What would the holidays be like without a Christmas movie? It would seem almost sad to go the entire season without having SOMETHING pop up at the multiplex and this season it’s the adventure/action flick, “Rise Of The Guardians.” Not necessarily a Christmas movie in the same vein as last year’s “Arthur Christmas,” this addition to the Dreamworks animated movie cannon is more of a makeover of superhero films. Although it stars Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost, this is less a holiday film as it is an X-Men style action movie made for tots.
Jack Frost is a boy without a cause. He floats around, creating havoc with his ice wand and starting snowball fights among the youngsters of Anytown, USA. It’s not until the Boogey Man, also known as “Pitch Black,” attempts to reclaim his notoriety on our planet that Jack is summoned by the Guardians to aid them in their attempts to thwart Pitch Black’s master plan and win back the hearts of the children, thereby saving the world and all the imaginations in it. This would be simple enough if Jack didn’t have some demons of his own and so he must find himself and his true center before Pitch Black ruins the Guardians and takes over the world once and for all!
Voiced by a slew of great actors (Huge Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Jude Law & Chris Pine), this movie is high entertainment for the video game crowd. It has flashy effects and is high on cool concepts. I liked the idea of the holiday characters being a group of superheroes and the director and art direction do a good job of pacing the movie and keeping it moving. The only complaint I have is that it’s not the best animation I’ve ever seen. Much like other Dreamworks movies such as “Shrek” or “Monsters vs Aliens,” everything in this movie has a certain gleam to it. It’s more shiny than the Pixar flicks, which kind of distinguishes it apart from the other studios. This is obviously more of a statement than a criticism of the movie. Quite frankly, neither you nor your kids will care once the magic starts to happen. And in “Rise Of The Guardians,” there is PLENTY of magic to be had!
Overall Rating: B+