This vibrant, entertaining Christmas-flavoured 3D cartoon brings together a quintet of benevolent kids’ characters – Santa, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny – for a showdown against every child’s worst nightmare: the Bogeyman. Despite a hectic storyline, some hit-and-miss comedy and a hammer-it-home message that Santa et al do indeed exist (they do, kids, really they do), it’s still one of the most enjoyable festive family films of the past few years.First-time director Peter Ramsey’s sharp eye for detail is evident in the dazzling animation. The characters, too, are well rounded and mostly likeable, none more so than the mute, Yoda-like Sandman, who wields the film’s prettiest special effects. ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an effervescent dose of fantasia that’s pretty hard to dislike. Unless, of course, you’re a cynical grump.