With 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” DreamWorks Animation shook itself out of its “Shrek” dependency and started giving Pixar some genuine artistic competition. From its sumptuous art direction to its older-kid sensibility, “Rise of the Guardians” visibly has “Dragon” DNA, but despite the magical pull of Santa’s sleigh, the story based on William Joyce’s “The Guardians of Childhood” never reaches the previous film’s altitude.
‘Rise of the Guardians’
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law. (Thematic elements and some mildly scary action)