Review: Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians

Voices: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher

Director: Peter Ramsey

Indian Express rating: **

IT'S that time of the year again when, as children tell us they believe in Santa, we sincerely hope they aren't saying it just so the adults can sleep easy. However, Rise of the Guardians by DreamWorks Animation doesn't just hope that the children of the world still retain wonder, hope, faith, belief -- plus any other words you may want to throw in -- it goes out to underline it in every twist, turn, slide, slip and slight lifts of this 3D animation.

With hardly a conversation where these words don't pop up, one wonders whom Rise of the Guardians is targeted at? The kids who shouldn't need so much convincing, if the film is essentially about unvarnished belief, or the parents who desperately need to be in the light of all they see to the contrary?

The fact that it is essentially one of the guardians who has his faith tested and restored, and not an ordinary child, makes that message even more incoherent and distant. That is a surprise because DreamWorks Animation mostly has its kid priorities down pat.

We begin with Jack Frost (Pine), who one day realises that thanks to "the man in the moon", he suddenly carries a staff with the ability to create frost or snow at will. With no recollection of his past, the teenage boy wonders why he came to have that staff, but only gets a hint 300 years later when he is summoned to the North Pole by "North" (Santa Claus with an inexplicable accent and distinct tattoos voiced by Baldwin). He is told he has been anointed one of the "guardians" of the world, an Avenger-style gang that includes the Santa, Tooth Fairy (Fisher), Easter Bunny (Jackman, in over-the-top Australian accent) and Sandman (who creates dreams, silently, salubriously and shiningly).

... contd.

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