Unlikely hero faces dark forces in holiday feature

LORE to a child is one of the most prominent bases of believing in life.

While Santa Claus and the Easter bunny may be linked to religious occasions others like the tooth fairy are still just as revered by children.

Yes, they might be inadvertently bribed by the promise of riches for that one, but the intent remains the same.

So where then does Jack Frost fit in?

A relative loner who wanders around the world creating cold weather, he's not often a storytime favourite or really at the hearts of most children.

To base him as the central character for this kid-friendly venture is risky, but the support of the perennial favourites promotes a universal idea that everyone deserves to be seen.

Being known and cared about is something that Jack Frost (Chris Pine) is desperate for. Here he's portrayed as a teenager, using his days to observe children while wishing he could play games himself and have a real purpose.

His true calling comes soon enough when the man in the moon appoints him as the fifth guardian of the world's children, joining North (Alec Baldwin), Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman.

Jack Frost's appointment is a response to the imminent threat of Pitch Black (Jude Law) - the Boogieman, who is staging a coup and taking the happiness and safety away from children to replace it with fear and nightmares.

It's a scary world to see the lights of Earth go out, and it fast becomes a dire situation for the guardians.

Jack Frost is a lost soul as he begins his crusade with them, still unsure of his place.

There's some tension with Bunny that gets him going, but Jack Frost takes time to settle into his newfound position.

Chris Pine voices him with slight frustration and wrangled tension, a teenager unsure of his place and whether he can shoulder some of his new responsibility.

In his directorial debut Peter Ramsey uses the content of William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood in a fun manner as Baldwin, Fisher and Jackman get their crazy on with some varied portrayals of the guardian poster kids.

Scarier elements will take adults captive as much as the children, and Law holds a subtle dominance as the baddie amid the seamless animation, which draws you in.

Also in cinemas in 3D, the film holds true with a moral message to believe in bigger things. Nice for the kiddies, still a fun watch for their guardians.

Rating: 3.5/5

Now screening at Reading Cinemas

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