Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise-of-Guardians

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Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Epic and Lighthearted

It’s March, so it’s that time of year when people young and old need to start thinking about gifts and what they should buy for their loved ones….or so our messed-up system would like us to think. Anyways, when its Christmas time, there’s sure to be some memorable Holiday films ready to release at a rampant speed. What better than to see a movie that strays from the usual stereotype but maintains it’s respected Christmas Spirit? One movie that you will find provides the essentials while also providing something new is “Rise of the Guardians“.

The Guardians in question are a group of the best-kept secrets for American holidays, but they aren’t at all what you typically expect. North (Alec Baldwin), otherwise known as Santa Claus, is a sword-wielding Russian tough guy full of tattoos, but a child at heart. The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), is an Australian rabbit who isn’t afraid to mess with anyone out to destroy the holidays. The tooth fairy (Isla Fisher), is a sweet young lady in charge of thousands of other fairies that are in charge of making sure to capture children’s teeth that have fallen out. The Sandman is a mute and short little man who makes sure all of the good little girls and boys get their good nights rest. Things change when there is an addition to their team, the troublemaker Jack Frost (Chris Pine).

 Jack Frost was awoken years ago in the middle of a frozen pond. It didn’t take him long at all to learn of his abilities. He was able to freeze anything he wished with a single touch. He could also transport by surfing the wind. There was one problem, no one could see him because no one believed in him…let alone knew who he even was. When children are put in danger from the return of the evil Pitch Black, also known as the “Boogeyman” (Jude Law), the guardians are forced to add Frost to their team after ordered to from the entity known as the “Man on the Moon”. In addition to saving the kids, and simultaneously the rest of the group, Jack must remember who he once was before changing into Jack Frost in order to ultimately save the day. Together, they must battle Pitch Black and keep the magic alive in children’s hearts.

The animation was really top notch in this film. You could really tell how realistic the movements were, thanks to motion capture and a team of intelligent graphic designers. The character modeling was unique and original. Jack Frost’s character model looks almost identical, in a way, to many anime characters when it came to his hair, eyes, nose, and pointed chin. Beyond the animation, the visuals in general were quite captivating, and kids will truly be pulled into the action of this film, as long as they aren’t too terribly young. The character of Pitch Black will probably frighten youngsters, so be weary, parents.

As with many animated films, the movie really had a fantastic message. The great thing about the message in this film, is it can be interpreted several different ways depending on who you are. For example, a religious person may find that the fact that “The Man on the Moon” created them, cannot verbally say anything, and is asked why he created them would all point to the idea that he is God. The same goes for “The Boogeyman” and the Devil, who often comes off as tempting, but evil to those who know him. There are cultural shout outs if you are able to pay attention enough to catch them as well. The message is an all around message of hope and inspiration, and keeping the magic and innocence alive in children’s hearts.

Remember that even though this is a Christmas movie, it can also seen as a multiple-holiday film as well. There was Christmas, but there was also Easter, which is actually coming up soon, and age-old traditions that will be told for generations to come. Christmas was, however, the central element of the film.

All in all, kids will love this movie, especially now as they await the presents under their tree. It’s great for kids, and they even have some (not a lot) elements that are enjoyable to all ages. It’s pretty decent. It’s epic and lighthearted all at the same time. The voice acting was also very well done, complete with an arrangement of very well known actors and actresses.

Rise of the Guardians” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Mar. 12!

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