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Santa has new look in 'Rise of the Guardians'

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By Becca Owsley

“Rise of the Guardians” offers audiences a different view of popular childhood holiday icons.

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Santa, or North, (Alex Baldwin, “30 Rock”), the Tooth Fairy, or Tooth, (Isla Fisher, “Confessions of a Shopaholic”), the Easter Bunny, or Bunny, (Hugh Jackman, “Real Steel”) and the Sandman, or Sandy, are protectors of childhood dreams, hopes and innocence.

The task has been relatively easy since the dark ages but the Boogeyman, aka Pitch, (Jude Law “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”) is filling children of the earth with dark dreams. The children’s hopes are diminished as their dreams grow darker, affecting the fate of the Guardians who survive on the beliefs of children.

In the middle of all the chaos the Man in the Moon chooses a new Guardian, Jack Frost (Chris Pine, “This Means War”), who has to find the hero inside himself. He’s hesitant at first, not knowing his place among the other Guardians, but his love for children prevails.

Like most Dreamworks films, this one has great animation. The animation department has produced beautiful and artistic cartoons over the past few years with films such as “How to Train your Dragon.” The colors and lines to these films are beautiful, like moving stained glass windows at times.

“Rise of the Guardians” keeps that tradition going strong with scenes from the North Pole, the Tooth Fairy’s magical palace, the Easter Bunny’s colorful home and the wonder of snow and ice as the backdrop of Jack Frost’s playground.

“Rise of the Guardians” presents these characters from a different point of view, although I don’t think it will affect how kids view them, except maybe for Santa, who walks around with swords. This new view of beloved characters shown in the film was inspired by William Joyce’s “The Guardians of Childhood” book series.

The film might be too scary at times for younger children. The Boogeyman and his nightmares are pretty frightening and dark in tone as he fills children’s heads full of bad dreams.

The bunny also gets away with a few British swear words not used on this side of the pond.

Although the film is a Christmas-season release with Santa playing an important role, it takes place during Easter. The story is told from a secular view of these holidays, but the importance of belief and imagination in children is its major theme.

It’s cute, yet scary, but beautifully animated.

One child exiting the theater might have said it best.

“That was a good movie, and it was short,” he said.

Couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.

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