Movie Review

Alpha and Omega also known as “Alpha and Omega in 3D”

MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and some mild action.

Reviewed by: Laura Busch
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens
Genre:
Animation Family Romance Adventure Comedy 3D
Length:
1 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
September 17, 2010 (wide—2,500+ theaters)
DVD: January 11, 2011
Copyright, Lions Gate Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films Copyright, Lions Gate Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lions Gate Films

Animals in the Bible

Wolf

Marriage

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

Featuring: voices of Justin Long (Humphrey), Hayden Panettiere (Kate), Christina Ricci (Lilly), Dennis Hopper (Tony), Danny Glover (Winston), Christine Lakin (Reba), Chris Carmack (Garth), Vicki Lewis (Eve), Kevin Sussman, Bitsie Tulloch (Sweets), Brian Donovan (Salty), Mela Lee (Candy), Eric Price (Paddy)
Director: Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck
Producer: Crest Animation Productions, Lions Gate Family Entertainment, more »
Distributor: Lions Gate Films

“A pawsome 3D adventure”

Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (Justin Long) couldn’t be more different. Kate is the daughter of a pack leader and an alpha wolf, who is being groomed to marry a fellow pack leader’s son, Garth, in order to unite the two packs for their mutual benefit. Humphrey is a more carefree omega wolf, whose social standing forbids him to marry his true love, Kate.

When Kate and Humphrey find themselves thrown together on a wildlife reserve, after being captured by park rangers, they must work together to get back home. During this unlikely pair’s action-filled adventure, they fall in love and learn that love is more powerful than social order. These two wolves from different sides of the pack discover that, despite their different social statuses, they can make their relationship work.

Positive Elements

The agreeable way that Kate and Humphrey work together while trying to make their way back home is one of the most positive aspects of this film. Kate and Humphrey’s friendship and eventual romance grows and strengthens, as they face many challenges on their journey. They always have each other’s backs and save each other’s lives on several occasions.

Humphrey’s positive and encouraging attitude is another positive aspect of the film. This encouraging attitude can be seen when he tries to cheer Kate up after her first hunt as an alpha wolf goes badly.

Kate’s loyalty and sense of duty and responsibility to her family and the pack is another positive element. Despite Kate’s reservations about marrying Garth, she wants to honor her parent’s wishes, and do what she believes to be the best for the two packs.

While on their journey, Kate and Humphrey also become friends with a golfing goose and his caddy, a friendly duck. These amiable characters are very cute and become loyal friends, as they try to help Kate and Humphrey get back home.

From a cinematic standpoint, I have mixed feelings about “Alpha and Omega.” The animation is excellent, and the characters are very cute. Children will enjoy watching the adorable animals, and there is plenty of comedic cartoon action to keep young children’s attention. The children in my theater seemed to be most entertained by the comedic action. I thought many of the jokes in the film under-delivered. I screened “Alpha and Omega” in 3-D, and, in my opinion, the 3-D elements did not add anything to the film’s aesthetic.

Negative Elements

Even though “Alpha and Omega” has several positive lessons, the veiled references to mating/sex that are made throughout the film cannot be ignored. These sexual references take the form of euphemisms such as, “howling together,” and there is also mention of “repopulating.” In one scene, Garth shows Kate how he can howl at the moon and asks her “if it was good for her.” While most of these euphemisms will probably go over most children’s heads, they are still cause for concern and only detract from the film.

Other elements that may be of concern to viewers include some harsh language. While there is no actual cussing, words like “stupid,” “barf”, and talk of “ripping other wolves’ tails off,” and “ripping other wolves’ eyes out” are made, and several “butt” jokes make their way into the dialogue.

Very young children may be frightened by some of the animated fights and angry teeth-baring growls exchanged by the wolves.

“Alpha and Omega” is not going to become a classic, but the adorable characters and comedic action is certainly something that children will enjoy. Even though there are positive lessons in this film, and it is one the cleaner, family-friendly choices in theaters amongst the many R-rated films, I would still urge parents to consider the sexual references in this film before buying their family tickets.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate—for a children’s film

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—“Alpha and Omega” was very good and refreshing, compared to most of the stuff today. I do think the “mating” stuff is a bit mature for anyone under the age of 8, but it never got sexually immoral; the wolves clearly wait until their version of marriage. The two wolves find true love, and Kate decides not to marry someone she does not truly love; even better is Garth accepts Kate’s choice and finds true love for himself with her sister.

The only thing I thought was not needed was this fight with the bears after a bear cub ACCIDENTALLY got hurt by Humphrey’s snowball; it should’ve just ended when Humphrey apologized, and the cub clearly moves on and/or forgives him. Of course, it’s not worth hating the movie over. I noticed a non-viewer says this movie takes God’s name in vain. The “Alpha and Omega” title is NOT used in the Biblical context about Christ. The alpha wolves (Kate) are the best hunters and top in their class, and the omega wolves (Humphrey) are the worst hunters. THAT is what “Alpha and Omega” means in this movie; it has NOTHING to do with blaspheming God’s name. Honestly, if you are going to reject a movie, at least understand what it is your rejecting; otherwise the unbelievers have just been given fuel to blaspheme God on the grounds that His children do not look like they do discerning research.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Peter, age 22 (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie tonight, and I must say I do find it good. Although it wasn’t until after I watched the movie and looked back at this site when I realized that even at 21 most of the sexual innuendos I apparently didn’t detect. (Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, I guess good for my perspective).

I don’t recall hearing The Lord’s Name in vain mentioned once, however that doesn’t mean it wasn’t in there, which is why I rated this better than average. Personally for me, the phrase mentioned in the review above regarding “repopulate” I wouldn’t say is to be used in the form of sexual innuendo, but rather used in the context of expanding the species, bringing children (or young wolves) into the world, which in itself isn’t a sin, unless premarital issues are involved. The wolves did in fact have their own ritual of marriage, which I sort of liked, because it doesn’t give the impression of “picking a mate,” as in the similar common-in-law relationships you see lots of people get themselves into.

The threatening comments (issued by a loving female mother wolf who had a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde personality when it came to anyone who would hurt, or got in the way of her children) were rather graphic, and, if used by someone in the real world, would probably be enough to have them thrown in jail. (Just to give you a picture of what she said)

Would I recommend this movie? I would say “Yes.” I understand that everyone’s convictions on what’s appropriate and what isn’t differ between individual to individual, but based on what I feel to be appropriate, I say “Yes.” I must say I find the whole title of the movie… interesting. God Bless, and enjoy the movie.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Veryan, age 21 (Canada)
Positive—“Alpha and Omega” is a charming and cute movie. There is no foul language, however, there are a few innuendos that the kids might not get. There is a little bit of violence within the wolf packs. Outside of these very minor issues, the movie is fun and heartwarming. While, not as good as some of Dreamwork’s or Pixar’s CGI adventures, it is worth seeing with your children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jacob Airey, age 22 (USA)
Positive—I’m a sucker for these cute films, and I really enjoyed this film. While the animation needed minor work, I really loved the “hand painted look.” Some scenes don’t look cg at all and are absolutey ideallic and beautiful. I couldn’t help but notice some similarities in character design to Balto (another of my favorites). I really like the idea that Kate and Humphrey were already friends, Humphrey being the typicall cluelss guy and Kate being strong but rough around the edges. It’s obvious from the beginning, they are perfect for each other and complement each other’s shortcomings. I much enjoyed images of them standing side by side. That is beautiful and represents what a healthy relationship should be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Peter, age 18 (USA)
Positive—This was a cute movie and the graphics were really good. Yes, they are dogs, so the sexual innuendos didn’t bother me, which if it were humans that would have been different. And I think you would have to be an adult to catch onto them anyway. …I was surprised at some of the comments they had the mother wolf say, some violent ones.

Overall, it was cute, more of an adult flick then a child movie, for I think it might be kind of scary for a kid, and I would hate for my kid to hear some of the things the mom says and repeat them. She said something to the other wolf, I am going to rip out your eyes and feed them to you, so you can see me rip through your stomach with my claws! Now yes, they are wild animals, but I don’t know if kids woud run around repeating stuff like that!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Samantha Taylor, age 36 (USA)
Positive—I would not recommend this movie for children under the age of twelve. There are 3-5 times where there is suggestive material, it is only verbal, but I do not think that kind of input is good for kids. The movie, itself, was decent enough. There were no scary images that I can recall. I really enjoyed how the creators did the wolves’ howls; it was one of my favorite things about the movie. The characters were done well, I grew attached to them, and, ***SPOILER*** by the end, I almost cried when it seemed like Kate died. ***END SPOILER***

Overall, it was an ok movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Bethany Stibbe, age 18 (Canada)
Neutral

none

Negative
Negative—This movie was a waste of a $1 rental, but I’m glad I guess that’s all I spent on it. With a society these days completely bombarded with sexual references, this movie was full of them. I am upset they put these things in movies, and then project the audience to young children. Wolves going on their 1st date, everyone paired up, gawking at who they like. Calling one of the girl wolves, “hot.” That is completely inappropriate.

The message we send our young boys that women are objects to be gawking at. I almost turned it off, till I read the reviews, and it seemed most of the obscenity is in the 1st half of the movie. One girl wolf wearing a bustier. Why do we need to have love and dating in young kids movies? Don’t they have the rest of their lives to worry about such things? It would have been good because the quarreling wolf packs work out their issues.

I would not rent this movie at all, unless your kids are at an age where they are ready to think about dating or talk about sex. But then, the rest of the movie would be too immature for them. Go figure!!

And to the reviewers who said “the kids won’t get the innuendos.” So what! They will someday! Does that mean that God wants you to project them onto your young children’s hearts and minds just cause they don’t understand it?? No way!! And what’s with the title anyways? Who is our Alpha and Omega?? The movie in itself was bland and had poor graphics. Do not rent or buy this movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Michelle, age 35 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I thought this movie was just OK. I’m not really concerned about the little mating innuendos, they’re just dogs! A lot of this movie was cheesy, like “howling together,” but it was not offending in anyway to a Christian. I think this is a good movie for kids 9 and under.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Kayla, age nearly 12 (USA)
Positive—This is my favorite animated movie. It has so many positive messages, I do not know when to start. To put it in short. 2 wolves by the name of Kate and Humphrey go on a journey and fall in love with each other. I recommend this movie to all kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This is my favorite family movie of all time. …I recommend this film to all families.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3
—John, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—Pretty good movie. I watched it on TV, and I liked it, but the animation was not so good. The lesson was great, and the dialogue and characters were great! (Although, there was some sexual humor talk.) But the animation was bad. The wolves looked like coyotes instead. I give it a 2 star rating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Andre, age 15 (Canada)
Positive—I thought that “Alpha and Omega” was a great movie. My brother likes it, and I like it, as well, and all I see is a movie showing the love of 2 wolfves, and I believe I didn’t hear God’s name mentioned in vain. I think some people took that just a little too serious. And I am not really concerned about what Eve says in the movie, that is just basically showing the love of a mother for her daughter, and I don’t think it’s some sort of mating call by howling at the moon. I think it just shows affection. Well, to everyone out there, I recommend you get the movie, and God bless you all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Caleb, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—I and my family liked this movie. I think it could have been a bit better with the storyline, though. It got a bit boring, after a while. I liked the main wolfves that caught the spotlight (Humphrey and Kate). I was a bit offended with a few things though… 1. Humphrey puts a “bra” on Kate while she sleeps. (A part of her that you could assume her “breast” would be.) 2. A wolf looks in between Kate’s “legs” to look at another female wolf during their wedding. (Her name is Lilly, if you were wondering.) 3. There were a few crude jokes about pee. 4. A wolf gets hit in his “privates”. (Not very funny if the filmmakers were hoping they would get me to laugh.) Overall, I loved the movie, and I REALLY want to see it again!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hannah, age 11 (Australia)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I am voting negative for any cartoon that uses God’s name in vain, Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” You are aware that God’s name in Rev.1:8, 11 is the “Alpha and Omega,” right? Is this how to properly raise up a child in the way that he should go when Mom and Dad are bringing home a video that uses God’s name in vain? Regardless of the content of the cartoon the name on the jacket is wrong. What would unsaved family or friends think if they saw that in your home? 1 Thes. 5:22 tells us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” and the lost know more than you may give them credit for, and not regard your testimony as one worth listening to after seeing “Alpha and Omega” on a goofy cartoon in your house.
—Don Nesbitt, age 43 (USA)