Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise of the Guardians small

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 soaredrise_of_the_guardians Santa's tatts 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.

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Media Restrictions

You ever notice how certain media is not released in your area?  A video game that’s gained your attention or a movie you’ve been itching to see.  Over the summer I’ve seen previews of Anna Karenina blasted all over the theaters and guess what, it’s not playing anywhere near my area.  After the fury subsided, I tried to break out the logic in me to decipher why a movie involving a highly successful director and acting crew would not be released in mass proportion, and I seriously did not find the logic in this.

After a bit of research, I was flabbergasted to discover 2012’s Anna Karenina was only released in sixteen theaters domestically…SIXTEEN!  I don’t know about you, but if I was the financial backer on this project and collectively spent roughly forty million dollars on a movie, you better believe I’d be doing what was necessary to get that forty million dollar flick seen by everybody and their mother, from the UK to the US and beyond!  I guess the biggest part of my anger lies in the fact of the whole situation feeling like a mocked version of Robin Leach and the Rich and Famous; “Here’s a brand new movie featuring one of your faaavorite producer-actress combos… and yoooou can’t watch it.”   …And then they wonder why there’s so much pirating and illegal importing of everything under the sun.

I’m sure there will be an available DVD or Netflix copy sometime next year, however, some things are just meant to be experienced in their original medium for the full effect. Whether a move is a dud or not, it’s nice to have the option of witnessing an anticipated piece first hand.  Am I asking too much?