Film review: Rise of the GuardiansBy Kim Francis
November 28, 2012
For cinema, Christmas is all about family movies. After all, films are intrinsically linked with the festive season. So many of us at this time of year replay sweet memories in our heads of gathering around the TV to watch the Christmas blockbuster – and it‘s often something we want to recapture.
Rise of the Guardians is a festive-themed animation that deserves to become a seasonal favourite. That’s particularly impressive when you consider the fact it’s director Peter Ramsey’s first full-length feature.
The former illustrator and storyboard artist brings his visual flair to the sumptuous design, which is also unmistakably influenced by the inimitable Guillermo del Toro on executive producer duties, and crafts a charming animation that blends a timeless fairytale feel with a splash of contemporary humour and a dash of modern design.
Based on William Joyce’s popular series of books, the story brings together the fantasy characters of childhood – the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, Jack Frost and Father Christmas (or North as he’s called here) – and challenges them to keep children believing in order to protect the values they stand for.
But as Pitch, the Bogeyman, vows to spread fear, threatening to destroy the hope represented by the Easter Bunny, the dreams protected by the Sandman, the memories guarded by the Tooth Fairy and the wonder preserved by Santa, it falls to Jack Frost to keep the children believing. But will the sidelined figure of lore be lured to the dark side by the nefarious Pitch?
Full of valuable messages for children and grown ups alike, this animation from Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks studio features the perfectly-cast voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman, who ensure their delivery matches the quality inherent in the rest of the film. Take the kids during the holidays: you’ll love it just as much as they will.