Alpha & Omega [Blu-Ray] Anthony Bell & Ben Gluck

Alpha & Omega [Blu-Ray] Anthony Bell & Ben Gluck
Class system dichotomies and tradition versus modernity fuel the pedagogical periphery of this forgettable Sunday afternoon diversion, making some twee, idealistic assertions about capacity for change, placating an already over-sheltered generation of uniformly wide-eyed tots. Of course, there are jokes about rabbit poo and sexual dysfunction as well, giving both sides of the viewership spectrum something to mull over and reflect on. The title refers to social categorization within the wolf community, with Alphas taking on elitist responsibilities such as hunting caribou, while Omegas seemingly stand around cracking jokes and contemplating how they are "less than." Within this rigid spectrum of order and familial expectation, a flirtation emerges between newly assigned pack leader Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and lowly goofball Humphrey (Justin Long). Problem is, she's been relegated to an arranged marriage with Garth (Chris Carmack) in order to maintain the peace with a competing pack of wolves led by Tony (Dennis Hopper). That's the gist of the thing, only most of the movie is spent far from the central plight, with Humphrey and Kate trying to find their way home after being drugged and taken to Idaho to repopulate a wolf-barren National Park. Now, if the characters were a little more interesting than broad archetypes, taking the Cutting Edge approach to romance, or the humour wasn't literally groan inducing (even for most children, I'm afraid), this could work as a familiar parable of individual passion versus social expectation. Unfortunately, there's nothing here to generate the intended emotional resonance or screwball family fun, making for what looks and feels like a straight-to-DVD sequel to a superior film. Included with the Blu-Ray is a brief, four-part "Making of" supplement that shows some of the actors' recording the voices and discusses the approach to animation. There is also a TVO-like short, titled "Wolves in the Wild," along with some trivia and a deleted scene. On the interactive front, a "Log Sliding" game proves more challenging than most silly DVD supplements and an "Alpha & Omega Personality Test" asks random questions about eating berries and one's desire to socialize. (Maple)