November 26, 2012

Movie Review: Rise of the Guardians

This past week has been rough around our house. My youngest had the respiratory flu and my oldest ended the week with a stomach bug. I teased that with "plague" and "petulance" over the holiday break we MUST be reaching an end of the world scenario. After all of that happened though, and we were a good 2 days clear of the bugs, I decided that the entire family needed to be treated to a movie, so we went to see Rise of the Guardians.

The basic plot of the movie is that 4 "Guardians" protect the special wonder and awe children have, as they grow up "believing". Each guardian has their own special way they help protect the children.

The guardians - Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman - find out that the Man in The Moon has chosen a new protector of the children, when Jack Frost is made the 5th guardian. Jack however is not as accepting of this new role and must learn about who he is, what his center is, and why he is special enough to become a guardian of the world's children. Only after embracing all of this is he allowed to truly become a Guardian.

When the Bogeyman invades the children's dreams, the team sets out to defeat the world-wide threat that would destroy all hopes and dreams, and ultimately would destroy each Guardian.

I especially enjoyed the storytellers interpretation of each character and their origins. Santa, or Saint Nicholas is Russian in every sense of the word, while the Easter Bunny looks to live in the Pacific Ocean somewhere, perhaps on Easter Island and has a wonderful Australian-ish accent. (It helps that his voice-over was done by Hugh Jackman!)

The characters are beautiful animated, have a full, well-written back stories that allows parents and children alike to be able to identify with each character. You might even find yourself swept into the story enough to empathize with each character and their plight to defend evil. I'm not going to say that I did, but there MIGHT have been a misty-eyed moment or two as I became rapped into the story.

There were plenty of laughs and hidden jokes along the way too, which allows parents and children to enjoy the movie. You will also enjoy figuring out who performs the voices of each character and enjoy catching the fun visual jokes along the way.

My daughter does not like 3D animation, so we saw this film the old fashioned way - sans 3-d glasses! The beautiful, scenic backdrop of vivid colors, patterns and styles though would have been well-suited for seeing the movie in 3D though. The eye-candy was a wonderful sight to see and added much value to the film.

The film is very appropriate for children of all ages and would make a perfect holiday movie. Although there are moments that might be considered scary, overall it is not too scary for kids. I believe that this movie will easily become a holiday classic, watched each year. The values and lessons are all too clear and help augment this fun and satisfying movie.

Bottom line - Go see it!

Rise of the Guardians is in theaters now and is rated PG with a run time of 97 minutes. 

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