Score = B
(Animation, Family/Adventure/ Rated-PG)
Review by: Kisho Wolfe
Logline: Do you still believe?
Many moons ago, when we were children, we believed. We believed in a magical world of folklore passed down through generations. The Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Sandman, and of course, jolly old Saint Nick, just to name a few. Our reserve was strong in regards to entities unseen, well, at least until someone spilled the beans and crushed all of our dreams…
Rise of the Guardians remembers the tale of some of our fabled heroes and takes us back to a place. A place of innocence and imagination. A toy factory in the North Pole, a secret underground where Easter eggs are painted; everything was real, as long as we believed. Of course, just like light and fluffy tales, there are also dark and scary ones. The Boogeyman A.K.A Pitch Black to be more specific. Once the lights went out, the Sandman was a distant second to the anticipation of nightmares from this guy. He was a bit of folklore I could have done without when I was young.
Over the years, The Boogeyman has been waiting, waiting for the fears of little children to grow, which, in turn, makes him stronger. His moment finally arrives a few days before Easter. He launches a plan to destroy children’s belief in our heroes until all that is left is fear. And the plan looks thorough. So thorough that the Man on the Moon has chosen an additional hero to become a guardian to assist with the problem: Jack Frost. But, how can he help if no one believes in him? And does he even want to help?
Rise of the Guardians does justice for the imagination. It’s a heartwarming animation that, truth be told, almost feels like it was meant more for us adults. The innocence of children, Tooth Fairy missing the aspect of being ‘out in the field’ among the little ones while they sleep, Sandman’s double entendre (gently “sanding” folks to sleep and also being a sand-slinging bad-ass), the list goes on… The themes soared easily over the heads of today’s electronic-aged youth, indicated by whispered explanations from parents heard around the theater at different points of the movie. No game systems, MP3’s or even televisions are present in this movie; and going outside to play in the snow—puleeaase. Although, I whole-heartedly salute the film makers for the socialism aspect.
At the end of the day, Rise of the Guardians is filled with magic and wonder that most of us have probably tucked away in a vault somewhere deep in our psyche ever since a certain teenage wizard’s adventure ended a while back. But, I personally welcome all the wonder that crosses my path and only hope there’s more to come.