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Rise of the Guardians
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Mythical cartoon characters to the rescue)

Jack Frost and the bogeyman have one thing in common: they want to be recognized.

Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, The Sandman and The Easter Bunny all are believed in by little girls and boys, but Jack Frost is invisible to them. The bogeyman hovers about, trying to convince kids that he is real and they should stop hoping and believing in the guardians of their childhood. The guardians kidnap Jack and convince him to team up with them against the bogeyman.

That's the plot behind this weirdly drawn computer-generated movie that can be seen in 3D if you wish to spend the extra bucks.

The characters are not your typical portrayals. Santa (voice of Alec Baldwin) is huge and a bit overpowering, with "Naughty" and "Nice" tattooed on his huge forearms. The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) looks more like a kangaroo. The Sandman doesn't speak. And the Tooth Fairy flits around leaving coins for teeth.

The bogeyman steals the coins, ruins the Easter Bunny's eggs and tries to convince the kids to stop believing so all their guardians will go away. All this makes for a pretty dark movie with little humor, but strong messages about believing and fighting their fears. The drawings are intricate and strange.

Rated PG, with some violence and images that may scare the little ones.

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