September 20, 2010 at 05:15 PM EDT

I did not expect a clip from Zack Snyder’s animated Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga-Hoole to make me cower. But then again, I didn’t know that Helen Mirren was voicing Nyra, a leader of the Pure Ones, a group of owls that believes unless you were born a Tyto owl (that’s a barn owl, to you and me), you will never be worthy. The Pure Ones are mounting an offensive against the Guardians, winged warriors who protect “owlkind.” A group of young owls must escape Nyra’s talons and reach the Guardians if they hope to save the owl kingdoms. Watching the clip of Nyra below — and reading the character description on the film’s site (“Her graceful demeanor and icy stare reveal nothing, but her sharp contempt for those who disappoint her says everything about her ruthless nature.”) — makes me think Mirren will be even scarier to children than she was in Teaching Mrs. Tingle.

Read more: Legend of the Guardians trailer: 300 with owls?

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