Rise of the Guardians (2012)

rise of the guardians poster 2012 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good concept

Bad basic story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Rise of the Guardians

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Seasonal/Family

Release Date(s):   October 10, 2012 (Mill Valley Film Festival)/November 3, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:   PG


Nope…guess we were wrong…you can’t be a Guardian…get lost, kid!

Jack Frost has always been an outsider.  He can’t be seen by anyone and the other mythic beings (known as the Guardians) have always been praised by the world.  When the Guardians’ fallen enemy Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, returns, the Guardians find their future is threatened and that Jack Frost might be their only hope.  Jack must be convinced to join the Guardians and teach the world to believe in them once again in order to stop Pitch.

Directed by Peter Ramsey, Rise of the Guardians is based on The Guardians of Childhood series of books by William Joyce.  It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and relatively well received by critics.  The movie also represents the last DreamWorks Animation movie to distributed by Paramount Pictures before their deal with 20th Century Fox.


I’m just going to rip out these teeth now!!!

The spirits of the world are real…it is like a kid’s dream (kind of like when Jack Skellington finds the holiday trees in The Nightmare Before Christmas).  The trick is always to combine these different elements into a story that works…and for the most part Rise of the Guardians succeeds.

I do like the basic premise of the story in Rise of the Guardians.  The story however uses one of the laziest holiday movie premises for the basis for the story.  The whole “no one believes in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc.” is used so often in holiday movies that I wished they had used something different.  Add to that I believe more people “believe” in Jack Frost and the Boogeyman than the Sandman that I can’t image him as a “visible” guardian when Jack is invisible.


I’ll tear your soul apart!

The cast however is likable.  Jack (voiced by Star Trek’s Chris Pine) is a good leading character and I think his backstory is interesting.  Other voice actors include Alec Baldwin as Santa Claus, Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny, Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy, and Jude Law as Pitch Black.  I particularly liked Santa Claus with his not so bright Russian background (he comes off as Zangief from Street Fighter II) and the tooth obsessed Tooth Fairy.

The movie’s animation is also strong.  The characters have a very real feel to their animation and you can see a lot of How to Train Your Dragon in Rise of the Guardians.  The strong voice actors and good character design go a long way to cover up some of the weaknesses in the script.

Rise of the Guardians is a fun little family film.  The movie could be better, but kids will enjoy the adventure and characters.  With a relatively strong showing, the movie has already had talk of a sequel…which I would be interested in seeing.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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