Rise of the Guardians (PG) 97 mins **
We presumably have the baffling success of last year’s Russell Brand-voices-the-Easter Bunny confection Hop to thank for this decidedly calculated seasonal digimation, with its Avengers-style assembly of multiple imaginary friends. Here, an Aussie Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a Slavic Santa (Alec Baldwin, bizarrely) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) are teamed up with a deathly dull Jack Frost (voice by Chris Pine, hair by Union J) to combat Pitch Black (Jude Law), a Voldemort-ish ne’er-do-well intent on shattering our kids’ illusions. It’s a pretty disillusioning experience itself, stuck with frenetically charmless animation and a drippy script that cribs key plot points from Monsters, Inc. while viewing baby teeth as “holding our most important memories of childhood” – rather than, say, lumps of calcium, better out than in. 3D sleigh rides and snowball fights hardly justify the inflated ticket price.
Rise of the Guardians is in cinemas nationwide.