Alpha and Omega is a 2010 3D American computer-animated comedy-drama film, produced by Crest Animation Productions and Richard Rich. The film is directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck, starring the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Chris Carmack, Dennis Hopper (in his final film appearance before his death), Danny Glover and Vicki Lewis. The film sets around 2 young wolves on the opposite ends of their pack, who get relocated to Idaho for repopulation, just as a war slowly begins to emerge between both packs in Jasper Park.
The film was released on September 17, 2010 to 2,625 theaters nationwide and worldwide by Lionsgate. It has been shown in its 3D format. The film gained a strong cult following among audiences and fans, forming a big fanbase. Co-director Ben Gluck, stars briefly in the film as the announcer on the radio of Garn and Debbie's car. The film received an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Feature (losing to How to Train Your Dragon). It was also supposed to received a Golden Globe nomination in the same category, but was dropped out due to the mixed-to-negative critical reviews.
A sequel called Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure was released on October 8, 2013, which was very successful and gained a much more positive critical response than the first film. It also gained a cult following. Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games was released on March 25, 2014 while Alpha and Omega: The Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave was released on October 7, 2014. Alpha and Omega: Family Vacation aired in Mexico on March 28, 2015 and was released on DVD worldwide on August 4. On April 8, it was announced that there will be three movies after Family Vacation, with the first (titled Alpha and Omega Dino Digs) being released on May 10, 2016. It was followed by Alpha and Omega: The Big Fureeze, which was released on November 8, 2016. The eighth and final installment, Alpha and Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom was released on DVD and Digital HD in May 9, 2017.
Humphrey (Justin Long) and Kate (Hayden Panettiere) are two wolves from the same pack in Canada's Jasper National Park, but on opposite ends of the social order. Kate, the daughter of the Alpha leader Winston (Danny Glover) and his mate Eve (Vicki Lewis), is an Alpha herself and takes her duty to the pack seriously. Humphrey on the other hand is the Omega leader, and spends his days making jokes and playing about with his other Omega friends, Shakey (Kevin Sussman), Salty (Brian Donovan), and Mooch (Eric Price). As the Omega Leader of the Pack, Humphrey is a skilled peace-keeper, but falls in love with Kate, which is against Pack Law: An Alpha and Omega can't mate.
During her youth, Kate left to begin Alpha school with her father. She returns as a fully trained Alpha, but on her first hunt, Claws and Scar, two members of the Eastern pack, ruin her attempt, leaving her pack with nothing but bones and scraps. The two packs have had a bitter rivalry since Winston dislikes the fact that Tony (Dennis Hopper), the Alpha Leader of the Eastern pack, wants to unite them into one large pack. Winston and Tony meet up one night and arrange for Kate to marry Tony's son Garth (Chris Carmack). Having followed her father and heard everything, Kate wearily agrees for the good of the pack and she meets Garth at the Howling Rock. Garth is also a fully-trained Alpha, but one thing lets him down: His howl, which is how wolves find their mate, when their howls match. Garth begins to howl and Kate is mortified by how bad he is. She escapes the date for a drink of water and runs into Humphrey by the river. The two then scream in terror at being startled, but soon calm down. Afterwards, Humphrey and Kate are shot in their butts with tranquilizer darts by a ranger and taken to Idaho in their own separate cages.
Humphrey and Kate wake up at Sawtooth National Recreation Area and meet a French-Canadian goose named Marcel (Larry Miller) who has an avid interest in golf and his caddy, a duck named Paddy (Eric Price). Humphrey and Kate learn that they were relocated to repopulate the species, which upsets Kate. Marcel and Paddy agree to help the wolves return home to Jasper and they hitch a ride in a camper truck driven by a couple that vacation to Jasper yearly while Marcel and Paddy follow from above.
Back at Jasper there is trouble when both packs confront one another at border when word that Kate has gone missing and accusations fly on Kate's whereabouts. Tony warns Winston that on the next full moon if Kate doesn't return to marry Garth, he and his pack will declare war for their territory. Lilly (Christina Ricci), an Omega wolf who is Kate's younger sister, has a crush on Garth and suggests that she shows him around.
That night, when the camper stops by a truck-stop, Humphrey exits the camper to pee. He is distracted by a cupcake and begins to eat it. A man mistakes Humphrey for a rabid wolf since he has creamy frosting around his mouth. He then prepares to shoot Humphrey, but Kate jumps in to save him. They escape, but they sacrifice their ride to Jasper.
That night, Kate finds a ravine, which is currently filled up by a mudslide, and tries to cross it. She slips down the cliff, but Humphrey saves her by swinging on a vine and telling her to grab his tail. After that, the duo makes a den for the night.
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 bear cub (Maya Kay) who is unfamiliar with wolves. When they're playing, the cub starts to cry when Humphrey throws a snowball at him, and Humphrey tries to comfort him. This angers three bears (most likely the cub's parents), who think that Humphrey was trying to harm the cub. When Kate realizes that Humphrey is in danger, she rushes in to help him, causing them to slide down the other side of the mountain on a log (which happens to be one of Humphrey's hobbies). Humphrey saves Kate, and, as the train passes by, the duo manages to get into a boxcar just in time.On the train that night, Humphrey starts to howl at the full moon and asks Kate to join him. She does, after hearing his voice, and the two howl a romantic duet. Kate realizes that Humphrey is who she belongs with. Meanwhile, at the Howling Rock in Jasper, Lilly helps Garth improve his howl. He succeeds and the two howl together. Tony and his pack show up at the scene to prepare to attack the other pack and berates his son for howling with an Omega. Lilly retreats to alert her father. Since Kate has yet to return, Tony commands his pack to take the valley.
Shortly, the train passes by Jasper. Humphrey tries to profess his love for Kate, but the sight of the packs fighting makes Kate jump off the train before he can finish. Kate stops the fight by announcing that she will marry Garth for the good of the packs, much to Humphrey and Lilly's surprise and disappointment.The next day, a heartbroken Humphrey decides to leave Jasper and travel on his own and shares his goodbyes with Kate, Marcel, and Paddy, who have arrived and decided to stay. Yet, Kate also feels heartbroken after realizing how she feels about Humphrey. Halfway through Kate and Garth's marriage ceremony, Kate backs out after deciding that Humphrey's who she wants to be with. Garth as well declares the same for Lilly. Winston is confused, while Tony and his pack start to fight the other pack out of anger, but the conflict is cut short when a massive stampede of caribou interrupts the scene. Winston and Tony are trapped in the stampede, so Kate and Humphrey (who has decided to return) both jump in to the rescue. Kate is knocked out when trying to reach cover, and Humphrey rushes forward to protect her, shielding her with his own body while Winston and Tony try to scare the caribou out of the path of the two. After the stampede fades, it appears that Kate has been trampled to death. Humphrey declares his love for Kate and howls as a requiem for her, and all the wolves then join in. Kate then wakes up, much to everyone's relief. Kate and Humphrey finally declare their true feelings to each other, and Winston and Tony agree to unite the packs under a marriage between Garth and Lilly, and demolish the rule over social class. That night, everyone celebrates the happy ending at Howling Rock, and Humphrey and Kate howl a duet at the close of the film.
- Justin Long as Humphrey, the main protagonist.
- Hayden Panettiere as Kate, the deuteragonist.
- Christina Ricci as Lilly, the tritagonist.
- Chris Carmack as Garth, the secondary tritagonist.
- Dennis Hopper as Tony, the (former) main antagonist.
- Danny Glover as Winston
- Larry Miller as Marcel
- Eric Price as Paddy / Mooch
- Vicki Lewis as Eve
- Kevin Sussman as Shakey
- Brian Donovan as Salty
- Paul Nakauchi as Hutch
- Maya Kay as Bear Cub (uncredited)
- Ben Gluck as Radio Announcer (uncredited)
- Frank Welker as Animal's vocal effects (uncredited)
- Mindy Sterling as Debbie
- Fred Tatasciore as Garn
- Marcelo Tubert as Max
ADR Loop Group
- G.K. Bowes
- Cam Clarke
- David Cowgill
- Eddie Frierson
- Christine Lakin
- Ann Magnuson
- Bernie Van De Yacht
Production for Alpha and Omega began in 2005, when cartoonist Steve Moore pitched the concept for the movie. After writing a few script drafts for the movie, Moore hired Ben Gluck to write the full story with him. They then introduced their story to Crest Animations, where the studio's founder Richard Rich was impressed with the story, and thus the movie began its official production. The story in the movie's original drafts was originally meant to be a slightly darker and more character-driven take on the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, however after Lionsgate became the official distributor, they felt it was too dark for a younger audience and ordered the script to be re-written with a more family-friendly tone. Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere were hired to star in the 2 main roles as Humphrey and Kate. Then, Chris Carmack and Christina Ricci were hired to star on the movie's second main couple, Garth and Lilly. Other well-known actors like Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper, Larry Miller, Eric Price and Vicki Lewis were also hired to star in the movie. Alpha and Omega was distributed by Lionsgate and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, before having its worldwide theatrical release in September 17, 2010 where it was presented in 3D.
Alpha and Omega first had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2010. It was then released to theaters worldwide, where it was also shown in more than 2.600 theaters domestically.
A book with the same name, based on the film, was published in 2010. Alpha and Omega was released in DVD and Blu-Ray in January 2011. A video game based on the film, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2010, and the PSP version was released in February 8, 2011.
Following the unexpected success of the first film, Lionsgate started producing a number of 45-minute direct-to-DVD sequels. The first sequel, Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure was released on October 8, 2013. This sequel was originally meant to be released theatrically, but was a changed to straight-to-DVD status due to its troubled production. It was met with mixed reviews from fans upon release. Another sequel, Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games was released on March 25, 2014 and was loosely based on the Winter Olympics. Unlike the second film, The Great Wolf Games was panned by fans of the franchise. The fourth film, Alpha and Omega: The Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave had a limited theatrical release on September 23, before being released straight-to-DVD on October 7, 2014. This entry proved to be a success, receiving generally positive reviews from critics and being widely acclaimed by fans. It managed to develop a cult following. The fifth entry, Alpha and Omega: Family Vacation first aired on Discovery Kids in Mexico on March 28, 2015 and was later released worldwide on August 4. Fans were neutral with this sequel and it wasn't as successful as the fourth film.
On April 8, 2015, Lionsgate announced three more sequels in the franchise, this time in a collaboration with Splash Entertainment. The first of these sequels (and the overall sixth film), titled Alpha and Omega: Dino Digs was released on May 10, 2016. It became infamous in the Alpha and Omega community for its scathing reception, and so far, it's widely named the worst entry. The seventh installment, Alpha and Omega: The Big Fureeze was released on November 8, 2016 and was deemed as a huge improvement over Dino Digs. The eighth and final film, Alpha and Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom was released on May 9, 2017. It received largely negative reviews from fans, but was still deemed better than Dino Digs.
Alpha and Omega was met with generally mixed to positive reviews when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. However once it was released to theaters, it received generally negative reviews from critics, holding a 19% in Rotten Tomatoes. While the film was praised for the voice acting (specifically the performances of Long, Panettiere and Ricci) and music, it was highly criticized for its mediocre animation, use of sexual jokes, the predictable plot and tired story. In Metacritic, the film holds a score of 40 out of 100, indicating "mixed reviews". However, ever since it was released, Alpha and Omega has been very well received from a lot of fans, and thus it gained a large cult following.
|Annie Award||Best Animated Feature||Anthony Bell
|Best Musical Score||Chris P. Bacon||Nominated|
|Artios Award||Outstanding Achievement in Casting||Bernie Van De Yacht||Nominated|
|As-Seen-By Awards||Best On-Screen Couple||Justin Long
|World Soundtrack Academy||Best Musical Score in an Animated Feature||Chris P. Bacon||Won|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Best Animated Females||Hayden Panettiere