Rise of the Guardians capsule review

DreamWorks-Rise-Of-The-GuardiansDreamWorks Animation – which minted a fortune by making animated fantasies that spoof and/or ridicule the traditional fairy tale foundation of the form – finally embrace its inner child, and the result is the company’s greatest film to date, even surpassing the virtues of KUNG FU PANDA and PUSS IN BOOTS. The 3-D animation is beautiful – no surprise there, the company has always had a handle on the technical stuff – what is surprising is that the story (which could have come across like THE AVENGERS – LITE) reaches deep into our collective unconscious to render an archetypal battle between the forces of Light and Darkness that is accessible to young viewers while still resonating with adults. On the simple plot level, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is about a group of superheroes banding together to fight the bad guy, but the film works on a far more sophisticated level than Joss Whedon’s tongue-in-cheek ode to geekdom: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is really about protecting our childhood Sense of Wonder; fending off nightmares; resisting fear; nurturing simple joys, and embracing the call to a vocation.

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