Movie review: Rise Of The Guardians not perfect, but sweet
Christmas tale: the Australian trailer for Rise Of The Guardians, starring Hugh Jackman.
Rise of the Guardians is particularly enjoyable for Australians, because with Hugh Jackman voicing the Easter Bunny with a broad Aussie accent, many of his jokes are likely to go over the heads of international viewers.
Jackman's warrior-style character, known simply as Bunny, comes out with numerous phrases and words recognisable to Australians, such as "choppers" instead of teeth, being "tuckered out" and telling someone to "rack off, ya bloody show pony".
Jackman isn't the only Australian connection. Isla Fisher also voices fellow guardian Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), however she sports an American accent.
Rise of the Guardians is directed by Peter Ramsey, who provides characters who aren't your typical mythical creatures each is a clever, unique take on the stereotype.
Aside from Bunny and Tooth, there's North, aka a tattooed Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin, with a Russian accent), a mute Sandman who let's just say, would be amazing at Pictionary, and the newly-chosen young trickster Jack Frost (Chris Pine).
Together, they must defeat the evil spirit Pitch (Jude Law) and protect the wonder, hope and dreams of children all over the world. The idea of bringing these characters together is a great concept, although it doesn't quite live up to the clever idea.
More of a traditional children's movie, it's still entertaining and highly imaginative, but the script doesn't pack as much oomph or fun as some other animated offerings.
Children, however, will love seeing the detail in places like the inside of Santa's workshop, in this case run by yetis instead of the idiotic elves, or Sandman weaving golden dreams filled with ponies and the like.
Pitch may frighten some of the younger viewers, as he uses nightmares in the shape of evil black horses to stop the children believing in the guardians and envelop the world in darkness, like he did in the Dark Ages.
For many of the adult viewers, the best parts are the emotional moments explaining Jack Frost's backstory.
The film opens in the moments after Jack first became an immortal, when he discovers his powers with ice and that no one can see him.
When, 300 years later, the Man in the Moon calls on him to be a guardian, he becomes particularly desperate to know his past and the result is bound to get a few tears. Pine initially sounds a bit too old to play Jack Frost, but you adjust.
Meanwhile, Baldwin and Jackman get laughs as Santa and the Bunny, particularly with the latter's cute transformation in the third act.
Towards the end, the film really emphasises the message for children to believe in the guardians, which is great timing with Christmas nearly here.
Rise of the Guardians isn't perfect, but it's a sweet film, a more traditional tale and is likely to be a hit with children eagerly anticipating Santa Claus coming to town.
Rise Of The Guardians (PG) is out at Australian cinemas now.
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Children's delight: Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) in Rise Of The Guardians.