BY JOHN MULDERIG
Rise of the Guardians, stars Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine , Dakota Goyo, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law. Director: Peter Ramsey. Running time 97 minutes. Rated PG. Opens Thurs 13 Dec.
What better way to spend a few hours over the holidays than in the company, not only of Santa Claus himself, but of the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman?
Courtesy of the delightful 3-D animated adventure "Rise of the Guardians" (Paramount), moviegoers of almost all ages can do just that.
Based on books by William Joyce, the film focuses on the destiny of the legendary bringer of winter, Jack Frost (voice of Chris Pine). Free-spirited and mischievous, youthful Jack is also lonely and uncertain of his purpose in life. Until, that is, he's invited to join the Guardians, a force made up of the mythical characters listed above.
In his feature debut, director Peter Ramsey, working from a script by David Lindsay-Abaire, pits the hope and wonder championed by the Guardians against the fear and self-doubt that arm Pitch with his most effective wiles. The result is a tenderhearted and touching family movie -- one, moreover, that's entirely free of objectionable content.
This is, though, a struggle between the battling archetypes of good and evil over the fate of the world's children. So there are portions of the action that might be too dark and scary for the smallest members of the clan.
Rise of the Guardians (CNS)