Everyone loves a good holiday movie. Going to the movies and remembering why we believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny is something kids love and adults don’t want to admit they love.
What “Rise of the Guardians” did was contribute to that spirit, but Santa was a Russian with swords, and the Easter Bunny was kind of an ass. Taking a page from the Marvel book of hits, “Guardians” played as a child’s version of “The Avengers” with Santa (Alec Baldwin), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), The Sandman (played silently), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the newly appointed Jack Frost (Chris Pine) assembling to take on The Boogeyman (Jude Law).
There was much to enjoy, mainly from the envisioning of all the famous characters. Santa, the Russian carried around swords and had some mean “naughty” and “nice” tattoos. His workshop was actually run by Yetis while the somewhat strange looking elves played off the Minions’ vibe from “Despicable Me” and got into lots of physical comedy and hijinks.
The Tooth Fairy looked like a flying lizard who had many mini-fairies collecting teeth and memories with an ungodly database from everyone in existence.
The Easter Bunny was an Aussie who carried boomerangs and showed a bit of an attitude and stubbornness that will forever change how an Easter egg hunt is viewed.
There were also plenty of action and set pieces accompanied by some OK 3D that was a bit better than some other animated films. However, there was nothing to shout at, and it seemed like just another attempt to squeeze money from begrudging parents as children hung off their ears.
The Sandman seemed like a wasted effort as he was played silently and communicated through hand gestures and above-head signals that were more annoying than clever.
Jack Frost, the main protagonist, was also rather dull and offered little than a vessel for the desire to be believed in. No one knows who I am, but you don’t see me getting all pissy.
This is the animated movie most kids will want, but it didn’t provide anything new in the story department or the art department either. There was plenty of cuteness and eye candy for the young ones and had some fun to engage in. But the world keeps turning, and the realm of animation and fantasy figures remained mostly unchanged.