Entertainment » Movies

Rise of the Guardians

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday Mar 19, 2013
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Criminally underrated, Dreamworks’ "Rise of the Guardians" is the animated movie of 2012 to see. Based on a book series called "The Guardians of Childhood" by William Joyce, the film takes place centuries later and tells the story of some of our favorite childhood myths and how they work together to keep children safe.

But the heart of the film is Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and his tender, emotional story. It’s what makes this film so much more than it was advertised to be. Sure, Santa Clause (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman are all on board, but it is the story of Jack Frost that will hit a special chord in audiences and makes the film truly special.

The animation here is breathtaking with much care taken to make it as detailed and rich as anything we’ve ever seen before. The film’s villain Pitch (Jude Law) is particularly striking with his Night Mares some of the most beautifully sinister characters ever rendered.

Special Features offer much in how the film was made.

  • Feature Commentary by director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein is a bit dry, but there are some interesting tidbits about the film’s development.
  • Behind the Magic" - an extensive featurette that discusses the environments for the different characters, the development of the characters themselves, the visual effects for the more fantastical elements of the story, and a piece on the score by Alexandre Desplat.
  • The Man Behind the Guardians" - explores William Joyce’s inspiration for the books and how it grew into the story we see on screen.
  • Dreamers and Believers" is a short featurette on the casting of the film.
  • There are also two games: "Rock, Paper, Scissors" and "Jack Frost Snowball Showdown" - both of which are a bit clunky to play.
  • Lastly, there’s "Sandy’s Dream Guide" which is an interactive feature that lets you discover what certain elements of your dreams may mean.

    The release also comes with a DVD copy as well as Ultra Violet and iTunes Digital Copy. There is also a 3D release of the film, as well.

    Final thoughts: The film alone is absolutely worth buying the disc. Not a huge hit in theatres, this colorful and moving feature will become a word-of-mouth classic and is a must for any animation lover’s library.

    "Rise of the Guardians"
    Blu-ray/DVD/Ultravioltet/Digital Copy Combo Pack
    $39.99

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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