Review: Alpha and Omega DVD

Alpha and Omega DVD boxSTUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTORS: Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck | CAST: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover
RELEASE DATE: m/d/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
BONUSES: deleted scene, featurettes, games, trivia track
SPECS: PG | 88 min. | animated family | 1.78:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 audio | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Alpha and Omega movie sceneAnimated movie Alpha and Omega is sweet, funny and a movie that will be loved by younger children more than the rest of the family.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Alpha and Omega is non-offensive family fun, but the story line is simple, and younger children won’t care that the animation is not as sophisticated as the likes of Toy Story 3 or How To Train Your Dragon.

The movie does have some A-list voices, though, including Justin Long (Going the Distance), Hayden Panettiere (TV’s Heroes), Danny Glover (2012), Larry Miller (TV’s 10 Things I Hate About You), Christina Ricci (Sleepy Hollow) and the late Dennis Hopper (TV’s Crash) in one of his last films. (The movie is dedicated to Hopper’s memory.)

The film tells the story of two wolves, Humphrey (Long) and Kate (Panettiere), who are childhood friends until Kate is trained to be a new alpha in their pack while Humphrey is destined to be an omega. As another pack of wolves threatens to take over the valley, Kate, the daughter of the pack’s leader, agrees to marry the alpha son of the head of the other pack as a way to unite the groups and bring peace to the valley. But before the wedding can take place, park rangers capture Humphrey and Kate and transfer them to a park in Idaho to re-populate wolves there. But responsibility prompts Kate to return home to Canada, and along the way, Humphrey proves that he can be more than just an omega.

The star-crossed lovers story is nothing new, and there aren’t any surprises at the end, but the journey of Humphrey and Kate is filled with action (including a sleigh ride down a snow-covered mountain slope) and jokes, especially with the golf-loving birds that help Humphrey and Kate get home.

The special features on the DVD also are aimed at the youngest viewers. The featurette “Wolves in the Wild” shows real-life wolf experts telling us facts about wolves, specifically grey wolves, such as that grey wolves actually come in lots of colors and have long, skinny legs and big paws. In one very interesting fact, we learn how important wolves are to their eco-systems, as demonstrated by their re-population in a park and how it encouraged other wild life to return.

More animal facts are available in the pop-up trivia that can run during the film.

Kids also will have fun with the simple, follow-the-line “Log Sliding” game, in which they choose the right path to get Humphrey and Kate to the caribou. And children can find out whether they’re an alpha or an omega by taking the quick personality test — although, the movie shows that it doesn’t really matter.

Plus, there’s a three-part making-of documentary that shows the movie’s production from storyboard to final product, including interviews with the voice actors.

FYI, the production company behind Alpha and Omega, Crest Productions, also produced the new animated movie The Little Engine That Could, which Universal Studios Home Entertainment brought out on DVD on March 22.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.