REEL REVIEWS: Guardians give reason to believe

North, better known as Santa Claus, voiced by Alec Baldwin, joins the Guardians to save the world from Pitch Black in Rise of the Guardians.  - DreamWorks Animation
North, better known as Santa Claus, voiced by Alec Baldwin, joins the Guardians to save the world from Pitch Black in Rise of the Guardians.
— image credit: DreamWorks Animation

Rise of the Guardians is a computer animated adventure by Dreamworks.

The Guardians were chosen by the Man in the Moon to protect the wonder, hope, innocence and memories of the world’s children, simply by going about their unique professions.

On the role call are: Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Sandman (who doesn’t speak), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and Jack Frost (Chris Pine).

Based on the book series, The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce, the Guardians must help break in their newest member, Jack Frost, in time to defeat Pitch Black (the boogeyman, voiced by Jude Law.) Pitch Black’s power is on the rise as children around the world give in to fear, which feeds his Night Mares.

Can this league of united legends defeat fear and keep magic in the world?

We say, “If the moon tells you something, believe it.”

HOWE: To me the trailer for Rise of the Guardians doesn’t really do it justice. When I saw it, I rolled my eyes and thought, “great, another terrible animated movie.” How nice it was to be wrong. I loved it and I wasn’t the only one. I took my son, five, and grandson, four, to watch it. While the latter got a bit fidgety, my boy sat there with eyes wide, loving every minute.

TAYLOR: Guardians is an excellent fantasy-based kids’ movie with absolutely nothing objectionable in it.

HOWE: I thought Dreamworks did a great job on this. Some animated movies are a little scary for the younger audience, but Guardians got the balance right. They didn’t go over the top with the scare factor, keeping Pitch Black’s nightmares (they really are mares) the same throughout.

TAYLOR: I also thought it was interesting that all of the characters (Santa, the Easter Bunny) had unique twists to their stories. For instance, Bunny is Australian; Santa has tattoos and yetis build his toys, rather than the elves, who seemed “to have issues.” There were some small jokes and little bits here and there for the adults. For instance, I liked that the Guardians were like a secret society, with history, ceremony and symbolism.

HOWE: The elves stole the show for me, very funny.

TAYLOR: Ultimately, the film is about how magic ceases to exist without believing in it. This magic encompasses these characters and perhaps the sole reason for this fun, entertaining and disposable film is to perpetuate the myths. At least it does it with style, without being rude to be funny, or violent to be exciting. So keep the faith, kids...

HOWE: It’s not just the belief from the kids, I too still believe in Santa (especially because I’ve seen a nice set of speakers that would go great with my home theatre system.)

— Taylor gives Rise of the Guardians 3 one-eyed pyramids out of 5.

— Howe gives it 4 sled rides out of 5.

Rise of the Guardians is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers living in Vernon, B.C.

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