Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Our movie following Thanksgiving dinner this year was RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012), an animated film from DreamWorks which proved to be a nice surprise.

In an era when so many films are "reboots" and remakes, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS was enjoyable in part simply because the original thought which went into it was so evident.

Jack Frost (Chris Pine) is a bit lost and unhappy, not understanding his purpose in the world, but he finds himself when he unites with Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to defeat the Boogeyman, Pitch Black (Jude Law).

It may sound simplistic, but Jack turns out to have a moving back story, and the film's ultimate moment when children recognize they believe in Pitch but refuse to allow him to scare them anymore has some real depth to it, as they laugh in the face of darkness. The story also presents a nice lesson in that, after centuries of wandering, Jack achieves personal happiness when he helps others.

The film ladles on well-thought-out and creative details, such as Pitch's black horses racing through children's rooms (night mares -- it took me a while to get the joke!). There's a nice balance of humor and drama, and the voice characterizations are excellent. I particularly enjoyed Hugh Jackman as a rather militant Aussie bunny who does not want to be cute and cuddly!

The movie may not quite have that extra something special which distinguishes the very finest animated films, but it's a very good, entertaining effort which is definitely worth seeing.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS was directed by Peter Ramsey. It runs 97 minutes.

Parental Advisory: This movie is rated PG, but I'm not really sure why. IMDb says it's for "thematic elements." It's spooky at times, but it's not any scarier than a film like SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937). With one exception, the film is also free of the crass bits which have marred a film like WRECK-IT RALPH (2012).  It strikes me as appropriate viewing for all ages.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is available on DVD or Blu-ray. It can be rented from Netflix. It can also be downloaded for purchase from Amazon.

It was nice to learn after the fact that Leonard Maltin responded to the film in much the same way. This is an enjoyable film worth checking out, and it's especially appropriate viewing for this time of the year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good review Laura. While it's pure child's play, the parents can still have fun with this, enjoying the fact that the movie's main message is all about believing, having dreams and never forgetting that soul within you that makes you young, wild and free. Now who doesn't like those thoughts popping up in their head during an animated flick?

10:03 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I've always been drawn to the work of William Joyce and my daughter didn't have to pull very hard when she dragged me to this one. I think it will really find its audience as time goes by.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both for the feedback! :) Caftan Woman, I hope you are right it will find its audience. Very enjoyable film!

Best wishes,

8:00 PM  

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