Film Review “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan,
Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Running time: 136 minutes

Mike G’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When I left the advance screening back in 2014 for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”, I said to my wife that this movie is the “Star Wars” for our new generation and it will be HUGE! Fast forward to 2017 and here we are with Vol.2 being released and looking back at how much the first film affected Hollywood. The magic of the first film has tried to be copied since and the only film to get close was “Deadpool”. It is hard for me to scream that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is better than the first. I really really liked it but I also watch the first film almost weekly or at least monthly, so to say I’m a big fan is an understatement. I even got my 5 year old daughter into the first film (I know I’m a terrible dad, but she LOVES IT!). Vol.2 is easily one of the best films I have seen this year and an amazing follow-up to the first film. I have a feeling as I see it a few times more my love will only grow.

Personally, I am bored with “The Avengers” in general, i.e. Iron Man, Captain America and their movies. I am more into Marvel’s releases like “Guardians”, “Doctor Strange” and even the new “Thor” looks fantastic! These are great superhero movies and I can easily add Vol.2 to that list! The sequel not only is action packed entertaining movie but also packs some mega emotional character driven dramatic moments. I love those moments. This movie has so much heart, literally so much. The jokes are funnier. I swear everything that Drax says is pure gold. Baby Groot was cute and really wasn’t overused like I assumed he would be to steal the show.

Everyone was talking about Kurt Russell’s role of Ego and Peter Quill’s father..and he was everything I wanted and more! Russell is just tearing it up with this and the “Fast and Furious” franchise. He is on fire. The star of this film is no question, Michael Rooker. His role of Yondu was expanded greatly from the first film and really gets some amazing screen time (cue Cat Stevens’ song “Father and Son”). Even Sean Gunn (James’ brother) got an expanded role and delivered some really great scenes. I really enjoyed Kraglin in this film! Sylvester Stallone popped up for a bit, cool to see him but didn’t do much. He was mostly just setup for future films playing the important character aka Starhawk. And if you are a Toby fan like me from the TV series “This Is Us” keep an eye out for Taserface! Love him! The girl power in “Guardians” was very strong, which makes me happy due to having an eager to see this 5 year old. Karen Gillan got a chance to expand Nebula more in this sequel and she was just brilliant. Zoe Saldan and her got some nice screen time together. Pom Klementieff joined on playing a very important character named Mantis and easily stole our hearts…even though she is really ugly…(according to Drax).

The songs from the first “Guardians” really made the film so special and unique. The second film doesn’t disappoint in terms of great picks and don’t feel forced like when “Suicide Squad” tried to copy. ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” is a great track. Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” has great placement in the film. Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me” was a great and very sweet moment. George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” is one of my favorite songs ever. I mentioned above Cat Stevens’ song “Father and Son,m which was just a perfect choice for this film. James Gunn’s band along with David Hasselhoff, yes David Hasslehoff even have a fun song in the end credits. The score is beautiful again from Tyler Bates. I’ve been listening to it for about a week now before seeing the film and I had a really great appreciation for the music when I saw it. Honestly this is the first Marvel film that really interested me with their score.

The visual effects are just beautiful. Ego’s planet is breathtaking for sure. This is a film that needs to be seen in the theater. Preferable the biggest IMAX screen possible. Please do not see this film at little theater. 3D was good didn’t really jump out too much. I could have gone either way on that. This franchise has a BIG future ahead of it and as long as it has James Gunn’s vision leading it down this path I am on board and very excited to see what is coming next! Hopefully Gunn will actually give Nathan Fillion a decent role in next film that won’t be cut 😉 I am just happy that Vol.2 doesn’t disappoint and I believe that it is because they didn’t just try and copy the first film. They took what worked from the first film, expanded it perfectly and ended up with one of the year’s best film.

Our Own Comic Book Guy Sounds off on “Guardians of the Galaxy”

*Warning: Probably Going to Offend Some People with this One

Ok, so I know I’m not the movie guy here (not trying to become one either…I like my little corner of the website here talking about comics and games), but I feel I have to take a break from my normal rantings and ravings to rage about a comic book movie issue that is driving me absolutely nuts (we’ll get back to the second half of my take on the independent comics reigning supreme over the current comicscape next time). All I have heard the last couple weeks is about how Guardians of the Galaxy is the best Marvel movie yet. Are you people out of your frakkin collective minds!!??!?!? Have you been fed media crack for so long that your short term memory is that completely and utterly useless??

I even went to go see it a second time, just to be sure I wasn’t the one who was hitting the bottle here (granted, I did sleep through half of it the first time, so I really did have to make sure for myself). I will admit two things and only two things, because they are the only two things that I can truly say in a positive light about Guardians of the Galaxy. #1…Groot rocked, seriously awesome, best character in the movie hands down. Vin Diesel has always been an amazing voice actor (If you haven’t seen Iron Giant, shame on you), but the fact that he was able to convey an array of emotions with only three words was incredible, while the way the character of Groot came to perceive and respond to the world around him was genius. I will give you all that. #2…the movie was fun. The problem, though, is that it was only fun in the way that every other ‘outlaw sci-fi’ movie or television show that has ever been done before was fun (Han Solo in Star Wars, Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly/Serenity, Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica etc). Thus, everyone’s ‘best Marvel movie yet’ was really just recycled, rehashed, retread special effects madness.

Also, there was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much wrong with it!!! The villains were completely and utterly flat and unbelievable with no motivation; the plot was completely (and almost insultingly) simple (good vs evil with ultimate/infinite power looming towards utter destruction), and the characters were just plain boring and rehashed (the ‘outlaw’ leader, the defector from the other side, the vengeance-seeking bruiser…ok, I will give on one more thing, Rocket did have a couple good one-liners – “Ok, so now we’re all standing…just a bunch of jackasses standing up.” That made me laugh). And don’t even get me started on the blatant sexism (the two female characters could have easily wiped the entire cast away in mere seconds. It’s what they were created/trained to do, yet they needed the males in the movie to repeatedly save/lead them..WTF?!?!?)

And need I say it…Howard the Duck?? Howard the frakkin Duck?? How in the frak can you even take that seriously?!?!?!?

Even if there weren’t all these problems with the movie, best Marvel movie yet?? Really?? Have you all really already forgotten Winter Soldier, where S.H.E.I.L.D. collapses and Cap’s best friend comes back as the villain?? Or Thor: Dark World, where Loki just straight up stole the show? Or even Avengers, where Joss Whedon actually raised the bar on comic book movies to challenge the entire world to make them better?? Even before that, Ed Norton just destroyed it as The Hulk. Even as far back as the first Iron Man, which raised questions about the morality of war and making profits of off it when we could be using the same technology for alternate energy sources, the Marvel movies that have come before have not just been ‘fun’, they raised awareness and asked questions; they made social statements. Even the ‘non-Marvel’ Marvel movies (those not done by Marvel studios) were far and above Guardians, or have you all also forgotten X-Men: First Class and The Amazing Spider-Man?

I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, folks. Sorry if I’ve challenged the status quo, but if you actually believe that Guardians of the Galaxy is the best Marvel movie, you are a simpleton who has been easily led astray by a talking raccoon and a dancing plant.

Film Review #2 “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel
Directed By: James Gunn
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 121 minutes
Walt Disney Studios

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Did one of the directors for “Movie 43” and writer for both live-action “Scooby Doo” movies just create the best Marvel movie? Yes. Yes he did. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a consistently fun and entertaining addition to the Marvel canon with enough emotional resonance to exceed beyond your stereotypical summer blockbuster. In a Marvel movie universe populated with an eccentric, metal covered billionaire, a golden haired demi-God and an experimental super soldier, the down on their luck, rag-tag bunch in “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a much needed addition.

While “The Avengers” is a cinematic juggernaut in superhero movies, “Guardians of the Galaxy” features a cast of relatable people and creatures that are far from being “super”. There’s Star-Lord/Peter Quills (Pratt), a human space outlaw who carries around an aged Walkman in the sci-fi landscape because it’s one of the few mementos he has to remember Earth before he was abducted by interstellar bandits. Pratt packed on some serious muscle for the role to give Star-Lord a tough exterior, but Pratt’s natural ability to be a spontaneous goof gives the movie a lovable charming lead.

Counterbalancing Star-Lord is Gamora (Saldana), a personal assassin to Thanos that is ready to redeem her previous misdeeds with steely gazes and swift, punishing punches and kicks. Saldana portrays one of the best superhero heroines in recent memory, providing a necessary ingredient to the group instead of being typecast as the damsel in distress. Its good Gamora can handle Star-Lord’s sarcasm and humor because also compensating for the smug Terran hero is Drax (Bautista). He’s a lumbering muscle with arms as big as my head and he’s intent on seeking vengeance for the murder of his family. It doesn’t help he can’t take a joke or grasp the concept of metaphors.

The two make-up and prosthetic covered heroes are offset by our two CGI heroes, a rambunctious space raccoon by the name of Rocket (Cooper) and a humanoid/tree called Groot (Diesel). These four help maintain an equilibrium between computer animated grandeur and hand crafted elegance. Cooper gives Rocket an arrogant East Coast gangster tone and steals a couple of scenes with his bitter quips. Meanwhile, Diesel had the arduous task of creating a vast depth to Groot since Groot’s only spoken words are “I am Groot”. Despite this hindrance, there are a lot of surprising vocal inflections in the deep rumble of Groot’s voice. He also appears to be the most heartfelt. At one point the group worries about street children pickpocketing them while Groot simply grows a flower out of his hand to offer to a dirt covered girl.

If you think I’ve been focusing on our quintet more than the plot, that’s because they are what makes this movie work. The story is a simple introduction paired with the undeveloped bad guy and explosive third act, but without these actors, their portrayals, and James Gunn’s sharp dialogue, this wouldn’t have excitedly leapt off the script pages. The obvious thing to compliment with a movie like this is the vibrant settings, majestic set-ups and awe-inspiring action, but what really left me satisfied was the foul-mouthed, crotch adjusting, band of misfits that find companionship and discover that drive to do good by the end of the movie. Although they’re still a foul-mouthed, crotch adjusting, band of misfits as the credits roll.

While I listed off a few of James Gunn’s embarrassing credits to begin this review, I’d like to point out that Gunn’s weakest efforts are still pieces that highlight Gunn’s youthful joy for nostalgia and fun with tasteless humor. Without his obscure and essential input, “Guardians of the Galaxy” would have not trekked into more peculiar territories, like Star-Lord’s mixtape that doubles as 70’s and 80’s pop-culture citations, the playful smile from Groot after he probably murder dozens of baddies, and a cameo by Lloyd Kaufman. Christopher Nolan and Marvel have been the “How-To” when it comes to making superhero movies, but they might want to learn a thing or two from Gunn since “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the best movie of the summer.


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Film Review “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 122 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

You know when you walk out of film and can honestly saw it was absolutely perfect, well that is definitely the case with “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Immediately after watching it, my wife and I said that we could have easily sat down again for a second viewing immediately. Marvel Studios has really got something special going on here with their Cinematic Universe for these superheroes. Everyone knows Iron Man or Spider-Man but not everyone knows Guardians of the Galaxy, even Stan Lee was taken on record that he wasn’t sure who all of them were since he didn’t create them (he does have a cameo BTW). So this film was a risky move for them but it really paid off. It was funny, action packed, sharp and just really fun. I couldn’t help sitting in the theater and thinking that this is what “Star Wars” would have been like if it was made today. So who knows maybe in 25 years, this film will have that type of cult status, I certainly think it is capable.

Let’s talk about this ensemble cast, this film has one hell of a amazing cast. Chris Pratt, who plays Peter Quill/Star Lord, is know best from “Parks and Recreation” is blowing up and after this he is starring in “Jurassic World”. This guy really rocks in this film. He is charismatic, funny and just could help it but remind me of a modern Han Solo. Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora, was amazing all in blue in “Avatar” and she is still kick-ass in all green for this film. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the film is absolutely amazing and he is known best for his WWE wrestling career. No idea how this guy said some of his lines without laughing. Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper lend their voices to Groot and Rocket Raccoon, respectively. They both easily steal the show, no question. Yes, that’s right a talking tree and a raccoon. Top of this amazing cast with Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro. Makes up a hell of a dream cast.

The film starts off with us taking a trip to 1988, where we meet a young Peter Quill at his mother’s death bed. After her passing, he runs out of the hospital and ends up getting abducted by a spaceship. Flash forward 26 years later on a distant abandoned planet we meet again Peter Quill all grown up and seeking out an orb, in order to get a pay day. He finds that this orb is much more valuable then he originally thought and has many people trying to get it for themselves leading him to meeting Gamora, Rocket and Groot. The three of them end up in a high security jail after a fight for the orb. Joining up with a inmate named Drax in the jail, the group breaks out of prison to return the orb to safety after they find out what it is capable and who is really after it. Ensue hilarity and epic space battles. Did I mention that Thanos also pops in for a few…

The film looks just really amazing. I loved the use of practical effects mixed in with CGI. Director James Gunn is known for that and if you need an example check his past film “Slither”, which is tremendously underrated. The visual effects are also top notch for Marvel. The space fights are absolutely epic and really action packed. The 3D effects are also woven in very well, so they feel very organic and really draw you into film. And of course, the music…oh the music! I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack for this film, which is very 70/80’s inspired with tracks like “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop and the scene stealing “O-o-h Child” by Five Stairsteps. Music is very important to me in a film and tied in with Tyler Bates amazing score, this film’s music is literally a character itself.

Looking back on the summer so far, I think about films like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and I enjoyed all of them but when you put them next to a film like this it honestly puts them to shame. I liked those but they were all flawed, I can say that this film is perfect. No question, Marvel’s best film to date and easily my favorite film of the summer. Can’t wait for the sequel, which is already scheduled to be released on July 28, 2017. Be sure to also stay at the end of the credits for a really cool post credits scene. It may not be incredibly important to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but still very cool. Now if you excuse me…ooga-chaka, ooga-chaka!

Meet the Guardians of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” finds space adventurer Peter Quill the object of a bounty hunt after stealing an orb coveted by a treacherous villain, but when Quill discovers the power it holds, he must find a way to rally the quartet of ragtag rivals hot on his trail to save the universe.

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.


Rocket Raccoon




Peter Quill

Guardians of the Galaxy – Trailer #1

Twitter: @Guardians
Tweet the Hashtag: #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters on August 1, 2014!

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector.

James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.

3D Blu-ray Review "Rise of the Guardians"

Actors: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman
Directors: Peter Ramsey
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 97 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Rise of the Guardians” is based on author William Joyce’s the “Guardians of Childhood” book series, read our interview with him here. The film was released in theaters and really got a bad rep. I think people don’t really understand why this film wasn’t the biggest animated film of the year. It came out with no competition but luckily it had some great legs nonetheless. I personally wasn’t thrilled the first time I saw it. I liked it but wasn’t blown away…that is because I did not see it in 3D. Wow, what a difference. This film really gets its wings with the addition of the third dimension. It also really has grown on my since. My 9-month also daughter also seems to really like it (not in 3D though, since the glasses don’t fit). But she goes crazy over this gorgeously animated film. If you like Dreamworks other titles like “How to Train Your Dragon”, this isn’t on par for story but production and quality it is.  I would recommend checking this out for sure, especially in 3D if possible.

Official Premise: When an evil spirit known as Pitch Black (Jude Law), the reviled Bogeyman, lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians — Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Sandman and spirit of winter Jack Frost (Chris Pine) — must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imaginations of children all over the world.

Since their success with “Shrek”, one of the great things that Dreamworks has really delivered consistenly with their animated films is amazing voice casts.  This film really boasts a very fun and colorful cast of actors including Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman.  Alec Baldwin is a blast playing good ‘ole Saint Nick.  Jude Law is a fantastic baddie voicing the Bogeyman. Speaking of sound, Dreamworks really delivered one heck of a fantastic Blu-ray presentation here. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround track is a think of beauty.  The film represented so well here with this track, especially the action scenes, which there are quite a few of.  It delivers the dialogue from the voice cast perfectly as well.  I really had to keep adjusting my 7.1 surround sound speakers so that it didn’t rumble my frames off the walls.  The 1080p transfer is also another gem of this release.  The 3D really adds so much wonderful depth to the film. The colors are so prominent and sharp that they literally jump off the screen. If you don’t have 3D Blu-ray, this release also comes with a standard Blu-ray, a DVD and a Ultraviolet Digital Copy. I have to say easily a 5/5 score just for the audio/video on this release.

The special features just continue on the successful path for delivers an impressive Blu-ray release. First off we have a don’t miss – audio commentary track including the director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein.  It gives tons of information about this giant production and is very entertaining. “Behind the Magic” is a great four part feature series to explore the filmmakers’ journey with the look, characters, effects and music, including “Dreaming Up the Look”, “Naughty & Nice: Designing Memorable Characters”, “Enchanting Effects” and “Creating an Epic Score”.  All of these factors are such a part of this film being a success.  “The Man Behind the Guardians” is a feature on the author William Joyce and how his novel is brought to life. “Dreamers and Believers” looks into the the characters of the film with the cast and crew. “Sandy’s Dream Guide” is an interactive guide to interpret your dreams. Lastly there are two additional interactive games that are exclusive to the Blu-ray,  The first is called “Jack Frost Snowball Showdown” and the second is “Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy”, both fun for kids to enjoy!

Dreamworks Animation’s Magical and Critically-acclaimed Adventure, "Rise of the Guardians, Debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD



Perfect For Easter Baskets, Gift Pack Arrives March 12th With The Heartwarming Film AND Two Hopping Toy Eggs! 

HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 13, 2013) – Praised by critics and moviegoers of all ages, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) spectacular and heartfelt adventure RISE OF THE GUARDIANS soars onto  Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D™ and DVD on March 12, 2013.  Hailed as “brilliant” and “the best family film of the year” (Joel Amos, with “spellbinding power” (James Verniere,Boston Herald) and “dazzling animation” (Tom Long, Detroit News), RISE OF THE GUARDIANS received outstanding audience reactions and a coveted ‘A’ Cinemascore.  DreamWorks Animation’s newest animated adventure has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide with a fun-filled and magical story about the legendary guardians—Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman—together for the first time!  When the evil Pitch threatens to take over the world, it’s up to our beloved heroes to protect the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.  Filled with non-stop action and laughs, it’s a dazzling family film that’s being hailed as “an instant classic” (Nancy Jay, Daybreak USA).

Just in time for Easter, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack with UltraViolet™ or single-disc DVD, each of which includes two delightful hopping toy eggs inspired by the ones seen in the film (while supplies last—quantities are limited).  The combo pack and single-disc DVD also include special features that take viewers behind-the-scenes to learn more about the magic used to bring the story to life.

Featuring an all-star cast of voice talent including Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS delivers humor, adventure and exceptional entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.  The film will also be available on March 12th in a three-disc Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack with UltraViolet and for digital download on February 26th.


DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray Combo Pack

The Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack includes two hopping toy eggs, plus almost an hour of bonus features:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

Feature film in high definition


Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features:

  • Jack Frost Snowball Showdown!—Use your remote to duck and dodge snowballs!
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy—See if you can beat the Sandman in this classic game.


Additional Bonus Features:

  • Behind the Magic—Explore the filmmakers’ journey to create Rise of the Guardians’ enthralling look, characters, effects and music:
    • Dreaming Up the Look
    • Naughty & Nice: Designing Memorable Characters
    • Enchanting Effects
    • Creating an Epic Score
  • The Man Behind the Guardians—Learn how DreamWorks Animation worked with author William Joyce to bring his novels to life.
  • Dreamers and Believers—A look at the cast and characters of Rise of the Guardians.
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide—The Sandman helps interpret your dreams in this interactive guide.
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary—With director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein.


Disc 2 (DVD):

Feature film in standard definition

Bonus features:

  • Dreamers and Believers
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide
  • More Magic (DVD-ROM)—Printable egg holders, coloring sheets and more—perfect for Easter fun!
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Previews


DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians  Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack

The Rise of the Guardians Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Pack includes the following:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray 3D):

Feature film in high definition and 3D


Disc 2 (Blu-ray):

Same as Blu-ray contents listed above


Disc 3 (DVD):

Same as DVD contents listed above


DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians  DVD

The single-disc DVD includes two hopping toy eggs, plus the following:

Feature film in standard definition

Bonus features:

  • Dreamers and Believers
  • Sandy’s Dream Guide
  • More Magic (DVD-ROM)
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Previews

UltraViolet is a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

About DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list.  All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 25 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Puss in Boots. The Company’s theatrical releases for 2013 are The Croods on March 22, Turbo on July 19 and Mr. Peabody & Sherman on November 1.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution

Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.


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William Joyce talks about the film “Rise of the Guardians” and book series “The Guardians of Childhood”

William Joyce is the author of the “The Guardians of Childhood” series, which is being made into the film, “Rise of the Guardians”. William also served as executive producer on the film. William recently released the third novel in “The Guardians of the Childhood” series, called “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies” and also a picture book “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask William a few questions about turning his series into a film and chatted about his new books.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your work on DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians”?
William Joyce: The upcoming DreamWorks Animation “Rise of the Guardians”, set for release on November 21, is based on my book series “The Guardians of Childhood.” It takes place 200 years after the team’s formation in the books; it tells the story of Jack’s recruitment to the team and centers around four of the guardians; Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny. The Guardians of Childhood book series tells a sweeping tale of the ongoing battle between Pitch, lord of nightmares, and the eponymous guardians, consisting of figures such as the Man in the Moon, Nicolas St. North, the Tooth Fairy, Bunnymund the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, Mother Goose, and Jack Frost. I also worked as the executive producer, so I collaborated on all aspects of the film. Design, story, and casting.

MG: What was the most challenging aspect of bringing “The Guardians of Childhood” to screen?
WJ: Narrowing the story down to a 90 minute film, then bringing that story to the screen. Animated feature films are titanic endeavors, and take years to realize.

MG: Tell us about the next novel in the series “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies”?
WJ: Toothania, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, is the third and the newest in The Guardian series. It delves into the secret world of the third Guardian, the mysterious Tooth Fairy. This third chapter book presents you to Her Royal Highness, Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairies. There’s a lot more to her than has been previously understood.

MG: How many other book do you have planned in this series?
WJ: The Guardians of Childhood Series and The Guardians series will consist in total of thirteen books; the seven picture books in The Guardians of Childhood series and six chapter books in the Guardians of Childhood series.

MG: How did the idea for picture book “The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie” come about?
WJ: I’ve been working on a unified mythology for the icons of childhood since my daughter asked me if Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy knew each other. As a parent, I felt that Santa Claus, the Man in the Moon, all of them had become a little diminished. They deserve to be thought of as grand. Heroic. Epic. If Spider-Man has an origins mythology, then why not the characters we actually believed in? Creating a voice for their stories became my mission.

MG: Tell us about the road to “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” winning the Best Animated Short in 2011 Oscars?
WJ: We started Moonbot Studios three years ago, in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s an unlikely place to have an animation studio. We are, I believe, the 104th largest city in the United States. But we love it. Shreveport is home. To do the short we had to mortgage our houses and hunt for every nickel we could rub together. It was a huge risk. But we believed in ourselves and the story. Most of our employees were fresh out of college. Working at Moonbot was their first job. When we won, the whole city, the entire state of Louisiana, went nuts. It was like a Frank Capra movie come to life. They gave us a ticker tape parade, a key to the city, and sang for he’s a jolly good fellow. Our lives became like the movies we’d been inspired by and loved. It was surreal, unspeakably happy and perfect. But now our employees are totally spoiled.

MG: What can you tell us about your next film “Epic”?
WJ: Epic is an upcoming 3D computer animated fantasy-adventure film based on my children’s book “The Leaf Men.” It’s an epic adventure that just happens to be in the secret world of a teenage girl’s backyard. A race o tiny beings threatened by an ancient evil. I like to think of it as an intimate epic. It’s being produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Chris Wedge, the director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). It stars the voices of Beyoncé Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, and Steven Tyler. The film is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2013.

Book Review “The Art of Rise of the Guardians”

Author: Ramin Zahed
Hardcover: 158 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: October 22, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you are aware of “The Guardians of Childhood” series, which “Rise of the Guardians” is based off of, then you will appreciate the artwork from the series. The world that was created for this movie are provided in very high-detail through this book.  The children’s series is written by William Joyce, who’s also the film’s executive producer and gives a very nice foreword on the book.

“The Art of Rise of the Guardians” includes wonderful concept art for the DreamWorks animated film. The basis of the book is focused on the six main characters: North, Bunny, Tooth, Sandy, Jack Frost and Pitch. There is character profiles, as well as 3D and classic animation for each. Like I mentioned about the detail, besides just the character profiles, there is landscapes and sketches of the environments that were developed.  In the book, you get to see the work of all these fantastic artists and craftspeople who have collaborated in order to create DreamWorks Animation’s most ambitious films to date.

In the film “Rise of the Guardians”, North (Alec Baldwin), Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Isla Fisher), and Sandman try to recruit the mysterious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to help them stop Pitch (Jude Law) from putting an end to childhood belief and sending the world into eternal darkness.

Ramin Zahed is the editor in chief of Animation Magazine.  The man knows animation and gives this film art book the right treatment.  Alec Baldwin who voices North, gives a wonderful foreword.  The book itself has this very simplistic feeling.  Some of the pages are very simple, while some are jam-packed and extremely colorful.  I feel that it is really a wonderful balance of the two. The pastel of colors used in the book and throughout the film really pop-out here in the art-of book.  I am looking forward to this film very much and now more so since reading this book.