Alpha and Omega

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Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega poster.jpg
Furry Bait: The Movie
Genre: Comedy
Animation
Directed By: Ben Gluck
Anthony Bell
Written By: Christopher Denk
Steve Moore
Starring: Justin Long
Hayden Panettiere
Christina Ricci
Danny Glover
Dennis Hopper
Bitsie Tulloch
Larry Miller
Eric Price
Chris Carmack
Vicki Lewis
Brian Donovan
Kevin Sussman
Aziz Ansari
Photography: Color
Release Date: September 8, 2010 (TIFF)
September 17, 2010 (United States)
Runtime: 87 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $20 million
Box Office: $50.5 million
Sequel: Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure


Alpha and Omega is a 2010 comedy romance adventure film directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck and stars Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper and Danny Glover.

Plot

In Alberta, Canada's Jasper National Park, Kate (Hayden Panettiere) begins Alpha school with her father Winston (Danny Glover) and grows up as a fully trained Alpha wolf. On her first hunt, she crosses paths with two wolves from the Eastern pack who are lacking food in their own territory and nearly start a fight, but the conflict is broken up by Kate's childhood friend, Omega wolf Humphrey (Justin Long), who has feelings for her, but can't pursue a relationship with her because it is forbidden for an Alpha and Omega to be together. The two packs have had a bitter rivalry ever since Tony (Dennis Hopper), the leader of the Eastern pack, commanded his wolves to cross over into Western territory (against pack law) to get sufficient food. Winston and Tony meet up one night and arrange for Kate to marry Garth (Chris Carmack), Tony's son, in order to peacefully merge the two packs. Kate, having a sense of responsibility and duty, agrees for the good of the pack and meets Garth at the Moonlight Howl.

Garth seems perfect, except that he is not very bright and has a terrible howl. Kate, taken aback, leaves and has a talk with Humphrey about Garth, when they are suddenly tranquilized by some well-meaning park rangers and taken away to Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho, where they meet goose golfer Marcel (Larry Miller) and his duck caddie Paddy (Eric Price). Humphrey and Kate learn that they were relocated to repopulate the species. This horrifies Kate, but intrigues Humphrey so that he can be with Kate; however, after coming to an agreement, Marcel and Paddy help the wolves begin their journey home to Jasper Park.

The two packs discover that Kate has gone missing. Tony warns Winston that if Kate doesn't return to marry Garth on the next full moon, war will be declared for their territory. Kate's sister Lilly (Christina Ricci), however, has developed a crush on Garth and suggests that she show him around until Kate gets back.

Kate and Humphrey's ride home is cut short at a gas station, where Humphrey is mistaken for a rabid wolf after he eats a cream-filled cupcake, which a French bulldog had seen. Kate fends off a man who attempts to attack them with a gun, and she and Humphrey both flee into the forest. During their homeward journey, they cross a dangerous ravine with Humphrey saving Kate from a nasty fall.

The next morning, Marcel and Paddy find the wolves and direct them to a train over a snowy mountain that will take them to Jasper. Climbing the mountain, Humphrey meets a grizzly bear cub who's never seen wolves, but a mishap gets the cub hurt, angering a trio of adult grizzly bears. Kate comes to Humphrey's rescue and after a rough slide down the mountain manage to board the passing train before the bears devour them.

During this time, Lilly and Garth are bonding. At the midnight howl, Lilly compassionately teaches Garth how to howl effectively. At the same time, Humphrey and Kate begin to fall in love and howl together while on the train. By this time, the full moon has come and both packs declare war against each other. As the train passes by Jasper, Kate and Humphrey's exchange of feelings is cut short by the sight of the wolf pack war. Kate stops the fight by announcing that she will marry Garth. The next day, a devastated Humphrey bids farewell to Kate, Marcel, and Paddy; he decides to leave by himself because of his hurt feelings, much to Kate's disappointment.

During the ceremony, Kate decides not to marry Garth, declaring her love for Humphrey. Garth subsequently declares his own love for Lilly. An Alpha wolf marrying an Omega wolf goes against pack customs, and a large brawl ensues between the packs, but is cut short when a massive stampede of caribou comes. Winston and Tony get caught in the stampede, but Kate and Humphrey (who decided to stay) rush in to save them. They succeed, but Kate gets struck by the caribou in the process, so Humphrey then goes to shield her with his body. After the stampede, Humphrey tries to wake up Kate to no avail. Heartbroken, Humphrey then begins to howl in sadness, causing all the other wolves to howl along with him. Kate then awakens, to everyone's joy, and she and Humphrey confess their love for each other in the form of whispers. Winston and Tony then decide to abolish the law against Alphas and Omegas marrying and accept a union of the two packs via a marriage between Garth and Lilly, much to Garth and Lilly's joy.

Later at the Moonlight Howl, all of the wolves celebrate the love of Kate to Humphrey, and Garth to Lilly, breaking the social classes and traditions, ending with Humphrey and Kate howling a beautiful duet.

Bad Qualities

  1. Mediocre-looking CGI animation. Even a deleted scene in the Blu-Ray's special features has CGI animation that looks better than the film's final result.
  2. The script feels very bland and boring, and some of the lines feels very annoying.
  3. Predictable and overused plot and also has several overused cliches.
  4. Repeats an old, false idea about how wolf packs function that was based on how captive wolves which did not grow up together behave in zoos. Only somehow, this pack doesn't even have any beta wolves.
  5. Very terrible jokes, which mainly consist of sexual innuendos (infamously including what appears to be a pun based on the anatomical features of wolf penises) and urination jokes.
  6. Humphrey is supposed to be a good-natured prankster, but in his first interaction with Garth he comes across as spiteful and petty, for no other reason than he's jealous.
  7. The romance between Kate and Humphrey feels forced and poorly-written.
  8. The film's message is about love transcending rigid social roles, which is a pretty good message in itself. Unfortunately, the sequels retroactively ruin it by showing exactly why Kate and Humphrey should never have gotten together.
  9. Hollow logs do not, in fact, make good sleds (the same thing can be also said in Arctic Dogs).
  10. On that topic, this movie is infamous for spawning seven sequels from 2013 to 2017.
    • And because of this, they created corgi-looking wolf pups named Claudette, Stinky, and Runt that would later become the even bad protagonists of the sequels.
  11. Somehow a shotgun has enough firepower to rip a wired fence apart, which makes this scene impossible and unrealistic.
  12. The infamous Moonlight Howl scene, though the song is nice to hear, the dance numbers the wolves do is uncomfortable to watch.
    • And to make matters worse the lyrics of the song are just howling.
  13. They've milked the franchise to death.

Good Qualities

  1. While Kate and Humphrey's romance feel forced as they spend most of their screen-time arguing, the subplot focusing on Garth and Lilly is very well developed and genuinely sweet.
  2. Some of the characters are likable, such as Garth and Lilly.
  3. Despite most of the jokes being terrible, some of the one-liners can be genuinely funny.
  4. The "Love Train" sequence, which is easily the best part of the movie, and the entire franchise.
  5. Good voice acting.
  6. Some of the backgrounds, although a little blurry, are admittedly pretty beautiful.
  7. The depiction of humans as actually trying to help the wolves repopulate rather than as evil eco-thugs is somewhat more nuanced than most kids' films that have anything to do with the environment.
  8. The soundtrack is pretty good.
  9. Compared to the later seven sequels, this is the only tolerable film of the franchise.

Reception

Alpha and Omega holds an approval rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 57 reviews; the site's consensus is: "With bland visuals and a dull, predictable plot, Alpha and Omega is a runt in 2010's animated litter." At Metacritic, the film has a score of 36 out of 100 based on reviews from 15 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews. Andrew Barker of Variety gave the film a mixed review, writing: "Not without charm, Lionsgate's 3D animated pic is agreeably unambitious." Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Abounding in dumb jokes that kids are bound to like but sometimes too scary for very young viewers, the movie -- also going out in 2D -- takes too long to find its footing and at best is proficient, not exhilarating."

Videos

Trivia

  • This was Dennis Hopper's last film before he passed away of prostate cancer before the film was released and this film was dedicated to his memory.
  • It was Lionsgate's highest grossing animated feature, before 2017 when it was dethroned by My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).
  • The license plate on the camping couple's truck reads "A113". This refers to a classroom at CalArts, which they also use A113 in every Pixar movie as an "easter egg cameo".
  • Steve Moore originally intended to give the movie a slightly darker and more serious story, but Lionsgate wanted it to be aimed more towards children, leading the original script to be re-written.
  • It has it's own movie tie-in game on the Nintendo DS.
  • In the IMDb trivia, it's mention that the movie has a "cult following" and a "decent fanbase" that's completely both false and hilarious (in a stupid kind of way). Given that the plausible reason it has a "cult following" was because of not only furries, but it was the most talked about film on YouTube at the time (which it got mixed to negative reviews from both movie critics/reviewers). And the fanbase is the complete opposite of "decent", given that they reveled their more darker side on the internet. Some examples included drawing some very questionable content on Deviantart, and lashing out at movie reviewers on YouTube (more infamously, Bobsheaux) with their toxic comments.
  • Although it was never confirmed by Lionsgate, it's been said that the movie was originally meant to have only one sequel, originally planned for a theatrical release, with the same cast and crew from the first movie returning. And reportedly, the original script had nothing to do with Christmas OR the pups. However, it's unknown why this idea was cancelled to be replaced with the infamous seven sequels we know today.

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