Holiday characters get an action-packed twist

What if Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy weren’t just something your parents made up? The new animated film “Rise of the Guardians” from Dreamworks Animation casts these classic characters and more as a team who protect the world’s children from evil.
Directed by Peter Ramsey (“Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space”), this film is an innocent movie that is great for children, but contains a few moments that make it entertaining for adults as well.
The film focuses on Jack Frost (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”), who is a lonely magical being. Children no longer acknowledge him as the man who brings winter, so he is forced to live alone and give children snow days without any of glory or recognition.
When the Boogeyman (Jude Law, “Sherlock Holmes”) shows up to give the children nightmares, the Guardians (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman) must assemble to fight this threat, as well as recruit Frost as the newest Guardian.
However, the Boogeyman’s plan is to not only haunt children’s dreams but to also make them not believe in the Guardians. If children don’t believe in the Guardians, they will lose their powers and be alone forever, like Fost.
Frost is a character that anybody can sympathize with – the heroic outcast. In the movie, he brings a kid a fun-filled snow day, but the kid loses a tooth while sledding. The boy gets excited that the Tooth Fairy will visit him that night, but not that Frost gave him snow.
Hugh Jackman (“X-Men”) voices the Easter Bunny with his natural Australian accent, which often gets him mistaken for kangaroo in the film. Having a talent for playing tough guys makes him the perfect choice for this martial arts savvy character.
Alec Baldwin (TV’s “30 Rock”) was a great choice for Santa. He has a tough-guy voice that brings an interesting contrast to the jolly man’s usual image.
Law as the Boogeyman was easily the best voiceover performance of the film. The way he portrayed the character was menacing and evil, which reinforced the villainous aspects typically attributed to the Boogeyman, while also establishing a new mythology for the character.
The worlds that each Guardian inhabits only add to the story by giving each character a unique home.
Santa’s home in The North Pole had a classic Christmas feel to it and, at the same time, it was updated to feel new and different. The addition of yetis in the North Pole was also a nice touch.
The Tooth Fairy’s (Isla Fisher, “Bachelorette”) world was interesting as well. The take on her was different overall. Because her work requires traveling every day, unlike Santa and the Easter Bunny who travel only one day a year, she has a team of “Minifairies” to collect teeth and drop quarters under pillows.
However, while Santa and the Tooth Fairy have cool worlds to explore, the movie left the Easter Bunny’s world flat. Structures and creatures in his world were simply built out of Easter eggs.
“Rise of the Guardians” isn’t anything particularly special, but it’s a fun film to see during the holiday season and is more imaginative than the usual children’s animated fare.


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