Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I first found out about Dreamworks Rise of the Guardians through my brother Steven. Several months ago he was quite excited when he saw the trailer online, so he had me watch it, but I wasn't feeling the great interest he was. It seemed to be just another Holiday Christmas movie. "What is it exactly?" I asked him, and he proceeded to tell me that the Sandman, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Clause are all apart of a group that protect kids, and they're out to fight against the boogeyman. Somewhere Jack Frost fits in. "So it's like the Avangers, only with childhood figures?" I asked, and he agreed that it was.
In a society that loves Comic Books and Mythologies, we have all these great myths and stories tied to our favorite characters. We don't believe in them, but they're still real to us because of what we do know. What's sad is that I know more about Superman, Batman, Iron man, some other superhero with a "man" at the end of their name, and Thor then I do about Santa Clause and the Tooth Fiary. And yet, as a kid, I actually believed in Santa Clause! I believe I somehow managed to make it to the 1st grade believing in him (that's probably because I'm the oldest of four, my youngest brother caught on much sooner then I.) Not much is known about those we believed in as children, and Jack Frost I knew least of all.
That's Jack Frost's problem. He exist. He knows he exists, and it's the Man in the Moon who told him his name, but Jack Frost has no idea why he is who he is. He just knows that he has the power to frost things and enjoys causing mischief in the process. But no one believes in him, so he's invisible, and there's something very lonely in that. The Guardians can be seen, because they are believed in, and there is power in that.
This is where the Boogeyman comes in. He's no longer believed in and is invisible, craving the power he once had during the Middle ages when everything was dark and depressing. And thus we have our conflict.
The character animation and interpritations in this film is brilliant. Santa Clause, who is called "North" and is voiced by Alec Baldwin, is a burly man touting a giant tattoo that reads "Naughty," and yet he's in touch with his playful inner child. The Tooth Fairy, who goes by "Tooth" and is voiced by Isla Fisher, has a league of tiny fairies called "baby teeth," and they all have hummingbird like traits. The Easter Bunny, called E.Aster Bunnymund and is voiced by Hugh Jackman, has an Australian accent and is big like a kangaroo. Then there's the Sandman, called Sandy, who doesn't have a voice actor because he communicates through pictures by using gold dust. I honestly found that brilliant. The boogeyman, called "Pitch" Black and is voiced by Jude Law, is a tall, intimidating fellow. And then Jack Frost, voiced by Chris Pine, is a kid with a joyful nature, but is internally conflicted.
I really enjoyed this movie, and like my brothers I found myself relating to the main character, who is Jack Frost. How often do we go through life wondering what our purpose is? Who we are? And somewhere in there we feel invisible, even when we scream.
And the Man in the Moon is a delightful character. He is up in the sky watching, communicating through inspiration, and setting things in motion, yet he doesn't get involved beyond that, letting those in the story find their own ways by making choices, even when the choices could be wrong.
This is a fun family film that I highly recommend.
MPAA: PG for thematic elements and mildly scary action.