Rise of the Guardians
Film Review by Kam Williams
Mythological Figures Fight for Kids’ Innocence in Enchanting Animated Adventure
When the Boogeyman (Jude Law) hatches a diabolical plan to dash the dreams of sugarplums dancing in tykes’ heads and to steal baby teeth left under their pillows at bedtime, it’s clear that something must be done. For, if left unchecked, it’ll just be a matter of time before the evil schemer will quash kids’ belief in the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Sandman.
Fortunately, these beloved mythical figures have already united to fight their longtime adversary by forming the Guardians, an association dedicated to the preservation of the innocence, imagination and sense of wonder of children all over the world. And at the direction of their sage inspirational leader, the Man in the Moon, they proceed to implore Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to sign-on as an indispensable addition to their ragtag team.
Initially, Jack proves a rather reluctant superhero, between his immaturity and a traumatic feeling of inadequacy resulting from his invisibility. But he ultimately succumbs to his earnest confederates’ relentless pressuring that, “You cannot say no!” and “It is destiny!”
With greatness thus thrust upon him, will Jack rise to the occasion to spearhead the charge against the Boogeyman? That is the pivotal question posed by the premise of Rise of the Guardians, an enchanting fairytale loosely based on “The Guardians of Childhood” series of best-sellers by William Joyce.
This action-oriented, animated adventure marks the auspicious directorial debut of veteran storyboard artist Peter Ramsey who makes novel enough use of state-of-the-art 3-D technology here to warrant an investment in goggles for an amplified enjoyment of all the eye-popping, special f/x. Nevertheless, at heart, the picture remains a sweet story with a universal message about the importance of protecting children’s innocence.
Although aimed at the very impressionable, still-believing demographic, Rise of the Guardians is apt to resonate with kids of any age with an intact sense of wonder and awe. Yes, Virginia, there is not only a Santa Claus, but a Tooth Fairy, a Jack Frost, an Easter Bunny, and a Sandman, too.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG for mature themes and scary action sequences
Running time: 97 minutes
Distributor: Dreamworks Pictures
To see a trailer for Rise of the Guardians, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3OmoPtPp0I