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Rise of the Guardians

(2012)
For some reason I thought this was the owl movie (Legends of the Guardians) and was uninterested, but a co-worker with kids told me it was actually pretty good (and also wasnt the owl movie not that I have anything against that film, Im just not interested). I knew Jack Frost was in it, but little else, so the film was something of a surprise for me. Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine) exists, but he has no memory of his life before becoming the spreader of frost and snow; and while he can see and affect people, they most certainly cant see him. This all changes when the Man in the Moon who created Jack in the first place suggests to the other Guardians that Jack should become one of their number. Jack isnt convinced, but Santa (referred to here as North, and voiced by Alec Baldwin in a Russian accent), Tooth (Isla Fisher), Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and the Sandman (silent) convince him to at least help them out. It seems that someone is plotting nastiness for the worlds children, turning Sandmans dreams into nightmares, and he reveals himself when he steals all of Tooths fairies: Pitch Black, the Boogeyman (Jude Law). As children begin to lose their belief in the Guardians, they lose power; if they mean to oppose Pitchs plans, and they do, they must hurry before they fade and are invisible to children, as Jack is. The storys fun and the voice acting is all very good I spotted Jude Law, but the other actors I had to look up (I would never have guessed Alec Baldwin, the accent is perfect). Each lends some nice color and depth to their characters. The design work is brilliant, and the characters themselves have been nicely tweaked Santas a big, beefy Russian with yeti helpers (and the elves are incredibly cute); Bunny is fully Australian, with boomerangs and a thick accent; Tooth is sparkly and green, and her fairies, hummingbird-like, are adorable; and Sandman is a round little orange cherub who, despite being silent, is the most expressive character in the movie. Jacks more straightforward for this type of film a young boy with white hair but hes still engaging. Pitch is deceptively simple just a mildly handsome face and dark clothing but he too is exceptionally effective. Often the most I hope for with these types of films is a few throw-away jokes for the adults or some nice design which this movie had, in spades but the whole re-imagining is engaging, and the characters are so much fun I was pulled right in. Yes, the plot and the internal conflicts are a bit simple it is a kids movie, after all but I found I could enjoy it on the level; the reworking of the myths of the characters was ingenious and humorous. Id bet only the most jaded children wouldnt enjoy this movie, and ditto for the adults. This was a surprisingly good film and certainly worth a look. October 27, 2013