Ah...Alpha and Omega.
I know I'm, like, 8 years too late to join the fandom, but dang it, my interest in this franchise has returned and I'm gonna talk about it. Let's start at the beginning, which is a pretty good place to start, in my opinion.
I was about 12 when the original movie came out, and, as someone who craved stories about animals, I ate it up. I watched the trailer about a million times, and rented the movie from Redbox as soon as it was out on DVD (why I didn't ask to see it in theaters, the world may never know). To put it simply, I loved A&O 1. Looking back on it now, I still enjoy it quite a bit. Is it perfect? No, not really? Would I put it in my top 10 favorite movies? Eh...? Depends, I need to actually sit down and think about my top 10 favorite movies. It wouldn't be the number one spot, is what I'm really trying to say. A&O 1 might be predictable and have its moments of wasted potential, but for what it is, I still quite enjoyed it.
The sequels, however, are a different story. Now, my only real exposure to them are Bobsheaux's reviews of them, as well as watching some clips uploaded on Youtube. I've only actually sat down and watched movie 2, but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what's going on in the other movies. Personally, the sequels range from mediocre to straight-up depressing. Movies 2 through 4 are "meh" to me, while the rest make me wanna jump off a cliff. I'll go ahead and talk about each movie in it's own paragraph, but first, I wanna talk about those pups, because, oh boy, do I have some things to say about them.
I don't care for the pups, but then again, who does? Ugly models and immortality aside, I have differing opinions on each one that I'll touch up on really quickly. Stinky, I hate with a passion. His name is beyond ridiculous, and I hate his "trying to act and sound older than he is" shtick, especially his "future leader of the pack" nonsense.
Claudette is a similar case; I get a very entitled vibe from her and Stinky. I just feel like because they're both alphas, they can do whatever they want and talk to their parents however they want, which leads me to Runt.
Runt, I actually feel is the most tolerable of the three, possibly because he's had the most solo focus in the sequels. I feel like he's meant to be a kind-hearted omega who wants to indulge in the breaking of old tradition by blurring the line between omega and alpha. At least, that's the vibe I get. Unfortunately, the writers don't know how to show this in a way that makes him a likable character as well. I feel like Runt wants to be like his siblings, and acts as bratty and disobedient as they do, which would've made for a good story of how Humphrey shows Runt that being an Omega is nothing to sneeze at. It's just really sad that Kate and Humphrey are swept to the side and made horrible parents just to justify the pups being the heroes. Speaking of Kate and Humphrey...
I know the general consensus is that Lilly and Garth were the more interesting couple, and while I enjoy them very much, I feel like Kate and Humphrey were also fun to watch. Sure, their getting together was expected, but I did quite enjoy the journey to get there. I will admit, though, more could've been done to show their growing bond, maybe a nod back to their friendship as younger wolves, or showing more of them interacting as friends, rather than the majority of the movie being Kate being annoyed by Humphrey as she tries to get home, then falling for him near the end. Maybe if the "being taken from home" plot had been replaced with something else, we could've seen more of that. Perhaps a story where Tony simply wanted a joining of two packs, no marriage involved, and Winston, possibly fearing that there won't be enough food to provide for two packs, has no choice but to send his alphas to war in order to keep the Eastern wolves from trying to take the valley by force. Kate, recently made an alpha, now has to focus on the constant battles and fight for survival, only able to seek comfort from the stress by watching the omegas' comedy. Humphrey, having had feelings for Kate since adolescence, would go above and beyond to make Kate happy, and she'd eventually find that she was falling for him. While that was going on, Garth ends up meeting the reclusive Lily, possibly due to sneaking into the valley to attack. He doesn't want to hurt her, and they end up becoming forbidden friends, soon falling for each other. Two forbidden romances in a time of war and death, and any one of them could die at any time.
...Sorry. I went on a bit of a tangent there. I just love thinking of cool stories related to Alpha and Omega. I should start talking about the sequels.
Alpha and Omega 2 was one of those mediocre sequels, in my opinion. The holiday aspect seemed forced, and it honestly could've taken place in any other part of the year. I felt the whole thing with King was interesting, an Alpha who believed Alphas were the only wolves who deserved to live. After all, what did Omegas do other then joke around, right? They couldn't hunt or fight, hey were just extra mouths to feed. That kind of mindset could lead a wolf to do something like create an Alpha-only pack, possibly leading a genocide of omegas all throughout Alberta. Unfortunately, King and his pack ended up being a joke, Princess' redemption was ultimately pointless, and the whole thing just got dropped so Kate, Humphrey and the pups could go and get themselves lost for whatever reason. At least A&O 7 had the movie end with the family getting together like they'd planned to do (except Garth and Lilly but it's a start). Overall, it just wasn't a good followup.
Alpha and Omega 3 makes me remember the rumor that'd been going around where A&O was possibly getting an animated series. That didn't end up happening, but if it had, the plot of the Great Wolf Games feels like an episode, or even a full arc, of the show. The pack meeting with other packs, new characters, and tons of cool events to show how the pups still needed to get stronger, learn teamwork, and show good sportsmanship. But no. All we got were...races. And a very awkward romance between two small children. If they'd wanted Claudette to have a crush, they really could've aged her up, or made it more of a puppy-love thing. No kissing or gazing lovingly in each other's eyes, but more, just hanging out between games and getting to know each other with maybe some slight blushing here and there. They could've built up Fleet's character as a victim of abuse, and how Claudette has to struggle to either win and prove herself as a real alpha, or allow her new friend to win and avoid being hurt by his cruel father. Just a bunch of wasted potential, I think.
Alpha and Omega 4 is one of the highest rated of the sequels, if I'm correct, mostly because of the fact that the villain, Head Wolf, actually kills a character. While that is pretty dark and kind of cool, this movie still has its problems. For one, it's not scary, even if it tries to be. A kids movie can be scary if you put some effort into it, especially when you start off with someone's mother getting ripped to pieces. The scene where the pups are just complete assholes to Kate and Humphrey is unacceptable. I don't wanna follow some entitled kids who think they know better, even if this film is supposed to be about how they're growing up. Also, that scene with the porcupines just talking down to Kate and Humphrey was just...ugh...No one wants to see characters that they care about be treated like shit for no reason, movie. Speaking of which, Lily was acting completely unlike herself, and Garth is just gone from the series entirely. It's a real shame, but it's probably a good thing, seeing as how they'd probably be made into a bad sitcom couple if they'd shown up more. Daria was alright, but the whole thing with her blindness was so inconsistent that it makes me think that, yeah, she probably should be put down. I do kinda like how Runt and Daria's relationship was portrayed, sort of like what happened with Princess. Runt is meant to be a kind and open individual, yet the writer's just can't write the stories around him good enough.
Alpha & Omega 5...ugh...What a waste of a movie. Why do wolves need to go on vacation? Why not some kind of diplomatic meeting between wolf packs that involves the peacekeeping abilities of omegas or something? Why is Fleet randomly with Brent and Agnes in the United Pack's territory? (Side note: I know I haven't talked about those two, but I will.) Why does the movie keep making me think of small children making out? And all the flashbacks and shit, good God. You guys could've saved the money used to make this movie and make the next one decent, but no. You blew it. And then the whole thing with relocating wolves...here's an idea...maybe the movie is about the United Pack having to leave their old land due to poachers being attracted to their large numbers? Wouldn't that be some crazy shit? Lilly could do her turtles and help evacuate, and Garth and Kate could take some guys out, meanwhile Humphrey has to try and lift everyone's spirits while he, himself, is terrified of not seeing Kate again...You know this would make a good fanfiction; let me write this down.But, uh, yeah. Bad movie. Next.
Alpha and Omega 6. Why? Why dinosaurs? Ok, let me calm down. I was thinking to myself last night about how this movie could also be an episode of a hypothetical A&O series. Instead of bringing Dinosaurs to life and fucking W o l f b u r b i a, maybe the pups find some dinosaur bones in a cave or something. They don't know what they are, and start talking to some other pups in the pack about it, and maybe come up with this horrifying creature that could be prowling around in the forest. A particularly nasty set of pups decide to play a prank, and masquerade as the beast, and after a series of hi-jinks that I'm not creative enough to write out, they come clean, the mystery of the bones is written of as just that: a mystery, and everything goes back to normal. I dunno; not my best idea, but it's better than musical fountain lakes. I should actually talk about the movie. Again, the pups act entitled and self-righteous, and because the universe is now as the beck and call of these brats, their parents can't do shit to teach them a lesson. Great. Kate has become your typical suburbian soccer mom, Humphrey is the only one with sense, and why the fuck did they move when they had a pack made of two other packs at home to fight the rouges??? I just...I don't understand life.
Alpha and Omega 7: Because One Christmas Movie Wasn't Enough. At least this one's consistently winter-looking. As said by Bobsheaux, it makes no sense that Humphrey is out with Kate. She could've been out with Garth, Hutch, Can-do, and the other Alphas, while Humphrey is stressed out that she and the others aren't back yet. A team of the remaining Alphas could've gone out to look for them, and the rouges (which could've been any random rouges, not just King), are constantly terrorizing them out of a desperate attempt to eat something. Either that, or everyone could just stay at home, trying to survive of what little they had, while the rouges kept trying to intrude and take what they could. Maybe a story about uniting the pack and the rouges, and finding a way to survive together and help your fellow wolf. Perfect Christmas movie right there. But, no. Just...the pups again. I should talk about Brent and Agnes now. I...personally don't hate them all that much. Brent is a bit annoying, sure, and Agnes' sonic the hedgehog thing is stupid, but...I dunno, they don't bother me all that much. Perhaps because I've only seen short clips of them and not the whole movie. They're totally pointless, though. I mean, sure, if you wanna have the overarching story of wolves becoming friends with other animals, fine, but have them be more important. Let them use their skills in ways that the wolves can't. Hell, make the story of bonding with your fellow animal be about the bonding of wolves and other critters, I dunno.
Finally...Alpha and Omega 8. I'm not surprised that this didn't close out the series in a good way. They couldn't do anything right before, so why would they start now? This movie is trash, when it could've been decent. It could've introduced a bear kingdom without pulling the wolf-bear alliance thing out of its ass, and the rouges were useless. The original cast is barely in the film, and even the pups hardly do anything, aside from getting away with disobeying their parents AGAIN. They could've easily just made a movie that took place in the same universe, but with a kingdom of bears. This movie just makes me wanna cry, honestly. What a shit way to end this series. I don't even wanna talk about this movie anymore, get it out of my face.
Wow, this was long...but it was fun talking about these movies. I really hope you guys manage to get through all of this. If there's other A&O stuff that I missed and you want me to talk about it, just let me now. I'm out.