A true surprise, this feature directing debut from storyboard artist Peter Ramsey isn't the lump of coal I expected. Instead it's a computer-animated crowd pleaser featuring unique interpretations of mythical childhood characters reinvented as the kiddie equivalent (well, kiddie-er) of The Avengers. When the world is threatened by the Bogeyman (coolly voiced by Jude Law), Santa Claus — re-imagined as a tattooed, saber-wielding Cossack named North (Alec Baldwin, merry with a Russian accent) — assembles "the Guardians": Tooth (Isla Fisher), an aquatic colored flitting fairy; Sandy, the mute Sandman; and E. Aster Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), a 6-foot-1, boomerang-slinging Aussie rabbit. The script by David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), based on William Joyce's books and focused on new recruit Jack Frost (a fine Chris Pine), is your average hero's journey with a Spartacus-lite climax. But the various parts certainly add up to a zippy, enjoyable 3D whole.