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So Christmas is here once again and while I might be gearing up for another season of alternative Christmas movies over on the blog (see my profile for he link), I thought that I would at least make the effort to see at least one (kind of) traditional Christmas movie this season, as Dreamworks give us their latest animated offering as they continue to square off against the animated might of Pixar in the bid for domination of the animation market, something which might just with this latest release just tip in their favour, as they team up with executive producer Guillermo del Toro to bring this adaption of William Joyce's "The Guardians of Childhood" book series, which like the recent summer goliath "The Avengers Assembled" see's the holiday guardians North aka Santa (Alec Baldwin), Bunnymund aka The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Sandy aka The Sandman and Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) being assembled by the omnipotent Man in the Moon to stop Pitch aka The Bogey Man (Jude Law) from plunging the world into darkness while their newest member Jack Frost (Chris Pine) adapts to his newly appointed guardian status.
Sneaking under the radar for a surprise attack on the Christmas box office, I was actually surprised to see how dark this film was, which being the sort of person who makes a yearly tradition of watching "A Nightmare Before Christmas" it came as a pleasant surprise, especially when so much output for the kids market is usually so drowned in sickening saturnine acting and questionable screen writing or knowing winks at pop culture it was kind of refreshing to see a Christmas movie, trying to do something different even more so when it clearly taking such risks with some of the darker moments, which had I know Del Toro was the executive producer might have been less surprising, but still it is nice to see that a mainstream studio production can recognise that the psyche of the kids is perhaps not so fragile as they constantly seem to believe, something especially highlighted in the shadowy creations of Pitch, let alone of the sudden departure of one of the more lovable characters.
Although all the characters are based on seasonal and childhood characters, this has not stopped director Peter Ramsey from giving them very different looks than perhaps they are best known for as characters like Santa and the Easter Bunny are reworked to give them more of a warrior edge with Santa being turned into a heavily accented Cossack warrior completely with his arms tattooed naughty and nice, which Bunnymund plays up his bizarrely Australian theming as seen with his boomerang welding antics. Still despite the characters to their more popular designs they are still none the less recognisable for the characters as the characters they represent and in many cases only play up their stereotypes further with their individual lairs, as shown with North's yeti staffed toy workshop or Tooth's tooth shaped palace. Still the real charm of these characters is certainly in some choice voice casting even though Jackman almost steals the show with his scene stealing kung fu bunny, the other cast are all suitably cast for their roles, with Pine especially bringing a mischievous charm to Jack Frost while Law is suitably threatening as Pitch even though his usual smugness does at time take away from the threat of his character.
The plot itself works on the simple mechanic of the guardians gaining their power from the belief, hence if people stop believing in them their power fades, something Pitch attempts to take advantage of as he plots to stop the world believing in them and generally leading the guardians on a number of high spirited dashes to ensure that each of their holidays continues to happen, despite the constant interference of Pitch. While kept to this simple plot line, it does ensure that the action quota is kept high, especially with a number of high energy action sequences while the emotional content is kept to unobtrusive bursts which help keep the focus on the guardians mission, with out getting bogged down in forced emotion or unwanted musical moments both which are thankfully absent here, a lesson that DreamWorks appear to have learned from the "Shrek" trilogy which were prime offenders of these crime, (aswell as generally being pretty overrated opinion) and in doing so.
The animation while perhaps not having the same level of gloss that Pixar has become so synonymous with is none the less effective, especially with characters such as Sandy who processing no voice communicates through the images which appear above his head and like Pitch processes the power of manipulating his thoughts into a physical form, which really comes into its during some of the pitched battles and while I personally opted to see this film in 2D rather than no doubt the more popular 3D option, which no doubt the kids will get a kick out, especially during the aforementioned battle scenes aswell as the dizzyingly paced rooftop chase sequences.
Sadly aspects of the film which were played up in the trailers such as the Elves are not featured as heavily as I would have liked, for despite being set up to the be the festive version of the minions from "Despicable Me" they are instead over shadowed by the non the less amusing antics of North's Yeti workforce, including a great running joke of one yeti constantly painting things the wrong colour. Still while they are on the screen they are none the less amusing so hopfully this will be something which gets corrected with any potential sequels which based on this film I can only hope happens.
Despite perhaps not getting as much promotion as some of DreamWorks previous releases, it could honestly be one of their strongest films to date and one which could help most animation fans serious reassess which their standing as one of the primary animation studios, while unquestioningly being one of the more enjoyable festive treats of this season, let alone one of the few you won't mind being dragged along to see with the kids
Rise of the guardians was one of those films I meant to take my son to see on the run up to Christmas last year and never got round to it. However I recently took advantage of a Sky movies offer where I got it free for two months and this was one of the films that I recorded almost straight away for us to watch. This is my review of the film.
Rise of the guardians tells us the story of when the evil spirit Pitch launches an attack on the world and the immortal guardians must team up to stop him and protect children all around the world. The immortal guardians are Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman but another must come in to the fold and this person is Jack Frost. Now Jack Frost is not like the other guardians....children don't believe in him and therefore cannot see him. Jack finds the whole thing rather hard to deal with considering it is he who causes snow days and the like which children adore so much and so he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. When he is asked to be a guardian he doesn't want to do it. He is a bit more of a rebel but with time he really does start to want to help the children of the world and plays a key part in the battle against Pitch.
What I loved about this film was the way in which the characters were portrayed in a less than typical way! Father Christmas is a big and burly character complete with tattoos and a Russian accent! You feel he would absolutely be well equipped in battle but you do still get to see softer sides of him and you know he would do anything for the children in the world. The Easter Bunny has such a strong Austrailian accent that it really made me giggle and I loved how he used boomerangs as his weapon of choice! Sandman is incredibly sweet looking and a bit round and sleepy but he is one of the main players when it comes to battling Pitch because the main aim of Pitch, aka the Boogeyman, is to make children have nightmares as opposed to nice dreams given by the Sandman. I like how it challenges the way you would traditionally view these characters and as an adult I really enjoyed it. My son loved how different the characters were too and told me his favourite was the Sandman who isn't a character I have discussed with my son before.
The plot is quite dark in places and I wondered in parts if it would be a bit creepy for my son but it wasn't at all. I do think younger children would struggle with the whole concept of the film and may not enjoy it as much as my eight year old did. The whole idea is that the guardians are so powerful because children of the world believe in them. Without the belief the guardians become less and less powerful and eventually cease to exist and it is this that Pitch exploits by damaging the Tooth Fairys army so children are left with their teeth still under their pillow for example. I like the way that it makes you think about believing in the things you cannot see because my son is getting to the age where he is beginning to question the existance of Father Christmas and this film I think helps keep his belief going a bit.
I liked the transformation of Jack Frost throughout the film as he goes from basically just causing mischief and wandering through life wondering why nobody can see or believe in him to a guardian whose main focus is defeating Pitch and saving the children of the world. As the film goes on Jack learns about how he came to be Jack Frost in the first place and learns he always was a kind boy determined to save people. I liked how with just one young boys belief initially that Jack was able to feel whole and like he belonged for the first time.
Their is plenty of action in this film as the guardians battle with Pitch and I really enjoyed watching these scenes because it kept the film flowing at a really nice pace and as such neither my son or I got bored watching. The animation in this film is absolutely brilliant actually right down to the set up in Father Christmas's work shop, Easter Bunny's home or the dark scenes when Pitch was around and it didn't disappoint me in any way. The images were sharp, bright and colourful and it really drew me in and enhanced my enjoyment of the film.
There are a few big names associated with this film as voices for the main characters and notable names are Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman and Isla Fisher. What I actually liked though was I didn't think at all through the film "oh that is Jude Law" for example as I was just totally taken in by the animated characters they were voicing and for me this is a really good thing because it means they have done a good job.
All in all I really enjoyed this film. It features a really good story line with plenty of action but with also some smaller stories developing along side the action. It flows really well and I wasn't bored at all during the 97 minutes running time. The fact that it doesn't feature the stereotypical view of the guardians is also a nice thing as it challenges your views on things. The thing I liked most though was how you could see Jack get his happy ever after after such a long time on his own and how it encourages you to believe and have fun at the same time. It is certainly a very watchable film and definitely one that I would recommend! It costs just £5.00 on amazon at the moment and it is absolutely worth that price and I am thinking of investing in the DVD myself because when my free trial with Sky is over they will remove the movies off my Sky plus box as well!
Thank you for reading my review!
Although Dreamworks and Disney seem to dominate the world of animated film, at least in the Western World, I've spent the past decade entertaining any manner of animated venture, mainly because of my children. My eldest is now 9, and my youngest 2, so there's a small niche where the sorts of animated films aimed at the middle years of these two may not fit with what we need to watch, but the main body of films being released at the cinema encompass a large enough span to make it worth our while to watch.
Rise of the Guardians is a film that features childhood fairy tale characters, those you may call myths. Characters that have guarded our innocence and childhood for centuries. The film is certainly pitched at kids who 'believe' in its main characters: Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost. It's certainly very American in its approach, but then it's an American made film and this is what you get. We don't necessarily have much dealing with Sandman and Jack Frost in the UK, but the other three are certainly used to great effect with kids.
What the film does is enter into a magical world where we are shown how these mythical childhood heroes co-exist to ensure our kids are kept happy throughout the year. It focuses on belief amid the lavish and extravagant colours and action sequences the film uses. Early on, the film shows Jack Frost as a troublesome character, causing havoc for adults but extreme fun for kids as he creates icy race courses while kids play on them. Of course, they can't see him and only one kid believes he exists. This is evident as the film progresses, and much is played on him wanting to be believed but finding that the others (Santa and co) are focused on by kids and their parents and not him.
Demoralised, it's only when the sinister and evil Pitch starts his quest to remove the belief of these characters from the minds of kids and develop his network of nightmares that Jack bucks up his ideas and tries to become a hero like the others. From here on in, the film deals with issues of identity and acceptance and what essentially 'doing the right thing' entails. Of course, these messages are mingled in with a whole lot of snappy dialogue, some clever action and some exhilarating scenes. There's plenty of clever characterisation for adults to appreciate, and enough play on belief to keep kids guessing. That's pretty much where our 9 year old is at now, to be honest: he's starting to question whether Santa is real or not. I think long ago he stopped really thinking about the others, if they were ever effectively considered at all. But the way this film portrays the characters is extremely impressive.
It places the characters more as warriors and physically efficient beings. Santa is a Russian sword-wielding warrior, with Yetis as his army and an immensely modernised and geographically defying sleigh. The Easter Bunny is a speedy racer: tall, sleek and svelte, Australian and with boomerangs as his weapon of choice. Sandman has the ability to use sand as an awesome weapon. In fact, some of the best scenes are when he is in action - the animation is phenomenal and must have taken so many people so much time to perfect. The Tooth Fairy's flight is immense, and she has little fairies galore to command.
Jack is portrayed as an outsider from the very start, but his belief and willpower and ethics are probably at heart of everything. His inner core seems to be the source of his power, and his ice creating skills are a bit like Marvel's Iceman in terms of how he travels. The thing they all have in common is their actions and abilities would rival most superheroes from Marvel and DC comics, and this is really what the film achieves best.
Voice actors are often the make or break of animated films, and here they've got it spot on. Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine and Jude Law are exceptional but from an adult point of view recognised, and this familiarity certainly helps with the effectiveness. In fact, the way everything combines in the film is what makes this as impressive as other film if not more so. The use of action and colours make the film so entertaining that I think it's almost more an animation geared towards parents of kids than the kids themselves! DreamWorks continues to impress, and the way they develop their skills in animation is demonstrated and shown off to great effect here. Another highly impressive feature film from them, one I'd highly recommend. Great messages and great animation.
Rise of the guardians
==== Introduction ====
Rise of the guardians is an animated film from DreamWorks whose filming started in 2008 and was released to digital media in 2012 which details the plight of Jack Frost (Voiced by Chris Pine) the films main protagonist who spends the film asking "the man in the moon" why he exists, why he was chosen to become a guardian and what the purpose of his life is. In part he is broody about such philosophical subjects because he is invisible to everyone except fellow guardians and thus when he tries to play with children he gets upset with them not seeing him.
The guardians are a group of people whom where each someone else in a past life before they died and became a fictional story book character, such as the tooth fairy (voiced by Isla Fischer) or the Easter bunny (Voiced by Hugh Jackman), whose goal it is to bring joy and happiness to children and above all to "keep the faith" in the hope and wonder of the world and the existence of magical beings.
==== Plot synopsis ====
The main conflict and movement in the film is driven from the age old plot device of good versus evil and a flawed antihero as the main protagonist. The plot as mentioned deals with introducing us to Jack Frost, introducing us to the guardians, then showing us Jack becoming a guardian but initially being reticent about this development and more interested in mucking about, we quickly learn that there is a party whom is opposed to the guardians because they are jealous that the guardians stole the spot light from them when they had previously been selected by "the man in the moon" to be "believed in" by children. The name of the person opposed to the guardians is "Pitch Black" (voiced by Jude Law) and unlike the guardians whose modus operandi of being believed in by children was to spread joy and happiness to all, pitch blacks modus operandi was to spread fear in children by giving them nightmares.
Thus the hero's must thwart Pitch Black's evil plot to destroy all belief in hope and magic and instead install only fear and misery in children lives, and they go about the globe trying to keep the "lights" on which represent a child's belief, the viewer is taken on an adventure where they are held on edge to see if Jack and his cohorts will be able to stop Pitch before it's too late and if Jack will ever find out who he was before he died.
==== Plot Development and Character Development ====
The film starts with us seeing a beautiful icy lake scene, in stunning high definition and which really shows of the power of modern computing, which shows Jack Frost playing on the ice with kids before realising they cannot see him which leaves him despondent and confused. Then the scene cuts to the North pole where Santa Clause, or North as he is known in the film (Voiced by Alec Baldwin) is working in his lab making toys with his elves helping him, although in a rather haphazard fashion as in this film Santa's real helpers are abominal snow men minions. The guardians learn about Pitch Black's plot to destroy the children's belief in them thus they ask the man in the moon to choose a new guardian to help them and the man in the moon chooses Jack Frost. This choice is not a popular choice with the Easter Bunny who see's jack as too selfish and irresponsible for such a task and thinks he is far too concerned with mucking about and having fun to go about serving children.
Initially when Jack becomes a guardian he lives up to Bunny's expectations as he immediately tries to play with children only to see them not see him. This is when we are first introduced in the film to Jamie, the secondary protagonist in the film who is seen as a good natured kind boy of about 7 or 8 whom is true to his beliefs and who later on never gives up in his belief despite the rest of his peers in society rejecting belief in the magical due to the nefarious schemes of Pitch Black. Jamie loses a tooth when he is playing with his friends in the snow Jack Frost made for them which is a good plot device in order to introduce the tooth fairy, who later turns out to be one of Jack's main admirers along with her mini helper fairies. Initially her attraction to him is purely physical, yes she really finds him cute because of his pearly white teeth, however in time she also becomes emotionally connected to him because of his good natured heart and bravery.
At this point Pitch returns and takes the tooth fairy and her helper fairies hostage along with the teeth that children have left for her to exchange for a gift, Pitch does this in order to erode children's faith in the tooth fairy. Jack goes along to save the day and free the fairies along with North and the gang. Unfortunately this event starts the erosion of the children's confidence in the guardians which gets progressively worse as Pitch later attacks Easter successfully which causes the belief in the Easter Bunny to erode to the point where he shrinks from a 6 ft 4 warrior to a tiny little cutesy bunny rabbit incapable of defending himself.
When Jack defeats Pitch to free the tooth fairy we learn how all guardians where once someone else in a previous life before they died. We also see how he was originally a black haired boy and not a blond headed boy in his previous life where he was playing with his younger sister on the ice when the ice cracked and he had to coax her away from the breaking ice and as he managed to switch places with her the ice suddenly broke killing him and sending him to the bottom of the lake and thus Jack Frost was born. This gives him confidence in himself and affirms to him what sort of person he is and he understands now why he was chosen as a guardian.
From this point on Jack throws himself into the task of being a guardian although the Easter Bunny still doesn't trust him and their remains friction in their relationship till later on in the film when just as Jaime, whom is talking to his bunny teddy, is about to stop believing in the Easter Bunny is stopped from doing so by Jack frosting up the window and drawing a picture of a bunny, furthermore this event causes Jack to become visible as someone now believes in him.
At the end of the film we are left with one last battle between the forces of good and evil and we get another flashback to the lake and briefly the thought crosses our head will Jack have to die again in order to save the day? Will he survive? It's at this point I leave because I would not want to spoil the ending for you...
==== Graphics and Character Design ====
Often I have not been a big fan of computer generated animation however in recent times due to better creative implementation, the fusing of computer generated tech with old fashioned 3d cartoon drawing technology and just technological advances in the power of processors and intelligence and power of code films like this have been getting better and having a more realistic less artificial feel to them where the fact the film is computer designed is less apparent and the graphics don't feel like a 2007 video game.
This film is such a case in point, the graphics are truly stunning but don't feel fake, in fact they are immersive and as emotive as any old 3d cartoon which is truly something to marvel at as just a few years ago every film made by computer to me was cringe worthy because it just felt like a video game rather than an animated movie.
The Characters in the guardians are a little strangely designed for good guys because only Jack, Sandy (sands of time, a character than can't speak) and the tooth fairy are designed in a sort of nice looking way the other characters such as North, the Easter Bunny and the elves look a lot more menacing than you would expect. Indeed North has an almost devilish and stern face. The elves look positively malevolent and the Easter Bunny looks sneaky and mean.
It kind of feels like the film is making the point that the outer shell of a person is not what matters but what is in their heart and their actions. Jack Frost is a fairly tall boy of around 17 years old, preserved immortally by death. He has blue eyes, blond hair and a staff he carries around which turns everything to frost. North has a red coat as you would expect of Santa and pretty much has a costume which fits his role but not a face. The Easter Bunny looks a bit like a kangaroo. The tooth fairy has a green outfit and is quite small but about 3 times the size of the other fairies. Pitch Black is possibly the tallest character in the film and has a black robe and black horses which he controls to strike fear into the hearts of children and guardian's alike.
==== Landscapes ====
The graphic quality as mentioned is superb and emotive, the landscapes however have barely been touched on, and they are just stunning from the magical snowy lakes and icy plains to the grassland fantasy forest of the guardian's land where eggs are being painted in the scene prior to Easter being destroyed by the scheming of Pitch Black. The sun really sparkles in the scenes and the waterfalls and sound effects give a fresh and magical feeling to many of the scenes, the fight scenes at night are also moody and magical and you really do feel you are literally living in a story book and the animation helps to bring the imagination to life. The landscapes in this film are just truly beautiful.
==== Extra artistic interpretation ====
The whole concept of "the man in the moon" is clearly a reference to god and the idea that he changed his mind from promoting fear in children to promoting happiness and laughter in children is also a comparison between the old testament god whom was described as "a jealous god" and the new testament god who seems to be far more peaceful and an ever loving god "do unto others as you would have done", "love thy neighbour", thus the reference is a subtle hint to gnostic Christianity whom literally believed the god of the new testament was a different god from the god of the old testament. Indeed one site ascertains that the god of the old testament was a demi god and the god of the new testament was the true creator/designer of the universe, however I am not sure how reliable that level of specificy is in regards to gnostic Christianity beyond the fact that some sects of gnostic Christianity believe that the god of the old testament is different to the god of the new testament and the holy trinity.
On religion I get the feeling the man in the moon reference is a little bit mocking of Christianity/religiosity in general however on the other hand faith is portrayed as a great and magical thing in the movie and lack of faith presented as a disenfranchising and destructive force. Although it could be interpreted as a film mocking religion what makes it quite unique is that those with faith are portrayed positively, which is much more true to reality, and not demonised as evil as often happens in a lot of films and in general the childlike innocence is praised in this film. It's the kind of film that probably makes people kinder and more empathetic to those of different beliefs than the converse, even if you believe other people beliefs to be incorrect.
Finally this film not only hints at gnostic Christianity but also Hinduism and reincarnation as all guardians where once someone else in a previous life before they died there may even be other belief systems incorporated into the film as the guardians effectively become immortal as long as people believe in them, which sort of hints at "Christ consciousness" religions which believes a person can become their own god by meditating and searching within. Or it may just be another reference to Christian resurrection and life after death.
==== Scripting and Pacing =====
The scripting is very good with their being genuine humour from smart lines, good delivery and good timing of lines to genuinely funny physical comedy and events. Indeed one of the funniest bits of the film is when the four year old girl wanders into the land of the guardians. The pacing is also very good as at no point does the film feel as if it is dragging nor does it feel as if it is being rushed either all the character development happens at a manageable and realistic pace which helps to further increase the engagement the viewer has with the film and its characters. At 97 minutes the film is just the right length and there is nothing I would change about the rate of character development as it is just perfect, no point in the film feels like it is being padded out or skimmed through.
==== Cost ====
I purchased this film for four pounds on sky box office movie service which for the quality of entertainment provided is a steal. If you can buy or rent this film digitally or in hard copy I would thoroughly recommend you do so as it is well worth what I paid for it and then some.
==== Summary ====
A great film with magical graphics, evocative landscapes, characters you empathise with, funny lines, exciting actions scenes, a love interest, a genuinely likable lead child and lead guardian character, and a reconciliation between two people who did not get on who go onto become good friends. The camera angles and perspectives are good which provoke your attention and thought. Their is a real sense of speed when the characters are rushing on skate boards or flying through the air, the fight scenes are genuinely interesting as they give you the impression it's not going to be all plain sailing for our heroes. This film has it all, humour, romance, and conflict, which are all central elements to the film and the graphics, magical effects and landscapes are just the icing on a truly magical cake.
Rise of the Guardians is an animated film from the Dreamworks studio that brought us films like Shrek and Madagascar which I have enjoyed tremendously. I first saw this advertised in the summer when I took my children to see another animated film, and we thought it would be something that we could all enjoy watching as a family. It was released in cinemas at the end of November. It took us another month after this date to finally get round to seeing it over the Christmas holiday period.
The film like many these days is available to watch in 3D. I did not see it in this format, though as I had watched a 3D film a few days previously to this I was aware of points in the film which were definitely designed to be shown in 3D. For example, the main character Jack Frost moving around by sliding on ice would have been something that would have looked good in this format. I didn't feel that it was detrimental to me to not see this in 3D in any way.
The film features several characters that are instantly recognisable to children by name at least, though some of them felt a little more American to me. The main character is a boy called Jack Frost who enjoys having fun in cold weather. He would like children to see him so they know he is there and can have fun with them, but unfortunately for him, his name is one that is known but not believed in.
Luckily children believe more in the Guardians of childhood - Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman. They protect the innocence of all children as long as they believe. They go around doing the jobs we have always known them for. Father Christmas delivers his Christmas presents. The Easter Bunny prepares eggs and hides them for Easter. The Tooth Fairy is in charge of a team of smaller fairies who collect all of the children in the World's baby teeth - an important job as they store them all in a special box for each child which also preserves their memories. The Sandman helps children have sweet dreams. (Here, this character was someone we knew as adults, but my children didn't have a clue who he was meant to be. This didn't spoil their overall enjoyment of the film as the gist of his job was explained very well.)
Unfortunately for the Guardians, there is an evil presence on Earth, known as Pitch Black. Pitch sabotages the work of the Guardians, and when teeth are not collected and no Easter eggs are found, the children stop believing in these myths. Can Jack Frost and the Guardians work together to get children believing again and restoring the magic to childhood?
This was a film that we enjoyed immensely as a family. There are some pretty big names voicing the characters like Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law and Isla Fisher. I didn't find myself noticing this in particular while watching the film, and I had to look online to see who voiced the roles. I think this is a good thing for me, as when I have watched other animated films, if I recognise the voice and connect it to an actor, I find it can destract me from just enjoying the film as it happens.
The animation is really superb. You feel fully immensed in this world of mythical beings. There is a lot of humour that is visual as well as verbal, and the scenes showing what the North Pole is like and the homes of the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are pretty inspiring for children especially when they fully believe in them. We all loved the humour of the North Pole being run by Yetis and the elves that we all believe help Father Christmas are actually these little useless creatures who are no use at all, but pretty cute so they are kept. This for me was where a good bit of humour was watching the Yetis at work.
I also liked that the characters were not quite what you imagine them to be from anything else you see. Father Christmas is heavily tattoo'd and rather brisk looking, with a Russian accent and a bit like a mob boss mentality. The Easter Bunny is also quite far from cute and cuddly and is a very Australian character who is an expert with a boomerang. Tooth is like a giant bird or butterfly, and not a little fairy like you would think, though her baby tooth faries are more so. She's certainly less human looking than I imagined. And lastly, the Sandman is very sparkly and looks to be made out of his own magic sand. He is more like some sort of fairy than Tooth in appearance at least.
This is certainly different to any other movie featuring Santa that I have ever seen, and it is an interesting take on it.
Dreamworks film often rely on references to popular culture such as chart songs within their soundtrack and reference to other works. Here, I feel they have avoided falling into the trap of being too current that has happened for me with some of their other films like the original Madagascar and the earlier Shrek films. The soundtrack here is all original composition written specifically for the film composed by Alexandre Despat, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. I believe this film will have a more timeless quality as a result, especially as the belief in these childhood myths is something that is not going to end anytime soon.
This film is still currently showing in cinemas, and it is a nice one to go and see as a family. However film times are now reduced from what I can see in my own local cinemas. It is due to be released in the UK on DVD on the 25th of March 2013. It is available for £12 as a pre-order on amazons website.
My children enjoyed watching this in the cinema. I did notice however, the run time of 97 minutes was a bit much for some of the younger members of the audience and we also got a lot of questions as we were watching about things happening on screen. I don't think it was all clear to a younger viewer in the same way an adult viewer would see it.
We did enjoy this and I certainly would purchase a copy for our own DVD collection and watch this many more times. I think this is not just a film for Christmas time, it would be ok to watch at any time through the year as the focus was more on the Easter time of year in the story.
This is a high quality film, and likely to become a classic childrens film in my eyes.