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A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
All Critics (156)
| Top Critics (35)
| Fresh (116)
| Rotten (40)
| DVD (2)
Rise of the Guardians is harmless enough, and the lack of easy pop-culture jokes represents the post-Shrek direction of DreamWorks well enough. But this is the studio's least entertaining film.
The conceit has its charms but too much of this movie, directed by Peter Ramsey, is more clamorous than inspired, and little kids might find parts of it too scarily intense.
Compare this moderate entertainment to, say, Monsters, Inc., and it really looks feeble.
'Rise of the Guardians' is an effervescent dose of fantasia that's pretty hard to dislike. Unless, of course, you're a cynical grump.
The script seems to have been written by committee, with members lobbying for each major character, and the action, set in vast environments all over the map, spreads itself so thin that a surfeit of motion vitiates emotion.
It's one of [Dreamworks'] best animated films for sure.
This erratic flurry of light and colour is made more than bearable thanks to a script full of real warmth and a collection of incredibly well drawn characters who truly capture the magic of childhood wonder.
Rise of the Guardians is blithe and lovely, smart and funny. It's an honest-to-goodness family film that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
While Rise isn't destined to be a new holiday classic...its a mostly well-crafted film with an excellent cast and a dizzying array of visual treats.
Rise of the Guardians has some great concepts, but ultimately needed a much more original story to make it seem more like the fresh idea it genuinely is.
While the heroes of DreamWorks' film claim to be the guardians of childhood, their tattooed, hoodied posturing actually diminishes it.
When this first came out in theaters I skipped it as it didn't look as if it were my cup of tea: the animation was wrong, the concept stilted, I simply wasn't buying it. I hate it when I'm wrong. Beginning with the opening shots of Jack Frost zinging around a pond somewhere, freezing it over, this is simply an entrancing film, DESTINED TO BE A CLASSIC, hitting all the marks for truly enveloping a child's fantasy world while simultaneously reminding adults of that very same. The voice acting too is inspired. A not-to-be-missed tale of the power of dreams.
Beautifully animated adventure aiming more for a younger audience than some other genre films. On the other hand there are plenty of pretty frightening scenes for the little ones. The beautiful worlds, lovable characters and fast-paced action scenes should make for a real favorite among the target audience's films.
Although the animation was good and the story was certainly out of the box, I found its portrayals of beloved figures rather disconcerting. Who can warm up to a grumpy Russian Santa Claus who beats up the competition? Or a nasty, iconoclastic Easter bunny? It's just not a "fun" holiday film in my eyes, and seems to try too hard at being edgy.
Hopefully this will become a child's classic, because it has all the makings to be one. Fun for both adults and children, this film will remain as a steadfast children's film, simply based on the fact that the makers seriously cared that they were making a film for children. The concept is fanciful, death is handled sensibly and carefully, there's minimal violence, and the characters are all linked to traditions and mythology that still lives on in the minds of children everywhere. The action is also handled well, and the color scheme is breathtaking. The choices for the casting of this were also really interesting: Hugh Jackman as a boomerang throwing accented Easter bunny with serious attitude. Alec Baldwin as a Russian, tough guy Santa Claus. They work so well. The story even felt original, which is hard to do with characters that have been adapted and depicted in various media. This is just the best kind of children's film, sweet, simple, and lovable.
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