When the Boogeyman (Jude Law) hatches a diabolical plan to eliminate the dreams of sugarplums dancing in tykes’ heads and to steal baby teeth that were left under their pillows at bedtime, it’s clear that something must be done. For, if left unchecked, it’ll just be a matter of time before the evil schemer will quash children’s beliefs in the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and the Sandman.
Fortunately, these beloved mythical figures have already united to fight their longtime adversary by forming the Guardians, an association dedicated to the preservation of the innocence, imagination, and sense of wonder of children all over the world. And at the urging of their wise leader, the Man in the Moon, they become convinced that Jack Frost (Chris Pine) will be an indispensable member of their team.
Initially, Jack is reluctant to join because of he is so young and he also feels inadequate because he is invisible. But Jack ultimately yields to his confederates’ relentless pressuring and they convince him that “You cannot say no!” and “It is destiny!”
With greatness thus thrust upon him, will Jack rise to the occasion to spearhead the charge against the Boogeyman? That is the question posed by the Rise of the Guardians, an enchanting fairytale loosely based on The Guardians of Childhood series of best-sellers by William Joyce.
The animated adventure marks the directorial debut of veteran storyboard artist Peter Ramsey who makes uses of state-of-the-art 3-D technology in such a way that it warrants an investment in goggles in order to enjoy all the eye-popping special features. Nevertheless, at heart, the picture remains a sweet story with a universal message about the importance of protecting children’s innocence.
Although aimed at impressionable young children, Rise of the Guardians will resonate with children of all ages who still have a sense of wonder and awe. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus; and a Tooth Fairy, a Jack Frost, an Easter Bunny, and a Sandman, too.
Excellent (***½). Rated PG for mature themes and scary action sequences. Running time: 97 minutes. Distributor: Dreamworks Pictures.