Rise of the Gaurdians is almost like the Avengers or even the Expendables for elementary kids. It’s the story of Santa Clause, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Mr. Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy teaming up to fight the boogey man.

Jack Frost is the introductory character. He gets recruited by the Man in the Moon to be the new Guardian. The conceit of this movie is that the Guardians protect children and get their strength from the beliefs of children. Apparently the Boogeyman ruled during the Dark Ages until Santa Clause and the other Guardians fought him off. Now (for some reason) he is back and wants revenge.

Santa is a sword wielding Russian tough guy, the Easter Bunny is a cynical Australian, and the Sandman doesn’t speak, but communicates through his sand. Jack Frost plays the reluctant hero. He’s encountered the group before, and doesn’t get along with the Easter Bunny. He’s upset because people don’t believe in him, and he’s spent his existence being invisible to humans. This angst leaves him vulnerable to seduction by the Boogey man, who tries to pass himself off as a sympathetic character. Jack Frost also has a secret past he’s unaware of, but that revelation is slightly underwhelming.
Rise of the Guardians is a good standard adventure for kids. I’d be curious what they would do with a sequel, specifically who they would face besides the boogeyman.

Also I must add that I saw this in 4D. Years ago I saw the third Narnia movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 4D, and the 4D was really stupid. The seat would vibrate a little and it was annoying. The 4D in Rise of the Guardians was great (and the 3D was actually good too for a change). The seats would move around as the characters flew through the air and sometimes it was almost like being on a roller coaster. There were other effects with the seats and lighting effects etc. At the end of the movie there is a scene where a bunch of sand is in the air and it’s kind of like fireworks. During that scene, in the actual theater bubbles shot out through the walls and filled the air. That was just magical. All in all a very worthwhile experience.

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