Tooth (right, voiced by Isla Fisher) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) could give you a sugar rush.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (Peter Ramsey). 97 minutes. Now playing. See times. Rating: NN
A Slavic Santa Claus, a jacked Easter Bunny, a flighty Tooth Fairy and a portly Sandman assemble in Rise Of The Guardians, an animated adventure that is occasionally delightful but often as exhausting as a child hopped up on candy canes.
At the centre of this storybook convention is Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine), a fun-loving teen with a Bourne-like identity crisis. Jack's being recruited by Santa (Alec Baldwin) - or North, as his fellow Avengers, err, Guardians call him - to protect children from Pitch Black (Jude Law), a Voldemort-like figure who turns children's dreams into nightmares.
That's the discernible set-up for an otherwise incoherent plot that makes up rules and tries to up the stakes as it zips through Santa's workshop, the Tooth Fairy's calcium stash and the Easter Bunny's marsh. There's some cute humour in these segments (elves are always reliable) and some magical sights - Skyfall DP Roger Deakins serves as visual consultant.
But the movie's too cluttered, eagerly trying to touch every base it can, reeling in enough seasonal and non-seasonal characters so that it can the reap rewards year round - it hits theatres in time for Christmas and will most likely get an Easter DVD release. It tries to wrap so much kids' mythology into one holiday package that it can't avoid tangling the ribbons.