Alpha and Omega
May 20, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo and NC title sequence play)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (beat) So, what the hell is Alpha and Omega?
(The opening title is shown before footage of the movie plays)
NC (vo): Released in 2010, I've never even heard of this film outside of all the requests I've gotten for me to review it. So I looked it up and found it's not just a movie, but it's, surprisingly, a franchise. The film made 25 million in America from a $20 million budget. Not great, but it also made 25 million in other countries, racking up a decent profit. So there's, surprisingly, a (The covers for the Alpha and Omega sequels are show) lot of straight-to-DVD sequels. Seven, to be exact. Which got me thinking, maybe it's like The Land Before Time movies, where people really liked the first one and the sequels tried to exploit it to dea–
(The Rotten Tomatoes page for Alpha and Omega is superimposed briefly, displaying 16% on the Tomatometer and 41% on the Audience Score)
NC (vo): Or maybe not. Nevertheless, this has accumulated a following. I'm not sure if it's a favorable following, but people do like to talk about it for some reason. Is it a film kids liked, a film kids hated, a film kids liked but then hated as adults? I can't entirely say. But what I can say is that it's been ten years since the film came out, everyone wants me to review it, so that's what I'm gonna do today.
NC: So sit back and...enjoy? We're gonna see what all the fuss is about with Alpha and Omega.
NC (vo): It opens with a pack of wolves dog-sledding...
NC: I, too, am astonished they didn't make that joke.
NC (vo): ...and two sister wolves chasing each other.
(We alternate between the dog-sledding and the sisters' chase)
NC: (deadpan) Hmm, I wonder if this movie was...
(The poster for this movie is shown, emphasizing that this is "A Pawsome 3D Adventure")
NC (vo): Remember when movies had to be good...
NC: ...to be good?
(The dog-sledding wolves are shown, emphasizing the one in the front)
NC (vo): It looks like this is Humphrey, played by Justin Long...
(Cut to the two sister wolves, one with gold-colored fur and the other with white fur)
NC (vo): (about the gold-colored wolf) ...and this is Kate, played by Hayden Panettiere. And just to be clear, no, this is not one of the direct-to-DVD movies. This actually is the animation for a cinematic release. It's like if the Norm of the North team did Balto; it has very little detail. Well, except for a few specific areas.
(One such area has Humphrey and Kate leaping into the air towards each other with their front legs outstretched. They grab and hug each other in midair, spinning in a circle as they do)
NC: (nonplussed) I think I'm seeing why this has a following.
(The scene is replayed)
NC (vo; as woman): Honey, what are you doing in there? (as young man) Just figuring things out, Ma! (as the mother) Well, I can help you figure things out. What are you watching? (as son) Alpha and Omega. (as mother) You're right, you can figure that one out on your own. (normal) It looks like Kate is going to alpha school, leaving Humphrey behind.
Another wolf [Winston] (Danny Glover): (to Humphrey) She will be a trained alpha. You'll be a clever Omega.
(Humphrey crouches down under Winston's legs and watches Kate leave)
Winston: Learn to keep the peace.
(Humphrey hardly hears him as he stares at her leaving, in wide-eyed amazement)
NC: (creeped out) I feel like I'm watching someone's... (makes "finger quotes") "personal collection". I don't know what, just it's a "personal collection".
NC (vo): Time goes by as Humphrey comes across Kate again, but he also has to stay away because she's an Alpha and he's an Omega, and they're not allowed to be romantically involved.
Another wolf [Salty] (voiced by Brian Donovan): (to Humphrey) Set your sights over there.
(He gestures toward two other female wolves, Reba and Janice, who are eating some berries from some branches held up by squirrels)
Salty: The veggie-tarians.
(Reba and Janice look toward Humphrey, smiling, their faces full of berry juice)
NC: (waves dismissively) Oh, that old vegetarian cliche...
NC (vo): ...that they like to eat berries that are fed to them by squirrels and have weird smiles.
NC: It's 2020! I thought we were past this!
NC (vo): But two other wolves attack their prey, while Kate leads her pack...by bringing up the rear in support.
(A herd of caribou come stampeding toward the wolves, who run off)
NC (vo): This causes a stampede, but Kate leaps in to save her friends.
(The wolves, being chased by the caribou, spot Kate coming toward them. She leaps from one caribou back to another, with a snippet of Mufasa falling to his demise being thrown in briefly (as if to reflect how much this is like the wildebeest stampede in that movie), until Kate manages to get to the front of the herd and get the wolves being chased out of the way. The wolves that instigated the stampede are outraged and confront Kate's pack)
NC (vo): All the wolves are furry-ous...
(NC laughs as a rimshot is heard, but he shakes his head in disgust at how bad that was)
NC (vo): ...because their prey got away, and they start fighting. So Humphrey comes in to calm things down.
Wolf: Come on, the caribou are laughing at us!
(Upon a cliff, the wolves spot the caribou swinging their rears at them and laughing, as if trying to moon them)
Humphrey: Oh, now, that's a moon I don't want to howl to.
(The other wolves laugh, except for those who instigated the stampede)
NC: (silly voice) It's funny, 'cause poops and farts come outta there!
Winston: (sternly) Get back to the den!
NC (vo): So I guess the alphas' jobs are to lead and the omegas' jobs are to be the peacekeepers. No wonder wolves carry...
(Cut briefly to a shot of a real wolf carrying a copy of "To Perpetual Peace" by Immanuel Kant in its mouth)
NC (vo): ...so many copies of Immanuel Kant.
(Cut back to the movie again as we see Kate's mother, Eve, voiced by Vicki Lewis)
NC (vo): Kate's mother has a...strange reaction, to say the least.
Winston: The eastern wolves ruined Kate's hunt. (Eve snarls and makes a snapping motion with her jaws) The Omegas were there to break up the fight. (Eve sighs with pleasure)
NC: (holds up hand, mock-menacing tone) Beware, she comes with a terrible curse! (Eve's snarl and snap are shown again) But she also comes with a free frogurt. (Eve's sigh is shown again; normal again) Food is tight, as their leader, Winston, played by Danny Glover, is getting upset that the neighboring pack is stealing their food and attacking their clan.
(Other wolves come up to Winston)
Wolf: Candu was jumped.
Eve: Whoever did this, let's rip his tail off and shove it down his throat.
NC: Okay, I'd say get her some medication, but she's the most entertaining character so far.
NC (vo): Winston meets with the leader of the warring pack, Tony, played by Dennis Hopper, as they plan to unite the packs by having Kate and his son, Garth, wed.
Tony: (walking away) I won't let my pack starve, Winston. If we have to... (stomps his paw down on a flower, crushing it) we'll fight for the valley.
NC: See? This is why he's cemented as a great actor. Oh, not because this is a groundbreaking performance. I mean, all great actors have to die...
(Shots of several deceased actors, accompanied by posters of their last movies are shown: Raul Julia in the Street Fighter movie (M. Bison); John Candy in Wagons East (James Harlow); James Stewart in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (voice of Wylie Burp))
NC (vo): ...with their last films being light-years beneath their talents.
Tony: Garth knows his responsibility. Does Kate?
NC (vo): Kate understands that she has to marry Garth, whom she will meet that night at the Moonlight Howl.
Kate: I understand. It's...It's my responsibility.
(Meanwhile, Humphrey and his pack jump into a small pool to wash up for the night)
NC (vo): But all this heavy stuff doesn't have to get in the way of our boys getting ready to strut.
(We next see them strutting down the path, to the tune of "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League)
NC: You know, for a starving pack, (points) how is...
(The camera zooms in on one wolf in particular, who is relatively plump)
NC (vo): ...that one so pleasantly plump? Even Kate gets dolled up for the big night, which to a wolf means putting a flower in your ear. (An image of a tramp stamp is shown in the corner) It's the tramp stamp of the dog world.
Eve: (to Kate) If Garth gets out of line, go for the throat and don't let go until the body stops shaking. (Kate stares, wide-eyed)
NC (vo): Okay, seriously...
NC: (shaking his head apprehensively) ...are any of these DVD sequels titled Mother Eats Her Own?
(As he says this, an image of this made-up sequel with this title is shown, showing a snarling Eve with blood on her jaws)
NC (vo): The Moonlight Howl begins and...
(Two wolves get up on their hind legs and sing and dance and howl to some offscreen music)
NC: (wide-eyed) It's rare that I say this, but someone spent...
NC (vo): ...waaaay too much time animating this.
(The Moonlight Howl continues)
NC: (sighs) Okay, if you just showed me some of these clips alone, I probably wouldn't think twice about it, but going from wolves mostly walking on all fours to that (Image of the following appears in the corner...) orgy dance from Matrix Reloaded does stand out a little bit.
(One female wolf does a particularly sexy dance)
NC (vo): You see that?!
NC: (imitates her moves) She did the sucky-sucky thing! Play it again!
(The scene replays)
NC (vo): You see?! Sucky-sucky! How do people give shit for (The infamous shot of The Lion King, where dust seems to form the word "SEX", is shown) "SEX" being written in Lion King, yet this gets a free pass?!
Salty: Wow, this is a new feeling.
NC: (uneasily) Please explore it privately.
NC (vo): Kate arrives to the ceremony, too, and...
(Moonlight shines down on Kate as the camera slows down to show how Kate looks)
Salty: Kate is hot.
(Kate tries to flip her hair as she tosses her head to the side)
NC: Stop trying to make me into this!
NC (vo): If this your thing, fine, I don't care! You do you!
NC: But if this kind of stuff continues, (Shots of the wolves are shown off to the side with censor bars on certain private parts of their bodies) we're gonna have to censor bars on these characters!
NC (vo): Kate sees Garth, and at first, it may not be too bad. They both seem attracted to each other, but Humphrey cock-blocks and tries to put the moves on her himself.
Humphrey: (walking around Garth) Ha ha, you are... you are a big one. (Garth stares incredulously) Why, you are...practically a moose!
NC: (listlessly shaking his head) Do I even have to with that one?
NC (vo): Kate goes along with Garth, though, and discovers his howl is so bad, it shoots birds down mid-flight. Yeah, okay, that's pretty funny.
Kate: I, uh, need some...water. (She leaves)
Garth (voiced by Chris Carmack): I'll just, uh, keep my vocal chords warm.
Kate: (giggling nervously) Yeah... (darts away)
NC (vo): So you see, the moral, girls, is if your boyfriend's a bad singer, he has no redeemable qualities and you should dump him, even if it means letting your people starve. It's cool. A movie with this (The Moonlight Howl dance scene is shown again) told you it was okay!
(While Kate is off in hiding, trying to figure out what to do, Humphrey pops his head in the entrance. Kate screams a startled scream, and Humphrey responds in kind)
NC: Future alpha all the way. (nods)
(The next thing they know, however, hunters shoot them with tranquilizer darts, which knock them out)
NC (vo): Both of them, though, get shot with darts, and are captured by hunters. The hunters set them loose miles away, though, where they come across other animals who seem to enjoy playing golf.
(Humphrey and Kate spot something unusual: a goose [Marcel] and a duck [Paddy] playing golf with a stick for a club and a rock for a ball. A group of hedgehogs look on with uncertainty)
Hedgehog: (about Marcel) He's using the wrong club.
Paddy (voiced by Eric Price): (to the hedgehog) Could you do me a favor, Needles, and, um, shut the hole that makes the words?
NC: (shrugs) Like I said, there's a good laugh every here and there.
NC (vo): Actually, both of these birds are pretty funny.
Marcel (voiced by Larry Miller): (speaking with a pronounced French accent) This is not a lie if you are French.
Paddy: French-Canadian. There's– There's a slash.
Marcel: I said French.
NC (vo): There's a quiet sophistication to them that, frankly, I didn't think was possible in this film. Might get some good chuckles.
Marcel: (to Humphrey and Kate) I have not seen many wolves in these parts, but I am not afraid of wolves. No. I like wolves.
NC: (as Marcel, exaggerating his French accent) For some reason, (A shot of Boris the goose from Balto is shown in the corner) my kind is always teamed up with them – with OUTRAGEOUS accents, you silly king!
NC (vo): He tries flying away, but Humphrey chases him, resulting in near moose butt.
(As Marcel tries to fly away, Humphrey grabs his legs and holds on, resulting in him being dragged along the road, right into the path of a moose's rear)
Humphrey: Oh, no! No, no, no, no!
(Marcel takes to the air with Humphrey still clinging, and his hind legs bumps into the moose's antlers, much to the moose's confusion)
NC: I love how they act like they're above that joke, even...
(The dancing wolves from the Moonlight Howl are shown again)
NC (vo): ...this imagery...
NC: ...is totally fine.