Movie Review | Rise of the Guardians

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.

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SUMMARY

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.

REVIEW

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.

CONCLUSION

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?

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Easter Bunny
  3. Tooth Fairy
  4. Sandman
  5. Jack Frost

Photo credit:  http://alienbee.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/rise-of-the-guardians-banner.jpg

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a Photo a Day | March 18 – 24

Aaaaalright!  I am back and gonna be on a roll!  With over a week of blog posts to catch up on buckle down and get ready for a whole slew of photographic blog posts!  First up, the long delayed “a Photo a Day” post.

Friday I will be posting last week’s images 🙂

1Monday 2Tu3W 4Thursday 5Friday 6Sa7Su

Monday:  a Sunshine Moment Studio Wedding Album | Liz + Phil

Tuesday:  “Hurting Hands” is a piece I was commissioned to do for the Passion Art Walk, please check out the full blog post (and a larger image) HERE

Wednesday:  I was given several bouquets of flowers for my Studio Grand Opening party and they are too much fun to photograph 🙂

Thursday:  Sunshine Wedding Album | Kathy + Ryan (full blog post coming soon)

Friday:  Citizen Way at Fort Wayne, IN (full blog post coming soon)

Saturday:  Citizen Way at Liberty Township, OH (full blog post coming soon)

Sunday:  VIP Passion Art Walk Formal Reception (full blog post coming soon)

40 Days in the Desert | Day 8

Day 6 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 3 of 3)

The last exchange that Satan and Jesus have in the desert goes as follows…

“‘If you are the Son of God,’ he [Satan] said, “throw yourself down from here.  For it is written:  He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’  Jesus answered, ‘It says:  ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test”” (Luke 4:9-12).

Jesus defends himself with the truth of the Word from Deuteronomy 6:16 against Satan’s last attempt to cause Jesus to stumble in his faith and mission.  Here Satan foolishly misinterprets scripture and is poking at Jesus to call upon the powers of the almighty to save him from a foolish act.  In Deuteronomy 6:16 God is indeed promising His people His protection but not at any human whim of foolishness.  Jesus recognizes Satan’s misinterpretations and not only defends himself against the lie with scripture but accurately picks a scripture that will set Satan straight.

Challenge 4 | Memorize a Scripture Verse

It is good to read the Word daily but the best way to fight lies with the truth is to not only have the ideas from the Bible swimming around in your head but to have the exact words inscribed on your heart.  To do so takes memorization.  It seems daunting but any of these verses Jesus fired back at Satan would be fairly easy to add to your armory of truth.

40 Days in the Desert | Day 7

Day 7 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 2 of 3)

The second exchange between Satan and Jesus goes like this…

“And he [Satan] said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’  Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”” (Luke 4:6-8).

Here the devil had arrogantly attempted to succeed in his fight against God by diverting Jesus from his mission.  It is a simple fact that Satan owns the world but Jesus knew all to well that to gain the world by submitting himself to Satan would be failure.  By submitting himself instead to a death on the cross and rising from the tomb he not only conquered death and the fires of hell but he revealed a glimpse of God’s glory and won lost souls over to the kingdom in the process.  There are so many times in life when the obvious route, although in itself is not wrong or harmful, takes us off the path God intended to bring about his kingdom in an even greater way.  By knowing this verse Jesus recites from Deuteronomy 6:13 we too can avoid failure by taking a short cut.

40 Days in the Desert | Day 6

Day 6 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 1 of 3)

Knowing and obeying God’s word is an effective weapon.  In Luke 4, Jesus shows us three examples of how he used the Word against temptation.

Luke 4:4, “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'”

In this instance he is using the truth from Deuteronomy 8:3 to rebuttal what Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  Satan is fully aware that Jesus is in the middle of a 40 day fast and that one of his weaknesses ought to be food.  He is also, however, poking at man’s pride by claiming that Jesus could not be the Son of God if he is unable to transform a rock into bread.  Jesus sees through the deeper meaning, the temptation to doubt his identity, and fires back with the truth that ultimately it is the Father he lives and works for.

There are so many times in life when it is easy to succumb to the lies and fall to children of the world rather than where our true identity lies as children of God.  In this exchange we are encouraged to be strong in our faith and identity in Christ.