Rise of the Guardians came out around Christmas time last year. Since I’m a sucker for animated films I’ve been dying to see this one. I wasn’t expecting much and I don’t know why I felt that way but I was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of this movie.
Rise of the Guardians is about a band of children’s heroes forced to put aside their differences to fight the onslaught of evil suddenly invading the children of the world. The Boogeyman has unleashed his evil powers on the children in attempts to gain the children’s belief in him and, in turn, snuff out their belief in the guardians.
Our main character in this film is Jack Frost. He is a spirited and fun-loving young man with a deep longing for friendship; however, he is invisible to all children, no matter how hard he tries to get them to believe in him and, in turn, love him.
This film is a perfect feel-good, holiday movie. The screenwriting, characters, and artistry were whimsical, colorful, and all around lovable.
The Rise of the Guardian’s screenwriters did an excellent job making Jack Frost lovable and relatable. He is everyone that has ever been left out, misunderstood, or ignored. They also did an excellent job with character arc. Most of the characters molded into new, more lovable characters throughout the movie. They each were confronted with their own wrongdoing and forced to battle it head on. The only character exempt from any character arc was the Sandman and that’s because he was this sort of role model, grandfather figure who had it right from the beginning.
Creativity oozed from the characters. The Rise of the Guardian‘s knocked these done and redone characters out of the park and gave them wholly new, and very appealing, identities. And all the little details about the stories of each of the characters were not only addressed but they were integral parts of the story. The new take on how the Sandman, Toothfairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa got to each child in one night was intensely imaginative and eye-popping. I particularly loved how they focused more on the lesser known characters of the Sandman, Jack Frost, and the Tooth Fairy and brought reason to dreaming, the collecting of teeth and all things cold and wintery.
By the end of the movie I was left with a heart beaming with gladness, eyes full of wonder, and all of two small qualms. My issues were a result of two open-ended statements left unattended. At one point in the movie Jack Frost lets the band of guardians down. The Easter Bunny is particularly let down and he says “Easter is about new life and new beginnings…” The reason why this line bothered me was because if that’s what the Easter Bunny’s “center” is about then he should have been the first to accept Jack Frost and the first to forgive him for making a mistake, however grave. The second statement that remained unanswered was in the final battle of the film. The kids had discovered a secret to the demise of the Boogeyman and in one instant Jamie, the first friend and believer of Jack Frost, says “I know what we have to do.” I assumed that this meant it was up to the kids to defeat the Boogeyman once and for all; instead, the Boogeyman is simply knocked out and when he awakes again he is suddenly no longer a threat because the children don’t believe in him. For such a brilliantly woven film to leave the movie hanging on a loose thread that could have been tied in beautifully was very disappointing. As a result of this the ending was stiff and generic.
I love how this story was written through the eyes of our children’s imaginations. So many movies now-a-days are created from the parents perspective where there is revelation that the parents put the presents under the tree and the parents trade the tooth for the gift. I’m not even an advocate for planting lies in little kid’s minds, however innocent and small, but in the made-up world of imagination and creativity, keeping the real world wholly out of it is truly a stroke of beautiful brilliance.
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone of all ages and backgrounds. Whether adult or child we all need a little dose of childlikeness every once in a while. Besides, I promise you will be left with a heart that feels like it was just warmed by the fire while you sat in the world’s most cozy chair with a heavenly cup of hot cocoa in hand.
If you had to be one of these children’s heroes, who would you be and why?
- Santa Claus
- Easter Bunny
- Tooth Fairy
- Jack Frost
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