Alpha and Omega tells the story of emerging love between Humphrey (Justin Long), a fun-loving, goofball Omega wolf, and Kate (Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame), a beautiful, responsible young Alpha wolf. Humphrey has been crushing for Kate ever since he was a pup, but the difference in social classes makes it seemingly impossible to be together.
However, Humphrey gets his chance to impress and win over Kate when events cast the both of them far away from home, and they must work together to find their way back to the pack.
Kate and Humphrey belong to a Western pack of wolves that live the western part of Jasper Valley and are led by Winston (Danny Glover), Kates father. A problem emerges when food in the eastern part of the valley becomes scarce, and the Eastern wolf pack, led by Tony (Dennis Hopper), begin to hunt the western packs prey. In an effort to avoid a turf war, the two leaders meet secretly and forge an agreement that when Kate comes of age she will marry Tonys son Garth (Chris Caramack), thereby uniting the two wolf packs and avoiding a war. When Humphrey learns of this agreement he is heartbroken, but decides he must tell Kate how he feels about her in hopes of winning her over.
His window of opportunity closes however when hunters come into the area looking for wolves to repopulate a wolf-barren area in Idaho. Humphrey and Kate are tranquilized with darts and relocated to a preserve in Idaho. The remainder of the movie deals with 2 concurrent storylines the efforts of Kate and Humphrey to make their way back to their wolf pack, and Tonys plan to break the peace agreement and attack the western wolves when he learns of Kates disappearance.
A central theme in Alpha and Omega is the concept of opposites attract. Humphrey and Kate couldnt be more dissimilar. Humphrey is a free spirit and Kate is very proper and responsible. Their back and forth verbal sparring will remind older viewers of classic movies such as The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Its no coincidence that this films main characters are named Humphrey and Kate.
Another set of opposites are Garth and Lily (Christina Ricci) . Kates sister. Garth is an Alpha and Lily is an Omega. Lily keeps Garth company while he awaits Kates return. Though the two had never met before, they begin to form a friendship and then an attraction to each other. The attraction builds over the course of the movie as they learn a lot from each other. As a result these two are among the most developed characters in the story.
As Humphrey and Kate attempt to make their way back to Jasper Valley they have several memorable scenes involving dangerous bears and other obstacles. However nothing is too intense for younger viewers.
Of course every animated family movie has to have characters that provide comic relief, and in this film that is provided by Marcel (Larry Miller) and Paddy (Eric Price), a French Canadian goose and an English duck who play golf in their down time. They help Kate and Humphrey along on their journey home, but like old friends they bicker with each other throughout the entire trip. Their constant arguing is very funny, and helps keeps several scenes from dragging. It made me wish that we saw more of them in the movie.
Perhaps the most memorable character though is Eve (Vicki Lewis), Kate and Lilys loving but forceful mother. Eve is slightly sociopathic, and is always ready to spurt out violent and graphic threats to anyone who insults her or her family. All the other wolves are very cautious around her because they dont know exactly what she is capable of.
Alpha and Omega is well written with plot lines that are easy to follow, even for younger viewers. Will Humphrey and Kate make it back to Jasper Valley before the two wolf packs start their war? Will Humphrey finally tell Kate how he feels about her? Will Kate marry Garth or end up with Humphrey?
This is a very cute movie that the entire family will enjoy.
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