A small group of immortal guardians are responsible for protecting the innocence of children throughout the world. The Guardians get their powers from the beliefs that children have in them but when the evil spirit, Pitch, begins to sabotage their efforts, their powers begin to fade. Teaming up with friendly, but invisible to children, Jack Frost, the Guardians must defeat Pitch before he destroys them and fill the world with fear and nightmares.

Rise of the Guardians (2012) – Director: Peter Ramsey

Is Rise Of The Guardians appropriate for kids

Rating: PG

Running Length: 97 mins

Starring: Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law

Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

REVIEW

Based upon William Joyce’s book ‘The Guardians of Childhood’ and his short film ‘The Man in the Moon’, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ follows Santa Clause (or ‘North’), the Sandman, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as they tirelessly work for hundreds of years to protect the world’s children.  Jack Frost, who can’t remember who he once was, yearns for human acknowledgement but as no-one believes in him he is invisible to them. Jack is recruited by the Guardians after The Man in the Moon instructs them to but, as the Moon created and then deserted him to a life of loneliness, Jack is reluctant to help out. However, what makes Jack a refreshing character is that he is otherwise bright, bubbly and loves life. This movie could easily have decided to make Jake a moody and sullen person who wants to be left alone but instead Jack is portrayed sympathetically. As a result the heart of the film is that of adventure, something which should ring true in most children’s’ hearts.

Rise of the Guardians’ is a poignant, fun and action-packed kids film. The maturity of the plot and script is a bonus which does not, in any way, make it boring. The ability of appealing to both adults while remaining appropriate and fun for kids is a skill in itself and ‘Rise of the Guardians’ manages this skill with aplomb. The villain, Pitch, has his own motivations which make him believable and a character who can be related to. It is, however, Jack Frost’s feeling of isolation and the unfairness of his situation which makes this film so touching; creating a realistic foundation for a movie whose main characters are from childhood myths and legends. Despite its relative failure at the box office on its theatrical release, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is a surprisingly well-made movie which will keep both kids and grown-ups entertained throughout.

IS ‘RISE OF THE GUARDIANS’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

There is very little in terms of questionable content in ‘Rise of the Guardians’, however there are a few moments which may be a little scary for younger children. The character of Pitch is particularly menacing. His shadows appear to have a life of their own, often intimidating the Guardians and creating a frightening atmosphere. His shadow will often appear on the wall to distract other characters but will not be attached to his physical body, enabling him to mount surprise attacks. He is seen to turn a young girl’s nice dream into a black nightmare but her fear is only seen for a couple of seconds. Towards the end of the movie, the Guardians are cornered and being approached by Pitch. Several shadows slowly extend from Pitch in the form of men who gradually move in on the Guardians, this only lasts for a few seconds but could be quite scary for young kids.

Pitch rides a black horse made of dark clouds with shining yellow eyes and creates several similar horses to bring fear to the world. His main horse has a very intimidating presence; it is often aggressive towards other characters, is seen in close up on a few occasions and is generally very threatening. These horses are used throughout the movie, whenever Pitch is on-screen. One scene shows these horses ‘eating’ tiny toothfairies, however the fairies are seen to be fine but imprisoned within the horses’ stomachs.

Pitch’s fear also consumes one of the Guardians after throwing a spear which stabs the character. Nothing graphic is shown on-screen, however what is happening is made clear and there is plenty of grief from the other characters to ensure that the audience is aware of this characters destruction. However, the grief of the characters is not over-played and should not be too emotionally distressing.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Rise of the Guardians’ is an entertaining movie which is bound to be watched over and over again by children and, as it is also likely to be entertaining for adults, should not be too jarring after the first few times. The characters are not too saccharine sweet and the plot isn’t too childish but the fun and comedy keeps this movie appropriate for a wide range of ages. Due to a few mild scary scenes, we would recommend this movie as suitable for children aged 5 and over.

  • Violence:  1/5 (there are a few fight scenes, one of which culminates in the destruction of a major character)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (the Guardians mourn the loss of their friend and hold a funeral for them. This is sad but not too distressing. Jack Frost’s loneliness is quite touching.)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (Pitch and his horses are very menacing)
  • Sexual Content: 0/5       
  • Bad Language: 0/5
  • Dialogue: 0/5 
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of friendship, believing in yourself, fighting against evil and the importance of protecting childhood innocence.

Words by Laura Record

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