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'Rise of the Guardians' to premiere in Shreveport

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Kate Archer Kent
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A DreamWorks Animation Thanksgiving weekend blockbuster is premiering at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shreveport. “Rise of the Guardians” is the inspiration of Shreveport writer and illustrator Bill Joyce who begs the question: Could Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy be friends?

Joyce will walk the red carpet in his hometown at a venue he considers to be hallowed ground for cinematic dreams, the Strand Theatre. It’s where he saw movies as a child.

"It was dream central for Northwest Louisiana,” Joyce said, at his Moonbot Studios office in Shreveport. “Now I'm getting to bring my movie that was inspired by the movies I saw there. So that seems like a perfect symmetry, a sort of symmetry that life doesn't often offer up."

Rise of the Guardians” is an outgrowth of the “Guardians of Childhood” book series. Eight more books are in the works by publisher Simon & Schuster. Joyce says his aim is to restore legendary childhood icons to the stature they hold in his mind, lest kids would forget who Santa really is. Joyce will set the record straight in thousands of theaters beginning Nov. 21.

"I always saw Sean Connery as Santa Claus. He's got to have a little of James Bond in him,” Joyce said. “And the Easter Bunny is not this quaint little rabbit, he's this gigantic heroic pukka, this Celtic god!”

The premiere will benefit three Shreveport nonprofits that are dear to Joyce: artspace, Robinson Film Center, and the Strand Theatre. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. Afterward, the audience will follow a parade to artspace for the opening of an exhibit about the making of Guardians.