30 November 2012 5:03 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Insisting so fiercely on a saucer-eyed, childlike belief in mythic heroes, this film could be a massive hoax by Richard Dawkins

Just to confirm that the noughties' golden age of animation is behind us, here's a bland, underpowered, humourless feature from DreamWorks. Rise of the Guardians is about an Avengers-style grouping of all the mythic heroes in your childish imagination: there's Santa Claus, voiced with a Russian accent by Alec Baldwin; the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman); the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher); and the silent Sandman, and they are all subordinate to the Man in the Moon. The story insists so fiercely on the moral superiority of saucer-eyed, childlike belief in these figures, that the film could be a massive satirical hoax by Richard Dawkins. Anyway, they're taking on an evil bogeyman with a prissy Brit accent named Pitch Black (Jude Law), who's attempting to poison kiddies' dreams. Unfortunately, he is often addressed simply as "Pitch! »

- Peter Bradshaw

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