Rise of the Guardians (PG, DVD only) *
Released in cinemas in the run-up to Christmas, emerging on DVD just in time for Easter – only now does the thoroughly cynical masterplan of this DreamWorks digimation become clear. An Avengers-style assembly of multiple kiddie favourites, Peter Ramsay’s undeserving seasonal hit teams an Aussie Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a Slavic Santa (Alec Baldwin, bizarrely) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) with the deathly dull Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to combat Pitch Black (Jude Law), a Voldemort clone who’s returned from the Dark Ages with the aim of shattering our youngsters’ illusions. It’s a pretty disillusioning experience itself, stuck with frenetically charmless animation and a script that settles for drippy (baby teeth “hold our most important memories of childhood”, apparently) when it’s not cribbing flagrantly from the more imaginative Monsters, Inc.. As a 3D experience, this was already pretty flat and lifeless; viewed at home in 2D, it’s practically dead on arrival. You’d do better buying the nippers chocolate.
Rise of the Guardians is available on DVD through Paramount Home Entertainment.