REVIEW – Rise of the Guardians; Animahenasyon 2012

Review by Vives Anunciacion
Publsihed Inquirer Libre November 28, 2012

Rise of the Guardians
Directed by Peter Ramsey
Based on the book by William Joyce

Dreamworks seems to be geared to win an Oscar for animation with Rise of the Guardians, an adventure about mythical icons who band together to save the children of the world from cynicism and fear.

When Pitch Black aka the Boogeyman (Jude Law) threatens to sow fear and disbelief among children while they sleep, the Moon Man recruits Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to join Santa (Alec Baldwin) the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Sandman in protecting the innocence of children.

The story is a chopsuey of a concept with its mix of fantasy characters whose existence depend on the belief of children (remember The Neverending Story, where The Nothing threatened to swallow Fantasia? It’s quite the same.) Alexandre Desplat provides grand orchestrations, but several times it sounds over-scored.

However, there’s much exuberance in the characters that the story pushes through. Despite not being voiced, Sandman emerges as the most adorable. And the animation is rich, colorful and textured that the screen literally comes alive. Just note the feathers on Tooth Fairy which individually adjusts to her movements. 3D is underutilized, so it doesn’t matter whether you see this in 3D or 2D. The good part is that it’s pretty good pre-Christmas family entertainment.

Animahenasyon 2012

Ongoing until tomorrow Thursday is Animahenasyon 2012, the 6th Philippine Animation Festival at the College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts in Manila. Competing in different categories are 70-plus entries from students and professionals from all over the country.

It was my honor to have been one of the pre-selectors of the finalists from among 150 entries. For the past few years, students from CSB’s School of Design & Arts, Ateneo De Naga’s Department of Digital Arts & Computer Animation, Ateneo de Zamboanga, and Mapua Institute of Technology have been consistent finalists. A few entries came from abroad, even though the competition is strictly local.

As we have seen from Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia (2008), RPG Metanioa (2010), Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles (2012) and a few local TV Commercials, our animation techniques are approachinD international par. The same can be said with the finalists of Animahenasyon 2012, whose works were selected not only for excellence in design and technique but also for their Filipino content.

A few standouts from the finalists are Marianing from Niko Ssalazar of CSB-SDA, about a bolo-wielding aswang slayer; Reversion by Giancarlo Ng, which has a Playstation RPG-game sophistication; and Burador de Casa by Victor Ian Covarrubias from ADZU which is visually lyrical.

Also in the festival are AJ Siytangco, Creature TD, Cloth & FX Artist from Lucas Films Animation in Singapore who talked about working abroad in a high-calibre environment such as Lucas Animations, and Armand Serrano who is a Senior Visual Developer for Sony Pictures Animation who talked about Visual Development or VizDev.

Animahenasyon is the annual competition among local aspiring and professional animators spearheaded by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc.


Marianing won the grand prize in the competition. The full animated short is attached above. Congratulations!


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