by Gene Turnbow

When we first heard about the new Dreamworks film Rise of the Guardians I was curious because of the title.  It’s based on a children’s book by William Joyce, whom they also got to write the screenplay.

Then I got a look at this trailer, and I thought, “What the heck is this? A retread of modern fairy tales to use established characters without worrying about intellectual property rights?”  That cynical first impression gave way to intrigue as the trailer rolled on. This could actually be a fun ride.  It’s still fighting the preconceptions we have of what all these mythological characters actually look like, and every culture has a different visual bias, so there’s a little bit of a built in conflict to overcome just because of that.  They’re going to have to sell people on their version of the characters.

The movie is an adventure story about how Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost – legendary characters with previously unknown extraordinary abilities – try to stop an evil spirit known as Pitch when he lays down the gauntlet to take over the world and destroy the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.  The concept feels glued together from spare parts, but the trailer does look good.

Tell me – what do you think?

  • Director: Peter Ramsey

  • Writers: William Joyce (book), William Joyce

  • Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher

  • In Theatres: November 21, 2012

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