Based on the popular children’s book series Guardians of Ga’hoole, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole primarily revolves around fledgeling owl Soren, who is carried off by bigger, stronger owls when he falls to the forest floor one day. The owls call themselves the Pure Ones and are ruled by an owl with a facial disfigurement, Metal Beak, who wears an ornate metal helmet and mask to hide his missing beak. (It seems even the owl kingdom can’t escape the Disability Movie Cliche of the villain being hideously deformed to match the ugliness of his soul.)
The Pure Ones have an unusual tactic at their disposal; they mystically reduce their new young captives to a zombielike state using the power of the moon. “Moon blinked” owls appear as if blind from cataracts, and in a catatonic state until their masters order them to work in a mine of sorts; the moon blinked owls peck through regurgitated owl pellets to find flecks of magnetic material that the mice have eaten.
Soren escapes with the help of an older, disgruntled soldier, and finds his way to a giant hollow tree with new companions. The tree serves as base for the legendary Guardians that Soren’s parents have told stories about, and Soren is questioned by their leaders. One grizzled veteran owl speaks up for Soren, though later his new young friends joke that Ezylryb is “missing a few talons”, as code for not being “all there”.
Soren begins training to become a Guardian himself, and Ezylryb takes him under his wing. The eager young Soren is ready to charge off to battle to rescue his sister, but the wise Ezylryb dissuades him from entering the fray without proper training. “Well, this is what it looks like when you’ve actually fought in battle. Its not glorious, it’s not beautiful. And it’s not even heroic. It’s merely doing what’s right. And doing it again and again, even if someday you look like this.” he says, referring to his missing talons and blind eye.
Soren is dragged into battle anyway, and acquits himself nobly. Metal Beak is defeated, as symbolized by his empty mask. (The audience never actually sees his deformity, and how he’s able to speak intelligibly without a beak is never explained.)