I'm sure I wasn't alone when the teaser trailer for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, a CG-animated, fantasy-family-oriented film about self-aware, talking owls and their quest to find the Guardians of the title, hit the web, saw the "directed by Zack Snyder," the same director who brought moviegoers the Dawn of the Dead remake, the big-screen adaptation of Frank Miller's 300, and the cinematic adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's graphic novel, Watchmen, and responded with stunned disbelief. Snyder's previous films skewed toward adult, R-rated material and here he was, adapting Kathryn Lasky's children-oriented book series. Snyder's adaptation will actually cover the first three books in the series, The Capture, The Journey, and The Rescue.

My disbelief soon turned to curiosity and, given what we've seen from the trailers, TV spots, and now a clip, I'm definitely intrigued to see what Snyder can do with material that seemingly runs counter to his previous work as a filmmaker. Partnering with Animal Logic, the Australian-based animation company that made Happy Feet (and the upcoming sequel, Happy Feet 2), Snyder and Warner Bros. have spent major coinage to make Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Snyder and Animal Logic pack Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with distinct, diverse sub-species (e.g., barn owls, great screeching owls, grey owls, burrowing owls, etc.), but, for me, it was the combination of finely detailed plumage, multi-layered, textured backgrounds and complex lighting and atmospheric effects, not to mention the flying sequences that the trailers and TV ads have shown briefly, that sold me on Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.