Owls aren't interesting animals at all, so I watched this in preparation of moving on, but was captivated by the photo-realisitic rendering of the birds' faces. I also enjoyed the humor offered by the two birds that kidnapped the brothers, and that's one other thing that encouraged me to watch the rest.
The movie runs for around 100 minutes, but it feels very epic. It lacks the immediate and glossy excitement of a Disney/Pixar movie, and feels more stately and serious, as well as darker. The characters are well-developed and it doesn't feel like shortcuts were taken, well other than that the repeat trips felt shortened, much like Timon and Pumba's when they followed Simba back home. The battles are very well-made, and the ocean waves, though brief, were quite impressive.
I did not experience any epicness second time around, nor did I notice any outstanding character development. The eye candy was also not as impressive. I also noticed annoying coincidences, as well as a far less enjoyable experience.