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on 22 November 2015
Legends unite when Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Jack Frost join forces to protect the children of the world in DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians, based on the children’s novels by William Joyce. Did DreamWorks create another great film about childhood wonderment or are they just trying to cash in this holiday season?

For centuries the Guardians have been chosen by the Man in the Moon to protect the dreams, wonder, memories and hope of children all over the world. The children need them just as the Guardians need the children to survive, for if the children no longer believe in them, they will cease to exist. They will wander the Earth in an invisible state.

From his workshop, Nicholas St. North (aka Santa Clause) monitors the children who believe on a large globe. Each light on the globe represents a single child. But a dark omen has infiltrated the hallowed halls of the toy factory. The Boogie Man, better know as Pitch Black, has sworn revenge upon the Guardians and has plotted his return. North summons the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman for a meeting. North asks the Man in the Moon for advice on how to defeat Pitch again. They are given a vision to recruit Jack Frost as a new Guardian. Can Jack get over his reluctance to join the team and help them to finally banish the Boogie Man once and for all?

A big part of growing up is realizing that Santa and the Easter Bunny do not exist. Many say that it’s the Spirit of Christmas that’s most important. But as a kid, there is nothing more powerful in the faith that if you are a good little boy or girl you’ll get a quarter under your pillow or presents on Christmas Day. The mythical characters are so powerful in a child’s mind that they are more real than people in world. This is the challenge a movie like Rise of the Guardians must face: make them believable and tangible. I have to say I left the theater once again a believer. DreamsWorks does an amazing job in adapting the William Joyce novels “The Guardians of Childhood” in the same way they brought adaptations of Shrek and How to Train your Dragon to the silver screen. The movie is so authentic to the novels because Joyce co-wrote the screenplay.

What makes Rise of the Guardians such a fun movie to watch is that it has the same story concept that made Marvel’s The Avengers the number one movie of the year. Team up all your favorite heroes against a common enemy, in this case it’s not against the God of Mischief, but rather the Boogie Man himself. We have all watched Santa and Easter Bunny movies, but when have we ever seen them teamed up? The Guardians are a super hero team comprised with unique team members with specific skill sets. Sandy (The Sandman) has an intense, almost Japanese anime style, battle with Pitch using the powers of his shape shifting sand. E. Aster Bunnymund (The Easter Bunny) has an Australian accent and duel wields boomerangs that he accurately blasts demon nightmare horses. North is a Russian Cossack warrior armed with two cutlass swords and drives a sleigh so cool, it could give the Batmobile a run for its money. Guardians may not have Joss Weadon writing and directing the movie, it does have the vision of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy franchise/Pan’s Labyrinth) as the film’s executive producer.

The newest member of the team is Jack Frost, voiced by Chris Pine (Star Trek/People Like Us). Jack is a bit of a lost soul, wandering the Earth trying to figure out why the Man in the Moon created him. Normally he spends his days creating school snow days and initiating snowball fights. Jack doesn’t want to join the fight, he just wants to have fun. It’s up to North, voiced by Alec Baldwin (30 Rock/Rock of Ages), to show Jack what his purpose is.

I really loved this version of Santa. He is large in stature with the words “Naughty” and “Nice” tattooed on his massive forearms. He has the cutest elves that reminded me of the comic relief the Minions in Despicable Me had. He also has an army of Yeti body guards.

Rounding out the cast of characters is The Easter Bunny, portrayed by Hugh Jackman (X-Men/Real Steel), Tooth (The Tooth Fairy), voiced by Isla Fisher (Rango/Wedding Crashers), and the evil Pitch, played by Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes/Contagion). I didn’t mention any actors for Sandman because he is actually mute. Instead of talking, he uses his facial expressions and sand effects above his head to convey his thoughts. Sandy may be a man of no words, but he seemed to be the wisest of the team. The only thing I had a problem with the characters was the the Boogie Man looked awfully too similar to Hades from Hercules in design.

Rise of the Guardians is offered in 3D and Real D 3D and it should be, because the stunning visuals were quite impressive and warranted the depth that only 3D can provide especially in the numerous flying sequences. If you saw How to Train your Dragon in 3D, then you’ll understand how amazing it is to watch a film like this on a big screen. You actually get a sense that you are flying with the characters. One scene in particular that I loved is when North rounds up the team in his sleigh to save Tooth and her mini fairy tooth collectors. You get an over the shoulder view as Santa flies out of his cave and throws snow globe portals to warp the team to a new location. This scene was so cool that it felt like it could be a ride at Disney World.

With movies like last year’s Arthur Christmas, I enjoy movies that reimagine the mythology of our beloved childhood characters. Rise of the Guardians does a fantastic job explaining how the Easter Bunny is able to hid his eggs all over the world and the purpose why the Tooth Fairy collects children’s teeth. Guardians is also not just a Christmas movie, because in fact it takes place during Easter. It’s a movie that can be enjoyed year round. The other key element that makes this film great to see is that it doesn’t talk down to children and has an interesting story for the adults that have to take them s audience members of all ages can enjoy the movie. I highly recommend Rise of the Guardians as it adds elements of super heroes, anime, magic and wonderment. Maybe after you see the film, you’ll be a believer again.
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on 2 December 2012
I don't usually write reviews but felt compelled to do so after reading the previous reviewers review (Graham). In his review he stated he was enraged by this film and that it sent out the wrong message to children. I have no idea what it is he watched, or whether he is just unhinged but I must ask how you can get enraged by a movie that teaches our children to hope, and dream and to not be scared of the bogie man?
I for one loved this film. It's is beautifully animated and very funny. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, as I think this is one Christmas film that will get played time and time again.
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on 17 November 2013
What can I say about this movie? Well for starters the animation is just gorgeous! No other animated film I've seen has had this level of detail before. I believe the animation in this film surpasses any Pixar or other animated movie ever made!! The characters are very well voice acted and extremely likable; Especially Jack Frost, the main protagonist of the film.

An immortal teenager in which nobody can see, hear or even feel him because he's not believed in! For 300 years in fact, the start of the film already makes you feel sorry for the character and he grows on you more as you progress onto the film. Character designs and locations are also extremely well done and the film doesn't try too hard to be funny, but it delivers in the comedy side of the film with some good laughs.

The film is a PG for a reason, the nightmare king can make things scary for the little ones so be wary.

Don't be fooled by that cheesy cover, or the fact that this is 'kids' movie. You HAVE to watch it! A MUST WATCH film this holiday season.
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on 28 May 2014
It's an excellant film, brillian graphics and story, I was hoocked right from the start :-)
Love the characters, and what they portray, Would defo recommend and buy a thousand times over if this was possible!!
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on 10 December 2012
Looking for something to take the kids to see over the holidays,look no further,this is the perfect film for the whole family.Its enchanting and captivating in equal measures,and is fun to watch from start to finish.A lot of films try and fail to find that balance,that ensures that both kids and adults alike with find something to enjoy,but this one gets its just about spot on.Kids are going to love the central character of Jack Frost,and be swept away on his magical adventure,while the dazzling animation,wonderful set pieces and clever humour will keep the adults happy.Young or old,there is something here for everybody,it is heartwarming enjoyment for the whole family.Plus,whats not to love about a film that gives you an Aussie Easter Bunny,with a neat line in put downs.
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on 23 June 2013
It's hard to write a review about your favourite film that isn't just gushing out all of its merits, so I'm not going to try!

Firstly, the animation. The animation is absolutely stunning. The way that the light streams through windows, and bounces off objects and characters... It's beautiful. Even moonlight, and subtle candlelight is so nice to look at, you forget that there isn't an actual moon hanging in a sky on the screen. The animation is smooth, and expressive, and characters actually feel like people you care about in our world, they have personalities and depth! You want the Guardians to succeed in their endeavours and feel for them when they struggle.

And the story, even though it's a kids film, I really think is paced in such a way that anyone can enjoy it. My 24 year old brother enjoyed it just as much as my 46 year old mother. It really does transcend ages and gender - it can raise a laugh, a smile, even a tear at points.

It is truly everything that can be enjoyed in any film. If you want a good, enjoyable time watching a feel good movie, which the whole family can really enjoy then watch this. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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on 13 May 2013
With a richly filled and original feeling plot, Rise of the Guardians should entertain the adults just as much as the kids. The storyline behind Jack Frost - part mischievous rebel, part lonely and tragic kid - it alternately heart-breaking and exciting, and the other characters are so distinct and fun that there's never a boring moment. Sandman, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa are all wildly different from what years of tales have taught us to expect, and it's enormously fun to watch their weird and wonderful world. The depth and richness of the tale never slackens, from an impromptu 'council of war' at Santa's workshop to several thrilling showdowns as a shady bad guy threatens to doom them all.
The colourful and thrilling graphics are exceptionally gorgeous, adding to the spectacle and drama, and although some plot moments are slightly familiar, the pace is breakneck and never boring.
Guardians is that rare thing - a supposed 'kids' film that manages to pack enough emotional clout to make adults feel like kids themselves again.
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'The man in the moon' has decided that 'Jack Frost' should join
guardians of children's hopes and dreams 'Santa' 'the Sandman'
'the Easter bunny' and 'the Tooth fairy' to stop 'the Boogie man'
from stealing the beliefs of the worlds children leaving just
one to be believed.....'HIM'
'the Boogie-man' wants the children to both believe in him and
fear him.
as the lights go out around the world 'the guardians' race against
time to stop the evil 'Boogie-man' from achieving his goal.
a delightful tale that the kids will love.
( both 'Dreamworks' and 'Disney-Pixar' are improving the computer
animation productions all the time......the picture quality is
terrific )
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on 18 April 2013
This was an unexpected find and the whole of the thing is simply lovely. The cast is fantastic (knew all the leads except Jack - who I actually looked up, which I never(!) do. VO Jack Frost (Chris Pine??) was such a great and engaging voice). There is a lovely continuum to the story (sorry that is a rubbish word perhaps, but what I mean is - it doesn't jump all around with editing and you can enjoy the story and plot) and it warmed even my weary city bones when my daughter and I went to see it, as before, on a rainy London day whim...I hope that even though there hasn't been huge amounts of marketing that it takes off in its home viewing form!
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on 26 March 2013
I took my 7 year old and some friends to the cinema to see this at Christmas and we all loved it, just got the dvd so now my husband and 4 year old love it too. It's beautifully animated (particularly the frost effects)and I can't get over the way that they make the characters move so naturally. It's got a really good voice cast who brought the characters to life(with Jude Law playing a brilliant bad guy). Dreamworks have recreated characters we thought we knew giving them a quirky original edge that the kids loved and kept us grown ups very amused. Cant rate this film high enough - enchanting, entertaining and great fun.
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