Josh Wilding Reviews: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS 3D
Released last week in North America and out now in the UK, DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians 3D brings together 'Santa Claus', 'Sandman', the 'Easter Bunny', the 'Tooth Fairy' and 'Jack Frost' in one film as they battle the villainous 'Boogeyman'. Hit the jump to read my verdict!
I'm not a huge fan of animated films in general, but once every so often, one comes along that is something truly special. It's fair to say that Rise of the Guardians now ranks among my favourites and is easily the best to be released this year. The story focuses on Jack Frost as he becomes a "Guardian" and (reluctantly) joins Santa Claus, Sandman, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy in order to stop the Boogeyman from spreading fear across the globe. It's a simple enough idea on paper, but writer David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz: The Great and Powerful) injects an awful lot of heart and laughs into what could have otherwise been totally forgettable. It really is The Avengers for kids! However, it's grounded with a very human element which at times may feel superfluous, but ultimately adds an awful lot and becomes a major part of the movie.
The voice cast includes Chris Pine (Jack Frost), Hugh Jackman (Bunny), Isla Fisher (Tooth), Jude Law (Pitch) and Alec Baldwin (North), and they all bring an awful lot to their respective characters. Each cast member clearly has an awful lot of fun here, with Jackman and Law the standouts. However, that's not taking anything away from the rest of this impressive ensemble, and by the end of the film, it's hard to imagine anyone else bringing them to life anywhere near as effectively. In terms of animation, Rise of the Guardians also excels and Peter Ramsey shows himself to be one to watch out for in his big screen directorial debut. The action sequences are suitably thrilling, while DreamWorks Animation continue to prove themselves as being a serious rival to Pixar with some incredible character work in what is arguably one of the most visually impressive movies of the year.
3D is also used very nicely. While it occasionally feels as if they drop the ball on some scenes, snowflakes and similar other visual effects all come out of the screen and feel as if they really are floating in front of your face - a great use of the format. As well as cleverly re-imagining the iconic characters mentioned above, the likes of Tooth's fairies and North's elves (and yeti's!) are also cleverly altered enough that they should bring a smile to many a child AND grown-up's face. With a touching story, it's hard to imagine Rise of the Guardians not becoming a definitive holiday movie, and while it may of course be aimed at a younger audience, there's plenty here for adults to enjoy as well. After a fairly disappointing start at the North American box office, the chances of a sequel seem slim right now, but the thought of not spending more time with Jack and the gang at some point in the future is very disappointing indeed.
In equal parts heart-warming as it is hilarious, this beautifully animated film is great fun and perfect viewing this holiday season. Rise of the Guardians shouldn't be missed.
When an evil spirit known as Pitch the Bogeyman tries to take over the world by inspiring fear in the hearts of children, the immortal Guardians, aka heroes from different childhood stories — Jack Frost, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy , Sandman and Santa Claus — must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.
Chris Pine as Jack Frost
Alec Baldwin as North
Hugh Jackman as Bunnymund
Isla Fisher as Tooth
Jude Law as Pitch
Dakota Goyo as Jamie
RELEASE DATE: Out Now!
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