Rise of the Guardians: Season Two is a 2018 American traditional-animated action-adventure fantasy dark dramedy film based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series and The Man in the Moon short film by Joyce and Reel FX Creative Studios. It is produced by Amblimation and The Kennedy/Marshall Company and distributed by Universal Pictures.
Serving as a sequel to Rise of the Guardians (2012), this film is directed by Johane Matte and co-directed by C.H. Greenblatt (in their directorial debuts) from a story by them and a screenplay by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Noah Baumbach and David Lindsay-Abaire.
Production on this film began in 2014 with the goal being that the sequel improves upon the first film. New ideas for the film were conceived with the premise revolving around a little boy which didn't happen in the first film. New characters for the film were announced during production along with new cast members.
The film was theatrically released on December 25, 2018 worldwide and received mixed to positive reviews from critics who praised the animation, voice acting, humor and tone of the movie while also criticizing the runtime for being "a little longer than the typical animated feature".
The story continues from the events of the first film where the guardians left Jamie and his friends. The group wave goodbye as they leave, but North suddenly shouts that they are never coming back, and the sleigh warps away. Jamie turns around to see a dystopian version of his town and that some of his friends and he himself have turned extremely old while waiting for them. He wakes up suddenly, realizing the whole event was just a dream, but is miserable that he's getting recurring nightmares and that he is still stuck in Burgess with his family.
Jack Frost invites Jamie to the North Pole where the guardians are celebrating his birthday, but showing a memory of him at a very young age playing hockey with his parents only gets him to miss his father a little. Jamie learns and decides that he and the group should find whereabouts of his missing father. The only problem is that the tooth palace is still a little rusty from the guardians' last mission. However, Jack Frost comforts him and makes sure that everything will be okay if he believes.
Several months later, the Burgess Elementary School announces that due to a snow day back in April, they'll have to do an essay on what they did during said month and that one child will be permanently let go from the school. When the final choice comes down to Jamie and another boy, the former nearly blacks out from an overabundance of stress. After he awakens in the hospital, a specialty doctor connects him with a holiday music collection to help him relax. When his friends and eventually the children of this school get hooked on the music as well, the people of the Burgess schoolboard become so impressed that they organize a two-week holiday field trip to New York in December.
During the bus ride, Jamie finds an attractive girl named Jenna. He takes the opportunity to compete for her affections with other people and win her over but his attempts to bond on the airplane ride fall flat.
On the first night of the field trip, Jack Frost and the four guardians (North, Tooth, Sandy and Bunny) quietly bring Jamie to the North Pole where they get a distress signal from the Moon. They go there as a result and pass off Jamie as Jack Frost's long-lost immortal son named Jack Jr. to The Man in the Moon who tells them that there are other guardians and that Pitch Black is returning again. In order to stop him, they must embark on an epic quest to unify the unsung heroes that they've never seen or heard of before. Most of North's crew (the elves and yetis) leave him when he refuses to let the crew go with them and makes them stay in the workshop to build toys for Christmas morning, with Phil the Yeti and Dingle the Elf staying behind and joining the six heroes due to them not being there when the others leave with their new leader, Carl the Yeti.
Meanwhile, Pitch Black invites his team of anti-guardians (Krampus, Baba Yaga, Bloody Mary, the Slenderman and The Tall Tailor/Scissorman) to discuss his new plan. When the anti-guardians tell him that it can't work due to his plan being foiled last time, Pitch Black tries to give them new ideas. Scissorman tells Pitch that he and the team should work together as a team. Pitch Black is blown away by this and realizes that uniting an army of evil would make him more powerful than ever. He and the anti-guardians decide to gather up a team of the most feared bounty hunters that they can find and when they do, the guardians will be helpless against them.
Using Sandy's mode of transportation, the guardians board a dreamship in hopes that they will discover lands hidden from Earth. Aboard the dreamship, Jamie sends letters to his friends, turns them into paper planes, and wonders if there is more to life than the routine he goes through. Jack Frost tries to tell him the story of himself and his sister when he was a mortal only to be interrupted by Tooth and Bunny. Jamie tells them that they were reminiscing about stuff like the Easter Fever and that when he comes back, he might sign up for a school program where children reach the point in their lives when they want to meet other people and have a relationship. Toothiana is confused by this and checks to see if North is okay, Jack and Bunny follow suit and Jamie gets ready to sleep in his personalized cabin.
The Guardians (except for Sandy) are somehow facing an identity crisis, North wonders if he was too harsh on his crew, Jack Frost worries about trying to get more people to believe in him, Toothiana is confused about dating, and Bunnymund realizes how rude he actually is to others. Things take a turn for the worse when Sandy's dreamship slowly enters into a huge storm and though the guardians try to keep it from getting destroyed, the storm proves to be successful in damaging the ship and it ends up crash-landing onto a deserted island.
On the island, the guardians argue over how they almost died while Jamie becomes lost from the gang and is almost captured by seaweed monsters. The guardians snap out of their argument when they hear screaming and are successful in saving the boy when they meet Davy Jones. She tells them that they were supposed to be killed off by Pitch Black, but they ended up alive and well in the process. Due to her reluctancy with Pitch Black, Davy Jones tells them to go before more trouble is done.
In New York City, Jamie's friends sneak away from the rest of the children on the field trip after they realize that he is missing and cross paths with the elves and yetis who don't help them after being shown a poster for this child. Shortly after that, Pippa gets an idea and discusses with Monty, Caleb, Claude and Cupcake that they should become super-powered heroes. Pippa becomes "The Speedster", and can run at amazing speeds, Cupcake becomes "Little Miss Magma", and gains the ability to produce fire and lava, Monty becomes "Stretchy-Boy", and gains the ability to stretch his body to incredible lengths, Caleb becomes "Brightlight", and gains the ability to bring light to places where there aren't any, and Claude becomes "The Disappearer", who can become completely invisible.
On a submarine that Sandy built out of dreamsand, the guardians conduct a briefing on where to find the whereabouts of Mother Nature and Katherine. After the briefing, Jamie admits that he does not care for pizza and a heated debate ensues, ending with Jamie declaring his love for french fries. Suddenly, the Leviathan causes a severe leak in Sandy's submarine which slowly falls apart and leads to it exploding underwater.
Above the ocean waves, Dark Jamie (a ruthless bounty hunter that Pitch made by combining a tiny pinch of the positive version's hair with Pitch's nightmare sand) investigates the waters and gives the Leviathan a bucket of fish as a treat for drowning out the guardians and his "copy-cat". Pitch Black, the Anti-Guardians, and the bounty hunters are soon taken out by him to have a good time. While out partying, Pitch Black and Dark Jamie have a discussion outside about the only thing floating in the ocean that isn't in Sandy's submarine. It is then shown that Jack Frost, North, Toothiana, Sandy, Bunnymund, Jamie, Phil, Dingle, and Baby Tooth survived and are now stuck on a floating ice raft together. They have no choice but to ride the foggy waters.
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Cast and characters
- Jacob Tremblay as Jamie Bennett, the film's main protagonist.
- Chris Pine as Jack Frost (Guardian of Fun), one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- Alec Baldwin as Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus/Guardian of Wonder), one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- Baldwin also voices Dark Jamie, a ruthless bounty hunter/dark version of Jack Frost's first believer that Pitch made by combining a tiny pinch of the positive version's hair with Pitch's nightmare sand.
- Hugh Jackman as E. Aster Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny/Guardian of Hope), one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- Isla Fisher as Toothiana (the Tooth Fairy/Guardian of Memories), one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- N/A as Sandy (The Sandman/Guardian of Dreams), one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- Brianna Denski as Jenna, one of the film's six secondary protagonists.
- Mila Kunis as Mother Nature (Guardian of Nature), one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Kristin Chenoweth as Katherine (Guardian of Storytelling), one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Awkwafina as Aurora (Guardian of Spring), one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Rachel Bloom as Lavender (Guardian of Summer), one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Charlyne Yi as Scarlett (Guardian of Autumn), one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Will Arnett as Lucky the Leprechaun
- Seth Rogen as Flippy the Groundhog
- Daniel Radcliffe as Tall William
- Tom Holland as William the Almost Youngest
- Gabriel Bateman as William the Absolute Youngest
- Dustin Hoffman as The Man in the Moon
- Philip Solomon as Caleb
- Shahidi Wright Joseph as Claude
- Iain Armitage as Monty
- Mckenna Grace as Pippa
- Zooey Deschanel as Cupcake
- Brie Larson as Laura Bennett
- Finley Rose Slater as Sophie Bennett
- Jude Law as Pitch Black, the film's main antagonist.
- F. Murray Abraham as Krampus, one of the film's five secondary antagonists.
- Seth MacFarlane as The Tall Tailor/Scissorman, one of the film's five secondary antagonists.
- Amanda Seyfried as Bloody Mary, one of the film's five secondary antagonists.
- Artemis Pebdani as Baba Yaga, one of the film's five secondary antagonists.
- N/A as the Slenderman, one of the film's five secondary antagonists.
- Zoe Saldana as Davy Jones, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired and one of the film's several deuteragonists.
- Nick Kroll as Keith, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Danny McBride as Tim, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Zach Galifianakis as Eric, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Fabio Tassone as Grim Malice, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired and Pitch's brother that he hasn't seen in decades.
- Gary Oldman as Sin Cantus, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Oldman also voices Inferno, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Karen Gillan as Ava Hollow, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- N/A as Mr. Nobody, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Kristen Wiig as Mae, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- Kate McKinnon as Oberon, one of the many bounty hunters that Pitch and the Anti-Guardians hired.
- This is the fourth Amblimation film to be rated PG-13 due to sequences of threat, action/violence, rude/suggestive humor and language.