Nestled atop a tree in the Forest Kingdom of Tyto is an ordinary family of barn owls: Mother, Father and their three kids, Soren, Kludd and Eglantine. Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess), white-faced with a screaky English accent, is the middle child and dreamer of the bunch. While he can't yet fly, he dreams of someday soaring among the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, a mythical band of warriors who, as his father's stories have it, fought an epic battle against the Pure Ones to save all owlkind. His older brother, Kludd (Ryan Kwanten), mocks the notion because he's jealous of Soren and his big ambitions, and he feels neglected by the family. Eglantine, a baby girl, seems to be following in the footsteps of Soren.
Kludd's resentment, alas, has dreadful consequences when he and his brother decide to practice flying late in the night. Flapping their wings from branch to branch, the siblings get in a fight and end up falling from the tree, only to be snatched up by two Pure Ones. They are taken to a desolate orphanage called St. Aegolius Academy, where hundreds of young owls are being "moonblinked" into child soldiers for an army led by Metalbeak (Joel Edgerton) and his queen, Nyra (Helen Mirren). There, Kludd is manipulated by Nyra, who feeds off his envy, into believing that his home is now with the Pure Ones, turning him against his family, while Soren and his new friend Gylfie, a tiny elf owl, hatch a plan to escape.
Once free from the Pure Ones, after flying for the very first time, Soren sees his dreams becoming a reality as he proceeds on a quest to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the home of the Guardians, which lies in the middle of the sea. On the way, he and Gylfie meet two humorous owls who join them on their journey: Digger (David ...1