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Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

Rise of the Guardians delivers some holiday fun

Posted Monday, November 26, 2012, at 2:31 PM

Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians is a wonderful family-film reminding us of our purity as children and the power of finding your purpose in life. The film follows our most popular cultural mythical characters: North (Santa Claus voiced by Alec Baldwin), Bunny (the Easter Bunny voiced by Hugh Jackman), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy voiced by Isla Fisher) and Sandy (the Sandman), guardians of children's innocence and memories, protectors against Pitch (the Boogeyman voiced by Jude Law) who is threatening children with fear and nightmares. The Man in the Moon reveals to North that Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine) is to become the newest guardian leaving the Guardians bewildered and openly questioning the decision.

Frost's character, which never wears shoes and derives his power from a mysterious staff, is one of mischievousness, and even he is doubtful that the Man in the Moon has it right. However, when Pitch steals Tooth's fairies as well as all the teeth she has collected, which hold the key to every child's memories, Frost agrees to help the Guardians. Frost, who is desperately seeking the answer to why he is on the Earth, hopes that his own teeth will hold that answer.

The Guardians band together to collect children's teeth so that they will continue to believe in the Guardians, which is the key to their power. Unfortunately, events begin to unravel against Frost and the Guardians, and little by little children begin to lose faith and their nightmares, induced by Pitch continue to grow. All the children seem lost except for one: Jamie, a young boy that through a comical chain of events sees the Guardians in his bedroom. Ridiculed by his friends for believing in the Easter Bunny, Jamie begs for a sign and receives one from Frost.

Reinvigorated by a child that can finally see him, Frost leads Jamie, his friends and the rest of the Guardians in an epic finale against Pitch. The film is filled with spiritual applications, including the idea that although evil can be seen we shouldn't be afraid of it. Frost's journey to discover who he is and why he is here and his discovery of his emotional center can be seen as a parallel for anyone who has struggled to find their purpose in life.

Director Peter Ramsey, who incidentally becomes the first African-American to direct a fully computer animated film, gives a respectable showing in his directorial big screen debut. Ramsey uses his skills from years of work in art departments to tell a wonderful story based on William Joyce's novels and short animated film. The film is a fun adventure for anyone from the age of nine to ninety-nine.

Rise of the Guardians is rated PG for thematic elements and mild scary action.

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