Coinciding with the theatrical release for The Croods, DreamWorks Home Entertainment has released a new Blu-ray 3D for Rise of the Guardians on March 12th, 2013.
The movie is based on the book series The Guardians of Childhood by author William Joyce. though takes place a couple of centuries later.
The film tells a story about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and the Sandman, who enlist Jack Frost to combat the Boogie Man.
Rise of the Guardians the Movie
The movie opens with Jack Frost being raised from a frozen lake, but in this return to the world he is now unseen by regular people.
All of his memories from his former life are gone and the Man in the Moon only reveals his name to him.
Some 300 years later, North (aka Santa Claus) has a vision in his workshop of the boogeyman, who is known as Pitch Black.
North alerts the other Guardians – the head of the tooth fairies named Tooth, the short tempered Easter Bunny and the non-speaking Sandy the Sandman.
Initially they do not want to believe that Pitch poses a threat, but the Man in the Moon disagrees and instructs them to induct Jack Frost as a new Guardian to help combat the threat.
Jack however relishes his roll in instilling fun and laughter in the children.
Jack is kidnapped by the Yetis and spirited to the North Pole, where he declines the invitation to join the Guardians.
Suddenly they discover that Pitch has attacked the Tooth Palace, captured the baby tooth fairies and taken the complete tooth archive.
Pitch aims to end the childrens’ belief in the Guardians to sap their power, and also turn their dreams into nightmares so that the children would once again believe in him.
While the Guardians try to enroll Jack Frost to help them defeat the boogie man, Pitch recognizes the sadness and isolation that Jack feels since the children don’t see him and know that he exists.
Can the Guardians win Jack over to their side and banish Pitch Black back into the realm of myth, or will Jack’s own personal demons play into Pitch’s hands and allow him to destroy the children’s belief in each of the Guardians?
Rise of the Guardians is certainly an interesting concept and it wasn’t clear how well the idea would play as a movie.
It was fun to see a number of characters that are known and loved re-imagined, and overall I think that DreamWorks did a good job.
The story was pretty strong and had interesting themes of friendship and acceptance.
That said there were some aspects that were not as strong.
For me the fact that characters like North physically battled with swords was somewhat troubling.
Also at times I felt that the story drifted a little too far from a ‘realistic’ basis.
Nonetheless overall it was an enjoyable film with a stunning visual appeal and style.
This look and feel is no doubt partially due to the enlisting of Academy Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins to help with the visual look and the use of light in the film.
The film should appeal to members of the family both younger and older.
The star studded voice cast for the movie includes Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law.
Rise of the Guardians was the first theatrical feature directed by Peter Ramsey, whose previous credits are mostly in the Art Department for a wide range of films.
The movie has a strong critical reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% and an IMDb score of 7.3/10.
Rise of the Guardians went on to earn $102.7M at the US box office and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
Rise of the Guardians on Blu-ray 3D
The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 27 Mbps, and is presented at 1.78:1 aspect ratio, filling the HDTV screen.
The image quality is great as you would expect, with sharp details and vibrant colours.
The 3D essentially comes out of the render process, with excellent results.
There are a lot of supernatural and ethereal effects used throughout the movie, and the 3D presentation enhances this to a great extent.
You will find full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc at the details page for Rise of the Guardians.
The main audio is lossless Dolby True HD with 7.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 43.2 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
Rise of the Guardians on Blu-ray 3D – The Bonus Features
Aside from a promotional trailer for The Croods and a sneak peak at a future feature, there are no features on the Blu-ray 3D disc.
Over to the Blu-ray there are nice selection of supplements, including a filmmakers’ commentary that runs along with the feature.
Here director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein discuss the development and production of the movie.
The track is somewhat dry though offers quite a bit of detail behind the film’s creation.
The main behind the scenes featurette for the movie is called Behind the Magic.
Behind The Magic runs almost half an hour and is split into four different segments.
The first discusses the look of the movie and the environments created for each of the locations in the film.
Extensive work has gone into creating the worlds that is inhabited by each of the main characters.
The second segment focuses on the characters themselves and how these familiar characters were given a new twist.
Next up the special visiual effects for the supernatural parts of movie are discussed.
A number of the effects are pretty cool, with lots of flowing particles and it is interesting to hear about the motivation as well as the technical difficulties.
Lastly the musical score for the movie is covered, including development of the score and the level of contribution of the score to the movie.
Each of the characters had their own special score, as well as combinations of these and other musical themes.
William Joyce discusses the genesis of the story in The Man Behind The Guardians featurette.
The casting for the movie is covered in the Dreamers & Believers segment.
Sandy’s Dream Guide is an interactive feature that allows you to select elements from your dreams an interprets them for you.
The Blu-ray release also has a couple of exclusive Java based games.
You can play Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy or the Jack Frost Snowball Showdown! game.
The Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy is pretty much a standard Rock Paper Scissors game of chance.
You can play a single round, a best of 3 or a best of 5 rounds.
The Jack Frost Snowball Showdown! game is an interactive snowball fight where you play Jack Frost.
The goal is to hit the other kids with snowballs while avoiding the snowballs that they throw at you.
This release also includes a DVD Copy for legacy players, as well as an UltraViolet Digital Copy code that can also be used as an iTunes Digital Copy code.
Rise of the Guardians on Blu-ray 3D – Final Thoughts
Rise of the Guardians is an enjoyable film that should have a wide appeal in the family demographic.
DreamWorks Home Entertainment has put together a technically excellent release with a decent collection of supplemental features.
Both DVD and Digital Copy formats are included.
The retail price is $49.99, or order it right now at Amazon for $28.98, saving 42%!
- Filmmakers’ Commentary
- Behind The Magic
- The Man Behind The Guardians
- Dreamers & Believers
- Sandy’s Dream Guide
- Rock, Paper, Scissors With Sandy
- Jack Frost Snowball Showdown!
DreamWorks’ newest animated adventure is a fun-filled and magical story about the legendary guardians – Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman – together for the first time! When the evil Pitch threatens to take over the world, it’s up to our beloved heroes to protect the hopes and dreams of children everywhere. Filled with non-stop action and laughs, it’s a dazzling family film that’s being hailed as “an instant classic. You will believe.” (Nancy, Jay, Daybreak, USA)