Rise of the Guardians
Because I have a kid now, I’m forced to constantly evaluate how certain childhood fantasy figures will play a role in her development from gullible toddler to crackpot kid. How her malleable mind will construct a scenario in which a winged sprite is dumping US currency under the kid’s 360 Threadcount Eiderdown in exchange for an incisor or two. Or how a bunny comes around once a year to drop off discolored, vinegar-drenched eggs all over the yard. And don’t even get me started on Kris Kringle, the hallmarks of the true crazies. No, I’ll be playing a bunch of defense on these stories, mainly in the vein of “Are you kidding? You think that s@#$ is real?”

This latest movie ain’t helping. Not when proposing the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Sandman (clear fourth wheel) are not only real, but actually superheroes ridding the world of evildoers. Thanks a ton DreamWorks. Can’t just stick to the talking animals and an ogre or two? But for all of the thematic issues I have with it, there’s no denying the studio’s pumped out another strong flick.

These guys put out the goods, most recently Puss in Boots (83%), Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (78%) and Kung Fu Panda 2 (81%). And though some early reviews aren’t universal in their appeal (think: How to Train Your Dragon-98%) they are coming in line with many other of the studio’s works. First time director Peter Ramsey, making his way from storyboard artist, takes a a new spin on the smarmy holiday theme (Santa’s kind of a bad ass) and puts out a strong visual movie. I think it sticks in the low sixties, a bit below the DreamWorks high water mark, but another positive showing for this group. Now to make sure my kid knows it’s me dishing out the presents. The Rotten Watch for Rise of the Guardians is 61%


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