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Rise Of The Guardians – A Review

‘Here comes Santa Claus’, and about five other legendary characters that make this more than just a holiday movie!

Dreamwork’s latest movie release, Rise of the Guardians finally came to theaters on Wednesday, November 21st and while there are worries over its box office profits and losses it does not fail to make an impression, in more than just one form, once you’ve seen it.

Following the book series The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce, Rise of the Guardians has brought together ‘The Big Four’; Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus) E.Aster Bunnymund (Easter Bunny), Toothiana (The Tooth Fairy) and Sanderson Mansnoozie (Sandman) and now the newest addition, Jack Overland Frost (Jack Frost)

After a short beginning sequence that shows the awakening of Jack Frost, the movie jumps 300 years into the future to modern day and at the famous North Pole where Nicholas St. North is preparing for the Christmas season less than a year away. A menacing omen soon interrupts his work, coming in the form of a dark and haunting figure that is able to convince North of his fears that the terrifying ‘Pitch’ (or Boogeyman) is going to soon appear and wreak havoc and nightmares upon the children of the world.

Rise of the Guardians Concept Art

A signal to call upon the other guardians is sent out by North and soon, the easter bunny, tooth fairy and sandman are all gathered to discuss how they’re going to deal with Pitch, but not until a new guardian has been chosen to join them: Jack Frost, only problem is that Jack has no interests in becoming a guardian or protecting anyone.

The movie’s main concept can sound a little weird or even silly to many people who first hear about it, especially when they have to get passed the fact that the easter bunny is a six foot tall, boomerang throwing australian rabbit or that the tooth fairy is part hummingbird with millions of little fairy helpers who collect teeth for the memories of the child that it holds; but it is actually a little deeper than that.

Jack Frost is practically the main character of this tale, but each of the other four legends definitely stand on their own when their entire existence begins to become threatened by Pitch’s actions of bringing great fear back into the hearts and minds of children. Each character was able to present themselves as more than what the children believe them to be and despite the fact that they are guardians, they are just as vulnerable when belief in them begins to falter.

Even the antogonist, Pitch, was not the usual completely cold-hearted villain of children’s stories but instead broken and lost after having been long forgotten by the world during the turn of the dark ages. It’s not just a story about fairytales fighting the boogeyman; it’s a story about questioning, doubt, looking for a purpose and wondering if one is even welcome among others that claim to be just like them. All themes that sound like huge cliches’ in the movie world but don’t let that stop you because the animations of sequences like a battle of shadows and sand in the night sky or just the blowing of the icy, arctic winds through deep clouds will definitely keep your attention.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ is visually stunning and has such amazing attention to details in even the seemingly simplest things like sand, ice, feathers, clothing and yes snow. Overall, the movie is a feast for the eyes and more than effective in recreating the legends of childhood on the big screen in new ways, it’s another one of those movies that aims at making you feel like a kid again while trying to keep your beliefs strong and your hearts open.

 

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