Coming as close to child-like wonder as one can get with uncharacteristically aggressive antics and a tatted-up Santa, “Rise of the Guardians” strives semi-successfully to add a pinch of naughty and nice to this eye-of-the-beholder update.
And while the collective code of today’s modern filmmaking seems to clamor and cater to content with the mantra that if it isn’t edgy, or somehow strives to be, then the audience – even a youthful one – couldn’t possibly relate, Guardians does well not to push too many boundaries or buttons. Getting with the forced so-called times however is key to this spree’s full enjoyment, complete with sword wielding Santa and an in-your-face Easter Bunny, and the energetic voice-cast led by Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Chris Pine – in the central roles – thankfully overshadows much of the film’s snowflake thin storytelling. Kids should happily fly under the radar of most of Guardians more subjective subtexts, distracted instead by the film’s pristine imagery and almost manic pacing, leaving parents to decide whether or not Santa gets a second cookie. A four-part “Behind the Magic” documentary tops the extras menu, with a stunning overview of the film’s four main elements – storytelling, animation, voices, and music – broken down into small and manageable morsels. And while the lengthiest segments max out at a mere 8+ minutes, the content is entertaining enough for the whole family. Additional features include exploring the hand-in-hand efforts of filmmakers and William Joyce, author of the film influencing book “The Guardians of Childhood,” a spirited expose on the voice actors in “Dreamers and Believers,” a delving into the meaning of dreams using “Sandy’s Dream Guide,” and a thoroughly enjoyable commentary track, containing perhaps a more cohesive telling of the film’s story-line than what was ultimately rendered. A few Easter-themed extras in the forms of printable egg-holders and coloring sheets are also included with the standard supplements. The Blu-ray exclusive content consists only of two games, “Jack Frost Snowball Showdown!,” a game in which you must use your remote to help Jack dodge a barrage of snowballs, and “Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy,” which is pretty much face-value fun though you can only play the computer, not another player. So with an update to modern hilarity, but a telling that begs for more clarity, “Rise of the Guardians” spreads holiday cheer and jeers across the pages of current mythology.
Running Time: 97 minutes
Number of Disks: 2
- Behind the Magic: Explore the filmmakers’ journey to create Rise of the Guardians’ enthralling look, characters, effects and music:
*Dreaming Up the Look
*Naughty & Nice: Designing Memorable Characters
*Creating an Epic Score
- The Man Behind the Guardians: Learn how DreamWorks Animation worked with author William Joyce to bring his novels to life.
- Dreamers and Believers: A look at the cast and characters of Rise of the Guardians.
- Sandy’s Dream Guide: The Sandman helps interpret your dreams in this interactive guide.
- Filmmakers’ Commentary: With director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein.
- More Magic (DVD-ROM): Printable egg holders, coloring sheets and more—perfect for Easter fun!
*Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features:
- Jack Frost Snowball Showdown!: Use your remote to duck and dodge snowballs!
- Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy: See if you can beat the Sandman in this classic game.
Central Voice Cast: Alec Baldwin | Hugh Jackman | Jude Law | Isla Fisher | Chris Pine | Dakota Goyo
Director: Peter Ramsey
Central Writers: David Lindsay-Abaire | William Joyce
Theatrical Release: November 21, 2012
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: March 12, 2013
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Family
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE