Rise of the Guardians is an animated feature film based on the popular William Joyce book series titled The Guardians of Childhood. North, aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Jack Frost (Chris Pine), Bunnymund, aka the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and Sandman must band together and stop Pitch, aka the Boogeyman (Jude Law), from plunging the world into perpetual fear and darkness. The movie is set about 200 years after the book series. The official site describes the plot as follows:
Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes - each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.
—Rise of the Guardians official site
The spirit of winter, Jack Frost, describes how he came to be hundreds of years ago, lifted from the ice by the Man in the Moon, and has been invisible ever since because people don't believe in him. At the North Pole, North, better known as Santa Claus, is alerted that Pitch, the Bogeyman, has returned and is threatening childhood with fear. After summoning fellow Guardians the Tooth Fairy (Tooth), the Easter Bunny (E. Aster Bunnymund) and the Sandman (Sandy), North learns from the Man in the Moon that they are to induct Jack as their new member. Jack is brought to North's headquarters and they attempt to swear him in. Jack, frustrated by centuries of isolation caused by children's disbelief in him, declines to join. Regardless, North persuades him to cooperate for now by explaining their mission and the looming threat of Pitch.
At Tooth's castle, the team discovers that Pitch has attacked, taken all the children's teeth, the childhood memories stored in them, and all but one of Tooth's mini fairies, Baby Tooth, whom Jack saves. Pitch declares his intention to destroy children's faith in the Guardians in revenge for his own disbelieved-in state, beginning with Tooth, who immediately begins weakening as children stop believing in her. To avert this, the Guardians perform her teeth-collection themselves for the interim, with a promise to find Jack's teeth to recover his previous life's memories. A young boy named Jamie is delighted to discover them in his room, as he believes in all of them except Jack, which renders Jack still invisible. Pitch learns of the Guardians' resistance and attacks Jack and Sandy; despite Jack's great efforts to save him, Sandy is overwhelmed by Pitch and seemingly destroyed.
The dejected Guardians next rally by helping Bunnymund prepare his eggs for Easter to keep children's belief strong. Although slightly complicated by the intrusion of Jamie's toddler sister, Sophie, the operation goes smoothly through to the distribution stage. Jack takes Sophie home, and discovers the entrance to Pitch's headquarters, where Tooth's baby fairies and the teeth are being held. Pitch urges him to step aside as a neutral party with the promise of his teeth's memories. Jack refuses, and Pitch attacks Bunnymund's domain, ruining the Easter-egg distribution and shattering children's faith in the Easter Bunny.
The Guardians' spirit broken, a despondent Jack departs in disgrace to Antarctica. There, Pitch tempts him to join forces, but Jack again refuses, as he wants to be loved, not feared. In response, Pitch reveals he has Baby-Tooth, and threatens to kill her unless Jack relinquishes the source of his power, his staff. Jack submits, but Pitch reneges and the resulting fight leaves Jack trapped in a crevasse with Baby-Tooth while Pitch breaks his staff. To counter Jack's despair, Baby-Tooth convinces Jack to unlock his memories, which reveal he was a mortal boy who died saving his sister from falling through ice, and because of that heroism was changed into a winter spirit and chosen as a Guardian by the Man in the Moon. Inspired at this revelation, Jack is able to restore his staff and his power. The Guardians and Pitch learn there is only one believing child left: Jamie. Jack races to the boy and not only confirms Jamie's faith in the Guardians, but also instills a belief in Jack Frost, enabling Jamie to finally see him. The diminished and weakened Guardians arrive to join him as they confront Pitch, while Jamie gathers his friends to support them. Pitch's seemingly overwhelming power of nightmare proves no match against the children's faith, which restores the Guardians' full power to battle the villain. Sandman is resurrected by this belief, and joins the fight, leaving Pitch defeated and children's faith restored, as well as in Jack Frost. Pitch is taken down by his own fear and is forced back into his lair.
At this victory, Jack is finally sworn in as a Guardian and resolves to protect the world's children with his new friends.
The following cast of voice actors have been confirmed for the film:
- Alec Baldwin - North
- Chris Pine - Jack Frost
- Hugh Jackman - Bunnymund
- Isla Fisher - Tooth
- Jude Law - Pitch
- Dakota Goyo - Jamie Bennett
In 2005, William Joyce and Reel FX launched a joint venture, Aimesworth Amusements, to produce CG-animated feature films, one of which was set to be The Guardians of Childhood, based on the Joyce's idea. The film was not realized, but they did create a short animated film, The Man in the Moon, directed by Joyce, which introduced the Guardians idea, and served as an inspiration for the film.
Early in 2008, Joyce sold the film rights to DreamWorks Animation, after the studio assured him it would respect his vision for the characters and that he would be involved with the creative process. In November 2009, it was revealed that DreamWorks had hired Peter Ramsey to make his feature debut as director of what was then titled The Guardians, and playwright David Lindsay-Abaire to script. Joyce acted as a co-director for the first few years, but left this position after the death of his daughter Mary Katherine, who died of brain tumor. Joyce continued to assist as an executive producer, while Ramsey took over full directing, making him the first African American to direct a big-budget CG animated film. As with some previous DreamWorks films, Guillermo del Toro came on board as an executive producer. Present almost from the beginning, he was able to help shape the story, character design, theme and structure of the film. He said he was proud that the filmmakers were making parts of the film "dark and moody and poetic," and expressed hope this might "set a different tone for family movies, for entertainment movies." The final title, Rise of the Guardians was announced in early 2011, along with the first cast.
Roger Deakins, the cinematographer who had already worked on the previous DreamWorks' film, How to Train Your Dragon, advised on the lighting to achieve its real look. He selected photographic references for color keys, and during the production gave notes on contrast, saturation, depth of field and light intensity. The film contains a lot of special effects, particularly the volumetric particles for depicting Sandman and Pitch. For this, DreamWorks Animation developed OpenVDB, a more efficient tool and format for manipulating and storing volume data, like smoke and other amorphous materials. OpenVDB had been already used on Puss in Boots and Madagascar 3, and was released in August 2012 for free as an open source project with a hope to become an industry standard.
Although the film is based on the Joyce's book series, it contains differences from the books. The book series, begun in 2011, explains the origins of the characters, while the film takes place about 200 years after the books, and shows how the characters function in present time. Joyce explained, "Because I don't want people to read the book and then go see the movie and go, 'Oh, I like the book better,' and I also didn't want them to know what happens in the movie. And I also knew that during the progress of film production, a lot of things can change. So I wanted to have a sort of distance, so we were able to invoke the books and use them to help us figure out the world of the movie, but I didn't want them to be openly competitive to each other." The idea for the Guardians came from Joyce's daughter, who asked him "if he thought Santa Claus had ever met the Easter Bunny." The film includes a dedication to her, as well a song, "Still Dream," sung over the end credits.
Originally, the film was set to be released on November 2, 2012, but DreamWorks Animation pushed the film to November 21, 2012 to avoid competition with Pixar's upcoming film Monsters University, which in turn had been pushed to November 2, 2012 to avoid competition with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Monsters University was then pushed to June 21, 2013, with Wreck-It Ralph taking its place.
Rise of the Guardians had its premiere on October 10, 2012, at The Mill Valley Film Festival in Mill Valley, California, followed by the international premiere at The International Rome Film Festival on November 13, 2012. Under distribution by Paramount Pictures, the film was released on November 21, 2012, in American theaters. Digitally re-mastered into IMAX 3D, it was shown in limited international and domestic IMAX theaters. It was the second film released in the firm Barco's Auro 11.1 3D audio format, after Red Tails. The film was also shown in Dolby Atmos, a surround sound technology introduced in 2012. Rise of the Guardians was the last DreamWorks Animation film distributed by Paramount, as DreamWorks has signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, starting in 2013 with The Croods.
Rise of the Guardians is scheduled to be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on March 12, 2013.
Rise of the Guardians received generally positive reviews from critics. Based on 140 reviews, the film holds a rating of 74% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 57 based on 34 reviews, or "Mixed or average." The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a lively but derivative 3D storybook spree for some unlikely action heroes." Conversely, Justin Chang in Variety said, "Even tots may emerge feeling slightly browbeaten by this colorful, strenuous and hyperactive fantasy, which has moments of charm and beauty but often resembles an exploding toy factory rather than a work of honest enchantment."
As of April 19, 2013, Rise of the Guardians has grossed $103,412,758 in North America, and $200,300,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $303,712,758.
In North America, the film opened to $32.3 million over its extended five-day weekend, and with $23.8 million over the three-day weekend, it reached fourth place behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Skyfall, and Lincoln. The film's opening was the lowest debut for a DreamWorks Animation film since Flushed Away.
The Rome Film Festival and Vanity Fair magazine awarded the new Vanity Fair International Award for Cinematic Excellence in November 2012 to Rise of the Guardians. The film also received the Hollywood Animation Award at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, held on October 22, 2012.
The filmmakers have stated that if the film meets their expectations, they would like to make a sequel.
After the release of the film, the creators of Rise of the Guardians expressed hope that the strong A-Cinemascore average for the film and an enthusiastic word-of-mouth would gather support for the "chance to make a sequel or two."
Author and co-producer of the series, William Joyce, has also mentioned in March 2013 that he is still in talks about a sequel with DreamWorks Animation: "There is something that we are proposing that we hope they will want to do."
Behind The Scenes
Concept Art 
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Box Office Mojo: Rise of the Guardians
- ↑ The Hollywood Reporter: Rise of the Guardians Film Review
- ↑ Deadline: DreamWorks Animation Will Have Distribution Plan By Labor Day
- ↑ Bussinessprofiles.com
- ↑ |studiodaily
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 |Dreamworks Teaming Up With William Joyce For The Guardians of Childhood
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Hollywood Reporter
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 | William Joyce, Moonbot Studios Co-Founder and Co-Director of Morris Lessmore
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 | Rise of the Guardians' Unveiled, Rises to Top Tier of Animated Contenders (Analysis)]
- ↑ | DreamWorks sets scribe for 'Guardians
- ↑ | Rise of the Guardians' director a self-taught success
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 | Guillermo del Toro Talks 'Rise of the Guardians' and 'Pinocchio'; Hopes to Begin Voice Recording in Jan 2013 and Ron Perlman Will Play Stromboli
- ↑ |Guillermo del Toro on his experience as executive producer of Rise of the Guardians
- ↑ |DreamWorks Animation Names All-Star Cast Featuring Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law for Rise of the Guardians on November 21, 2012
- ↑ Peter Ramsey Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, Roger Deakins, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Working with David Fincher on FIGHT CLUB, and More
- ↑ Releases Software Used in 'Guardians'
- ↑ DreamWorks Animation Releases Proprietary Volumetric Format OpenVDB to Open Source Community
- ↑ Fest: 'Rise Of The Guardians' Tries To Stake Its Claim In Oscar Race And At Holiday Box Office
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Boxofficemojo
- ↑ |Disney Changes Dates For 'Monsters University', 'Reboot Ralph'
- ↑ Valley Film Fest: stars, new powers
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 of the Guardians' to Receive New 'Vanity Fair' Honor at Upcoming Rome Fest
- ↑ Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma - Guide e Programma
- ↑ | ‘Rise Of The Guardians’ To Play IMAX Nov. 21
- ↑ | Barco Auro 11.1 3D sound technology will be featured in global release of DreamWorks Animation's 'Rise of the Guardians'
- ↑ of the Guardians,' 'Gravity,' 'Pacific Rim' Will Be Mixed in Dolby Atmos
- ↑ |DreamWorks Animation To Fox For New 5-Year Distribution Deal; UPDATE: Paying Fees Of 8% Theatrical And 6% Digital
- ↑ | Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray 3D Release Date, Details and Pre-Order
- ↑ of the Guardians (2012)
- ↑ of the Guardians
- ↑ | Weekend Report: 'Twilight,' Bond Dominate Fruitful Thanksgiving
- ↑ http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117948527
- ↑ boxofficemojo
- ↑ Office Mojo
- ↑ | Rise of the Guardians' to Receive Animation Prize at 16th Hollywood Film Awards (Exclusive)
- ↑ Rise of Guardians' Filmmakers Hoping to Make Sword-Wielding-Santa Sequels
- ↑ http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/rise-guardians-filmmakers-still-hoping-make-sword-wielding-santa-sequels-67076
- ↑ http://www.iamrogue.com/news/interviews/item/8435-iar-exclusive-interview-author/illustrator-william-joyce-talks-rise-of-the-guardians-blu-ray/dvd-and-a-possible-sequel.html