Movie Review: Rise of the Guardians Matches Childhood Wonder With Dazzling High-Tech Eye Candy

Haven’t we run out of iconic beings to cluster in po-mo kids’ movies yet? The Shrek films clustered together characters such as Pinocchio, the Gingerbread Man, Rumpelstiltskin, and Puss ‘n Boots, and more recently, Hotel Transylvania gave us a zippy comic adventure involving Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the gang. So, on cue, here’s Rise of the Guardians, an animated film that brings together Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman in an unlikely alliance to protect childhood innocence from evil and fear, like a fairy-tale variation on The Avengers. And as much as its premise may sound like the start of a bad joke, Peter Ramsey’s movie preserves just enough genuine childhood wonder in its whooshing, high-tech theatrics to make it a delight.

The conceit here is that the Guardians are about to gain a new member: Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine), a young and brash kid who can turn anything into ice and doesn’t seem to quite adhere to the age-old, noble, self-giving codes of this magical collective. (The Easter Bunny, charmingly voiced by Hugh Jackman in a full-on Australian accent, certainly doesn’t think much of the guy.) It’s all part of a renewed effort to fight a gathering evil: Pitch Black (Jude Law), a.k.a. the Bogeyman, is marshaling his forces in an effort to destroy childhood dreams and replace them with nightmares and darkness. So basically everybody’s screwed if the Guardians don’t get the job done. Read More...


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