The second DreamWorks 3D animated title that'll hit theaters in 2012 (after last month's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted) is Rise of the Guardians, based on the children's fantasy-adventure novel by William Joyce. Guardians boasts vocal contributions from several celebrities - as is customary for DreamWorks' computer-animated fare - including, Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, and Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants).
Here's the twist with Rise of the Guardians: those people are voicing childhood myths ("guardians," if you will) such as Jack Frost, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Sandman (Pine, Baldwin, Jackman, Fisher and Kenny) - who join forces to prevent a malicious boogeyman (Law) from taking over the world.
It sounds like a goofy concept, but the first Rise of the Guardians trailer teased the film as a visually-extravagant adventure that offers imaginative takes on those childhood icons (for example: Easter Bunny is a boomerang-slinging tough guy from Down Under, while Tooth Fairy is equal parts pixie and hummingbird).
The second theatrical promo is equally full to the brim with eye candy; moreover, it starts to flesh out the personalities of the Guardians - including Jack Frost as the protagonist - and hints at the subtext of the film (wicked forces threaten the future of our world by destroying the dreams and imagination of our children - get it?).
Peter Ramsey is making his debut as a theatrical feature-length director with Rise of the Guardians, having previously helmed the made-for-TV animated sequel Monsters vs Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space. Joyce collaborated on the script with David Lindsay-Abaire, whose previous kid-friendly writing credits include Robots and Inkheart (along with the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful).
Based on early footage from Rise of the Guardians, it appears as though those three should deliver some solid (if not ground-breaking) storytelling to go along with the enchanting visuals. The voice casting seems pretty good too, with Baldwin pulling off a non-distracting accent (not quite sure what it's meant to be, but moving on...) and Jackman actually getting to use his native accent for once.
Overall, Rise of the Guardians looks like it could have entertainment value for moviegoers of all ages - though, children who still believe these childhood myths are real might end up a tad bit confused afterwards (parents, you might want to consider that).
Rise of the Guardians opens in U.S. theaters (2D and 3D) on November 21st, 2012.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers
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