Humphrey. The main character in Alpha and Omega is a wolf named Humphrey. Seriously, what kind of name is that for a vicious, wild animal like a wolf? A bear named Humphrey, now that makes sense. But a WOLF? Whose crazy idea was that?
In some ways, though, Humphrey is a suitable name for the wolf voiced by Long in this rather mediocre animated tale. Humphrey is an Omega wolf – an easy-going, peace-loving slacker, the lowest ranked of the pack that lives in Canada’s Jasper National Park. Kate (Panettiere) is an Alpha wolf, a hunter and the daughter of Alpha parents. Of course, young Humph has the hots for Kate, but the pack's good old human-style class system keeps them apart. Until one day when a ranger shoots them both with tranquiliser darts, and they are caged up and spirited away to a park in the US, as part of a wolf repopulation programme. They then have to co-operate to get back home ... with the help of a madcap golf-playing Canadian goose and his caddy (a duck).
Pixar has a lot to answer for. Ever since they kicked off CG animation with the wonderful Toy Story in 1995, we've come to expect a lot from each new film in the genre. And with each subsequent film they make, the geniuses at Pixar raise the bar even higher. Sadly, Alpha and Omega is about as far from a Pixar film as it's possible to get, and fails to deliver on just about every level. It's bland, poorly animated (the scenes of wolves running look awful), generic, lazily scripted, unfunny and unoriginal. The environmental message has been done dozens of times before, and so much better, while the only thing to really recommend it is that the voice cast do give their all, although the scriptwriters have given them very little to work with. It gets an extra star for the decent 3D work, but there's little going on here to recommend to anyone but the youngest of children. Alpha and Omega is howlingly bad.