No spectacular rise this!

No spectacular rise this!

No spectacular rise this!

Rise of the Guardians 3D
English (U)
Director: Peter Ramsey
Cast: Voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law

A beautifully animated film, Rise of the Guardians features an ensemble of characters that we associate with Christmas, Santa Claus (Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Fisher), and the relatively lesser-known Sandman and Jack Frost (Pine).

If you’re wondering who Sandman is, we are made to believe that kids get sweet dreams, thanks to Sandman and it’s Jack Frost who brings all the winter fun when the kids throw snowballs or build a snowman.

The existence of the Guardians is under threat. As long as the kids believe in them, they exist. Turns out, there’s a sinister character whom the kids call the Bogeyman aka Pitch Black (Law) who unleashes his black mares (nightmares for kids) so that they forget Santa, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.

Taking on Pitch is no mean task, so a hesitant Jack Frost is summoned to join the Guardians. From here, the film gets very predictable and boring, too.

The film bears so much similarity to this year’s The Avengers, that one can draw parallels, to cite a few: Jack Frost to Iron Man, and Pitch Black to Loki.

In terms of character development, Jack Frost hogs the limelight. Obviously inspired by Japanese Anime, Frost is a tall, skinny character with ruffled hair, clueless about his past. We learn later that Frost was a mortal who was chosen by the Man on the Moon to join the Guardians. It’s interesting that Santa’s mega globe that tracks believers bears a striking similarity to the interface of Windows OS 8.

Many facets remain unexplained: What makes Pitch powerful to stop kids from believing, or how is the Tooth Fairy able to retain memories of kids having acquired their teeth?
The Tooth Fairy is shown in human size, whereas the workers are shown as fairy-hummingbird hybrids.

Compared to other Christmas children’s films such as The Polar Express or Arthur Christmas, this offering from Dreamworks (Shrek, Madagascar) is a dud. The excellent animation gets no support from a thin script. Parents, be warned.

This isn’t an outing for little kids, as Pitch Black and his mares are frightening!