As you may know, I’m not a fanatical fan of Dreamworks Animation films; but I still have seen almost all of them and for the most part, enjoy what I see. But I’ve never been ecstatic or pumped up to see any one of their films….that is, until “Rise of the Guardians”!
When I saw the trailer for this film and the gorgeous animation/animated effects, I was mesmerized in a way that I’ve never been before in regards to a Dreamworks Animation film! And being a guy who doesn’t really go to the cinemas to see films; I was anxiously awaiting the DVD release of this film so that I could finally see it! And then, when this film didn’t do as well as the company had hoped for; I was shocked and that further fueled my desire to see this film!
Well, I finally watched it! So, what do I think? Well, let’s see!
Let’s talk about the story, first!
As many people have pointed out before me, this film is like “The Avengers” except with childhood mythological/fictional characters. The story is that North (Santa Claus), Tooth (The Tooth Fairy), E. Aster Bunnymund (The Easter Bunny), and Sandy (The Sandman) are part of a group called, “The Guardians”. Their job is to take care and protect kids by doing what they’re supposed to do, i.e. give gifts, take teeth, give money, grant dreams, give eggs, etc. And as long as children believe in them, the Guardians appear visible to the children, and all is well in the world.
But, Pitch Black (The Boogeyman) is tired of being not believed in (i.e. people saying that there’s no such thing as the Boogeyman), and hence tired of being unseen. So, he becomes the villain of our story and tries to get the children to disbelieve in the Guardians and hence believe (and fear) him alone, thereby making him the only visible character to the children.
The Guardians then have to swear in a new guardian to help them battle Pitch and stop his evil plan. And the new guardian is Jack Frost, a supposedly 18 y/o fun-loving mischief-making…icemaker!
And the rest of the film is them getting over their personal differences with each other and stopping Pitch in his tracks!
Ok, so what do I think of the story? Well, I think it holds up pretty well. It’s not overly complicated, and not extremely simplistic as well. It delves into many themes like teamwork, having an identity, crises of faith, and even belief in God Almighty! So for that, I quite adore the story and commend it.
Next, let’s talk about the voice acting. Here is where it disappoints me a bit. The voice acting seems to fall into a spectrum of adjectives: from amazing all the way to miscast.
In terms of the amazing voice actors, only one fits in this category, in my opinion. And that is Jude Law as the villain, Pitch!
He is surprisingly amazing! His voice just has that evil feeling in it as well as that misunderstood feeling in it. Even his grunts seem credible! Now I see why he was nominated for the “Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Presentation”! I don’t say this often, but Jude Law is a celebrity that I’m kinda hoping would do more voice roles in the future.
Then, you have Alec Baldwin as the Russian Santa Claus, North. He falls into the “pretty good” category. You don’t even know that it’s Alec Baldwin, but it falls short (not by much, though) of being amazing and in the same category as Jude Law.
Also, Dakota Goyo, voices a kid named Jamie, and he’s surprisingly pretty good as well and hence fits into this category.
Then, there’s Isla Fisher and Hugh Jackman as The Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny, respectively, and they’re…tolerable; let’s leave it at that.
And then finally, we come to the miscast voice, in my opinion, and that’s Chris Pine as Jack Frost! What’s the biggest problem? Chris Pine is 32 and Jack Frost is 18! That’s where the voice doesn’t work at all! It stands out even more than Zac Efron did in “The Lorax”!
Then finally, we come to the animation and animated effects. I just have one word to describe that: Superb!
Now do I consider this film absolutely perfect? Well, no, there are two main problems I have with the film. The first is the voice actors that aren’t amazing, as I’ve mentioned before. And the other is that although I like the story, there are scenes in the movie that I feel are just pointless and filler and just taking up unnecessary time. Those are the two downfalls with the movie for me, but they’re rather grave, nonetheless.
I considered “How to Train Your Dragon” to be my favorite Dreamworks Animation film (well technically, my favorite is “Flushed Away”, but I see that as more an Aardman production rather than a Dreamworks film) and I had hoped that this film would take over as my favorite. And…it did 🙂 !
23 thoughts on “My Thoughts: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012)”
For me Dreamworks is a hit or miss. They have some of the greatest Animated Films (Prince of Egypt, Road to El Dorado, HTTYD) and some of the worst (Shark Tale, Bee Movie).
Haha, and you’re not wrong about Jack Frost- he has a huuuuge fangirl following on tumblr. Just as random as the Once-ler fandom, if you ask me.
But yeah, I thought this film was pretty good as well! Not great. Not bad. Certainly not horrible enough to justify firing 300 emplyees (which is what sadly happened).
I rather enjoyed “Bee Movie” myself, although it couldn’t keep focused on a single plot!
Well, I can understand why girls may like Jack Frost. But, the Once-ler always perplexed me too, lol!
So what are your favorite and least favorite Dreamworks Animation films?
I should give Bee Movie a second chance, I last saw it when it came out.
My favorite is Prince of Egypt. Just remarkable all the way around. Doing a story from religious texts is risky, but they presented it in a respectful manner, and can be enjoyed by followers of Abrahamic religions and those who are’t. And Road to El Dorado. I can watch that repeatedly and still laugh. And How to Train Your Dragon was marvelous as well! Oh, and Kung Fu Panda.
I’m not a fan of Antz, Madagascar, Monsters Vs. Aliens. Shark Tale or The Third and Forth Shrek films.
I’m of an Abrahamic faith, but haven’t seen “The Prince of Egypt”, because I don’t think it’s right to portray prophets or God in films. But, from screenshots and trailers of the movie, the animation seems top-notch, lol!
I actually quite liked Monsters Vs. Aliens when I saw it; but I believe that it’s the most forgettable of the Dreamworks films.
That’s a totally reasonable reason not to see the film. Would it still be acceptable to listen to the soundtrack? It’s easily in my top 3 Soundtracks from any animated film.
And I agree with L. Marie that it’s sad it didn’t do as well. I forgot to mention this, but the animation was incredibly impressive (especially how they animated sand and shadows)
I’m not as strict in my views regarding listening to the soundtrack; but I have stayed away from it for the time being. I have heard that the songs are quite underrated and amazing! Maybe I’ll listen to them some day!
I did a happy dance when I saw that you were reviewing Rise of the Guardians. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I loved it. I admit I was skeptical, because How to Train Your Dragon was awesome. And like Kenzie said, DreamWorks is hit or miss. I was quite disappointed that this film didn’t do as well as the studio hoped. But I hope with the DVD/blu-ray release, it will gain a wider audience.
It’s such an underrated movie, even if one doesn’t think that it’s amazing!
What are your favorite and least favorite Dreamworks Animation films, btw?
My favorites are Rise of the Guardians, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek (the first one), Spirit, and Chicken Run.
Forgot to mention least favorites: Shark Tale and The Road to El Dorado. And when I looked this up, I didn’t realize Wallace & Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit were included in the DreamWorks family of films. Loved that.
Really good post. I completely agree with you as far as the animation is concerned. Superb, yet there were alot of fillers.
I didn’t know alot about this film before I went to see it, so I was actually surprised at all the voice actors, I didn’t recognise any of their voices. I agree Jude Law did a great job and Isla Fisher was only so-so, what surprised me the most was that Hugh Jackman was the Easter Bunny. Did not recognise his voice at all, perhaps I’d have to see the film again to comment on how well he did but overall this was a good Dreamworks animation.
I think my overall favourite it Megamind!
Megamind was enjoyable from what I remember. I’ve only seen it once.
I mean the animation is nothing overwhelming but I really enjoyed the storyline, I thought it was very funny.
I never really get excited about a Dreamworks picture though.
Yeah, I don’t get excited about Dreamworks Animation movies either, until this one came along.
Thanks for following! Nice write up 🙂 I followed back..look forward for your filmy posts 🙂
Thanks for following me, lol 😀 ! I too am a fan of animated films as well as Bollywood films (more the older ones from like the ’70s though), so I’m looking forward to your posts as well!
Yes, I agree with a lot of that!! There were some lines from Jack Frost especially that were kind of like… OK that’s not an 18 year old But I like Chris Pines a lot so I was kind of biased ^^”
But OH my gosh the animation in this movie!! I agree with you, it’s absolutely breathtaking!! Recently Dreamworks has REALLY been stepping up their game when it comes to detail and awesome action sequences!! They’ve made a lot of really beautiful movies and their animation just keeps getting better and better!
Their animation for their 2013 films seem less than satisfactory, sadly.
I thought the animation in the Croods was pretty nice! I mean, it wasn’t nearly as good as HTTYD but it was still really cool! And the action sequences were great (in my eyes at least ^^”)–I loved how the characters just bounced around like rubber balls!
I’m not so sure about Turbo–I mean, snails aren’t really that like… open to possibility I guess? But who knows, they’ve got those soft bodies that can act kind of stretchy, so I’m trying not to pass judgement on it too soon! (Plus I’m a bit biased towards dreamworks, so I’m probably looking at all this through a pair of thick, rose-colored glasses! ^^”)
Yeah, I’m not an ardent fan of Dreamworks Animation, so maybe that’s why I’m not ecstatic about it.
When I saw the movie trailer I wanted to see this movie. Then I kind of forgot the whole thing. Maybe I should finally watch it! Nice post!
Thanks! Like I said, it’s my favorite Dreamworks Animation film!