I went to see THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS tonight. The movie was in Spanish (no subtitles), but it is for children, so I thought I would be fine. And I was, for the most part, but for about a half an hour I could not figure out the villain’s name. They called him Peach (or so it sounded), and he was the bearer of nightmares and fear in children.

I considered elbowing the stranger next to me to say: Hombre, necesito ayuda. ?Durazno? Como se llama el caracter que tiene poder para dar miedo? (Man, I need help. Peach? What is the name of the character that has the power to cause fear?) But I did not. As Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny (also jokingly called a kangaroo), and the Sandman enlist Jack Frost to stop Peach from engulfing the world in darkness, I kept listening with all of my might for a signal or an explanation for why a dark character would be called a delicious summer fruit.

The story has a lot of interesting elements. One of the most intriguing was when the purpose of the tooth fairy was explained. Apparently, all of our fondest childhood memories are stored in our baby teeth and the tooth fairy protects these “lost” teeth and delivers the memories to us later in our lives when we need them the most. Finally, a character says the bad guy’s whole name: Peach Black and this is when I realize that we are sort of talking about Speeder Man. The word is really Pitch, but the “i” in Spanish sounds like a long “e.”

I am utterly pleased. After torturing people with my distorted version of Spanish, one of the few English words I hear this whole day is an appropriately imperfect puzzle. And, English proves to be the most challenging part of this thoughtful and delightful film.

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