The secret identities of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy come to light in this enchanting animated adventure that turns the familiar figures into a band of superheroes.

Santa (voiced by Alec Baldwin) has tattoos and a Russian accent, Hugh Jackman’s Bunny is a boomerang-wielding Australian badass and Isla Fisher’s Tooth is half-human, half-hummingbird. Along with the dream-weaving Sandman, the trio are Guardians, fostering innocence and imagination for as long as children believe in their existence.

But when the wicked bogeyman Pitch (Jude Law) appears on the scene, threatening to replace hopes and dreams with fear, the Guardians must recruit prankster loner Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to help defeat him.

Based on a series of children’s books by William Joyce, the film has a giddy energy when the heroes are whooshing and swooping through the air, or gliding and skittering on ice. But there’s darkness, too, with Pitch unleashing scary nightmares in the form of sinister smoke-black stallions, brilliantly conjured up by DreamWorks’ animators.

The story dips a little in the middle, but the pace soon picks up, buoyed along by the superb cast. Full of wonder, fun and excitement, this is magic.