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Rise of the Gurdians

Rise of the Gurdians: Magical Fairy-Tale Falls a Little Short on Magic

  • Alec BaldwinChris Pine...
  • 3DAction & Adventure...
  • Peter Ramsey
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Rise of the Gurdians: Magical Fairy-Tale Falls a Little Short on Magic
Rise of the Guardians, an adaptation by David Lindsay-Abaire from a series of books by Academy Award-winner, William Joyce, is the latest produce from the DreamWorks Animation factory.  With the success of Kung Fu Panda (2008) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010), DreamWorks tries, maybe a little too hard, to provoke a similar outcome. Sadly, even though this whimsical story has its high moments, the low ones are a little too hard to ignore.  

The story opens up with the introduction of Jack Frost (voiced by Pine). As a rash and lonely ‘legend’ that awakens as a spirit of winter, he has no recollection of who he is and why he exists.  He also happens to be invisible to just about everyone around him, which is one of the biggest problems as it means that no one on Earth believes in him. 

Centuries later, his identity crisis still unresolved,  he chooses to travel from town to town, passing time by providing Snow Days to the children of  Earth; without a single ‘thank you’ in return.

Meanwhile, a team of immortal guardians unite in order to bring down the Boogeyman – a.k.a Pitch (Law) – who is determined to destroy children’s faith in the mystical legends by poisoning their dreams with nightmares.  The team includes the butch, tattooed Santa Claus a.k.a North (Baldwin), the Aussie sounding Easter Bunny (Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Fisher) and The Sandman (mute for obvious reasons). 

The ‘belief-restoring’ squad will not be complete without Frost, who has unknowingly been selected to join the forces.  However, a lack of belief in himself sets a set of obstacles which Jack must overcome if order and justice are to be served and the children’s belief restored.

Considering that the ship is stirred by the hands of storyboard artist and a first-timer director, Peter Ramsey, things could have been a lot worse.  Visually, things are dazzling and crisp and Rise of the Guardians looks polished and very posh. The film gets to shine the most when inside Santa’s workshop.  This is when 3D seriously kicks in, feasting your eyes on the exquisite background detailing.  The battle scenes also pounce and occasionally terrify.

Sadly, though, the film lacks some serious spark between the characters. The chemistry seems to be missing from the script and the dialogue is predictable and silly.  Everyone is a little overwhelming and there is just too much to keep up with.  The accents, that are undoubtedly used in order to bring a little authenticity to the story, are somewhat unsettling and completely unnecessary.

Baldwin, although completely unrecognizable as the voice of North, does his best and can now safely add ‘Russian accent’ to his resume. The Tooth Fairy – nicknamed Tooth – is voiced adorably by Fisher, while Pine’s voice-over performance doesn’t excel as the lead.  However, Jude Law’s performance does.  He is hands-down the best British-accented bad guy in animated features’ recent history.  Evil definitely becomes him.

With its childhood-centric plot, Rise of the Guardians might be a little juvenile for the older crowd who might be hoping for a more unique animated experience.  Nevertheless, the lively visuals and the rich artistic style definitely add to the story’s onscreen value and appeal.

Like This? Try

Brave (2012), Megamind (2010), Despicable Me (2010)

360 Tip

Leonardo Di Caprio was originally set to voice Jack Frost, but dropped out of the film during pre-production. 

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