that would disappoint me in a Saturday morning cartoon. The story is trite and predictable with nothing new to say about class struggles or forbidden love. The actors – including Hayden Panettiere as Kate and Justin Long as Humphrey – don’t seem to be enjoying themselves, with the possible exception of Larry Miller as a French-Canadian, golf-playing goose named Marcel (yes, really). Danny Glover and Dennis Hopper both just sound bored as the rival pack leaders, Winston and Tony.

Setting aside for a moment that he can manipulate his feathers to grasp a golf club, Marcel also has a caddy. Named Paddy. That’s what we’re dealing with here.

If you have any five-year-olds at a loose end, then they might find something to keep them entertained here, but I wouldn’t recommend it for much else.


  1. Bubbawheat · November 18, 2012

    I vaguely remember watching this with my five year old at a loose end, but I believe I was making fun of it through most of the movie. Either that or I was just bored.

    • Ryan McNeely · November 18, 2012

      I think either response is perfectly valid.

  2. Morgan R. Lewis · November 19, 2012

    Wow, I don’t remember hearing about this one… must have been in and out of the theatre really quickly. I find it interesting, just from a historical perspective, that you say you’d be disappointed in this animation quality if it were on a Saturday morning cartoon. Just shows how far the medium of computer-rendered animation has come… back in the days of Toy Story just about anything would have been considered “acceptable”, but now things are to the point where we’re judging more strictly (and yes, from that still picture there, I’m inclined to agree that this doesn’t hold up.)

    Great review, Ryan. On a positive note, it looks like Hopper will have a posthumous film release in The Last Film Festival as Nick Twain: Producer. So assuming that gets finished (it was updated as being completed this past summer according to IMDb), Alpha & Omega won’t be his last film after all.

    • Ryan McNeely · November 19, 2012

      The animation quality was a big sticking point for a lot of people when HOODWINKED came out as well, but that film’s sense of humour made up for a lot with me. As you said, it’s all about technology marching on. It’s coming up on twenty years since TOY STORY… (damn that makes me feel old!)
      That is reassuring news about Dennis Hopper. For a guy with his career to go out on this would be heartbreaking.

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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