Rise of the Guardians is a moderately entertaining Dreamworks feature animation film that brings to life the fictional characters involved in the biggest lie told to children around the world.
In Rise, Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), The Sandman (played by no one) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) combine forces to form the super-group known as the Guardians. Their mission, to stop the evil Bogeyman, Pitch Black (Jude Law) from infecting children’s minds with fear to eventually wipe out the existence of the Guardians from children’s beliefs altogether.
The film centers around the Jack Frost character, who after 200 years, is still trying to uncover his past and figure out how he came to be who he is, and why children can not see him. The children are able to see the other Guardians because they believe they exist; however Jack appears to have been neglected on that front.
The film suffers from a thin plot that lacks any heart, due the lack of balance found between character development and colourful action set pieces. The film rushes past building any deep and interesting characters, to get to showing more typical running, flying, sliding and sledding action sequences, which eventually become tiresome.
The 3D works well enough in the said action sequences, but does not quite meet the level of other 3D animated films. The animation itself is spectacular though; the characters and worlds are detailed and look amazing.
Another positive aspect of the film is the contemporary take on the characters; for instance, Santa Claus is a heavily tattooed Russian mob-type character in Rise. It is interesting to see these famous characters portrayed in this style, which is different to how they are generally portrayed in other films and media.
Rise of the Guardians is a fun holiday family film that should appeal to a younger audience, however it doesn’t quite meet the high standard set by other recent Dreamworks animated films like How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda; films that have more universal appeal.
Bunny opens a rabbit hole and jumps down it. This is a reference to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, where a rabbit hole leads into another dimension.