The Rise of the Guardians, PG
The holidays are saturated with children’s movies. There are always three kinds of movies; the ones kids only enjoy, the ones with double entendre that make adults smirk, and the emotional bonding tales that children and adults both love. The last categories are the hardest to create. Disney Pixar can make these films without adult jokes and but bringing in adults with delightful humor. The Rise of The Guardians by DreamWorks lives up to the standard set by Pixar.
This gorgeously animated movie is best of a set of children’s books by William Joyce. He wrote these for his young daughter (who has since passed away), and they have inspired many many children. The movie version expands this audience sharing The Guardians of Childhood with today’s movie going generation.
In Rise of the Guardians, beloved characters such as Santa Clause, and the Toothfairy are in charge of spreading wonder and hope to the world’s children. But these aren’t the same generic character you have grown up with. North, or Santa, is tattooed with a Russian accent (played wonderfully by Alec Baldwin) while Bunny is the Australian Easter Bunny who is over six feet tall and takes no crap from anyone. Then there is Tooth the delicate toothfairy who saves the memory of children by saving their teeth. Joining them is Sandy the silent sand man who is responsible for good dreams. With this force of good, what could scare these guardians?
The Boogey Man! Pitch Black (played lovingly by Jude Law) is tired of being overlooked and unbelieved in. His goal is to squash hope and wonder and rule the world by fear. Pitch proves to be a tough match for the guardians, so Manny, the man in the moon, calls upon Jack Frost. This impish character cares for nothing but fun and has no recollections of his past. He has no desire to be a guardian and it is only through bribing him with his lost memories does he begin to work with them.
Jack learns a lot about who he is, what he was, and what he was meant to be. Viewers watch the other characters grow as they interact with Jack and help him through his plight. But it’s more than warm fuzzies. Children learn how to battle the darkness and there is a lesson to be learned about belief and happiness. These fable like aspects make for the perfect family story. It is the humor spun in perfectly that makes it entertaining. Seeing Bunny reduced to a cute cotton tailed bunny is one of the most entertaining moments in the film.
Between the lush 3-D (the translucent wings on the fairies can’t have been as gorgeous in the2-D) and beautiful animation, even the dark is more beautiful than scary. In fact, it keeps an illustrated feel throughout the movie making it seems like a children’s book actually come to life.
The Rise of the Guardians is rich in story, heavy on laughter, dazzling and there are lessons learned. This is a true mast piece in children’s entertainment.
- The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce : Rise of the Guardians (booktrailers4kidsandya.wordpress.com)
- The Guardians of Childhood, The Jealous Fates and Generation X (jenx67.com)
- Movie Review: Rise Of The Guardians (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Christmas Rewind: Rise Of The Guardians (comicbooked.com)
- Rise of the Guardians – A Review (asheathersworldturns.wordpress.com)
- ‘Guardians’ Doesn’t Rise To Its Potential (npr.org)