Sunday, July 4, 2010

Unwieldy titles duke it out

So, you thought The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would win, hands down, for Most Unwieldy Title, Fall 2010?

Well, maybe you have not been properly aware of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole.

Yes, you read that correctly -- the word "Ga'hoole" is in the title of a movie. A movie that thinks it has a shot at hundreds of millions of dollars, at that.

I was peripherally aware of this movie, but it wasn't until I saw a trailer for it yesterday that I realized what its full title was. I believe I may have actually laughed out loud there in the theater (though the movie itself looks like it could be cool, this wussy poster notwithstanding).

The main reason I originally laughed so hard at The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was that I didn't know it was actually the title of a Chronicles of Narnia book. It's by far the most eccentric title in the series. You start with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which everybody knows. Then, Prince Caspian is fairly short, simple and easy to grasp. It's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader that becomes a bit goofy. What's a Dawn Treader? Is it a boat? And where's it going? That title's got almost as much going on as The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. If they keep making Narnia movies, three of the next four are pretty easy to grasp: The Silver Chair, The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle. But if they call the fifth movie in the series The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy, I'm warning you, I'm going to laugh again.

Okay, so Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is also based on a series of books. But they've significantly lengthened the name of the book series for the movie. The book series is called Guardians of Ga'Hoole, which still has the problematic word "Ga'Hoole," with its problematic apostrophe, in the title. But if kids recognize the movie based on that word, well, I guess I'm fine with it.

So couldn't they have called the movie either Legend of the Guardians or Guardians of Ga'Hoole? I understand that all the books in the series are not being covered here -- only the first three. But if you get to make another movie, you can figure out how to do the title for the second one at that point. So says me.

Maybe they've already decided it's a non-starter, since they're dumping it in September.


Mike Lippert said...

It was originally supposed to be titled Legends of Ga'Hoole but was changed probably for the reason of that stupid word appealing to know one but readers of these books I've never even heard of. The trailer however got me really excited for this movie. It looks like a true family movie in that is has big action and adventure and real emotions and such. This could really be the movie to show all of what Zack Snyder has after Watchmen didn't do so hot even though I loved it.

As for a Dawn Treader, I have no idea but maybe that's a good thing, I'd see the movie just to find out.

Chris, a librarian said...

Hopefully no remakes of
Marat/Sade: The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
are coming anytime soon.

Vancetastic said...


Yeah, I liked the visuals in the trailer, and like you, I loved Watchmen and would like to see what Zack Snyder can do with a very different project. But I'm wondering if I will find the owls to be ... super wimpy, for want of a better word. I have a feeling they'll look like they're always about to burst into tears.


Wow, that could be my new The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.