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Dogstar's Review of Alpha and Omega

rated it: posted: Sep 18, 2011
Reviews: 34 | Animated Enthusiast
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I was expecting to absolutely hate this film. When I saw the trailer, my immediate first thought was "Oh boy, a wolf movie! I can’t wait." Two seconds into the trailer, my thoughts immediately changed to, “Well, this looks like poor, predictable grab for cash.” I vowed that I would never pay to see Alpha and Omega.

A few years down the road, I find Alpha and Omega on netflix instant. I figure, at the very least I can make fun it. I watched it and I was actually pleasantly surprised.

I did come in knowing, that this film would not portray wild wolf packs accurately. But I don't think I've ever seen a wild wolf family structure done properly in fiction.*

Anyway, back to the meat of the film. I thought this film was going to be completely predictable and clichéd. I thought it was going to be about two social classes of wolves (alphas and omegas), who were completely unequal, alphas at the top, omegas at the bottom. But the two wolves, Kate (the serious alpha) and Humphrey (a buffon of an omega) after being shipped away, would work through their differences and fall in love, thus mending the class system. We've seen stuff like this before. But Alpha and Omega actually subverted these clichés fairly well.

In reality, both alphas and omegas are valued. Omegas aren't worthless and alphas don't hate them. Omegas have an important job, relieving tension in the packs through humor. Humphrey, is not a buffoon and is actually quite intelligent. Humphrey does not have an unrequited crush on Kate. The two are actually childhood friends and start off with mutual attraction for one another. The real problem is that Kate needs to marry another pack's alpha to unite the two packs. Kate, who is very responsible, knows she has to marry him even though she likes Humphrey to some degree. When the two are relocated to another park and have to return home, the film ends up being more Kate realizing that she is in love with Humphrey, than actually falling in love with him. Even though the movie is fairy formulaic, it does subvert a lot of clichés, making it somewhat unique.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this film were the characters. Like I said before, Humphrey isn't an idiot. He's very smart and uses his playful side to get out of bad situations. Kate is a little flat but not unlikable. The movie's supporting cast particularly shines. The wolf Kate is supposed to marry (Garth) is actually a really nice wolf (usually in these kind of movies, a character like Garth would be a huge jerk) and has some personality. But my favorite characters were Kate's parents, with the father having some depth and the mother being absolutely crazy but hilarious.

The humor was pretty hit and miss. Some moments, I found myself laughing out loud. Other moments, I would be completely embarrassed that I was watching this movie.

For content alone, I would probably give Alpha and Omega three stars. It was enjoyable and had some pleasant subversions from a tired formula But I do have to dock this film a half of a star for the animation. Normally, I wouldn't do this for animation, but I absolutely hated the style. There were times, I was completely taken out of the movie, just because I hated some of the background and character designs. It was very distracting.

If you can brave the animation, this movie is really worth a watch.

*It's actually a common misconception that wild wolves live packs with strict hierarchies. Wolves in the wild live in family units, consisting of the parents, the pups and older pups. As the pups get older, they usually leave the parents and start their own family. Captive wolves, however do live as packs with strict hierarchies. This is because captive wolves are usually a bunch strangers thrown together, not families. For more information, you can check out this website: http://www.davemech.org/news.html

animated movie Alpha and Omega © Lions Gate Films / Crest Animation Productions
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Alpha and Omega
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