"Alpha and Omega" Robs Disney — in 3-D

Someday they'll make an animated movie in which carnivorous animals actually kill and eat their prey; until then, we're stuck with the likes of Alpha and Omega, where the big lion-versus-dinner encounter involves felines dodging a caribou stampede. That scene is shamelessly stolen from The Lion King and written by two guys whose credits include Happily N'Ever After 2 and Open Season. There's an "omega" male wolf (Justin Long) and his "alpha" female love (Hayden Panettiere); stupid "tribe laws" prevent them from mating. The outsider wolf will, naturally, win over his haughty love, and animals will learn not to blindly revere social hierarchies (while still respecting their parents). The cut-rate 3-D (good on depth, but the lions' faces look more like sloth blobs than anything) doesn't help. The only quasioriginal particulars: gyrating lions who coo generic R&B and comic relief in the form of a golfing bird who repeatedly claims he's French, rather than the more honest French-Canadian. Otherwise — hey, they stole the bobsled from Cool Runnings! Is nothing sacred?


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