Rise of the Guardians – Forget What You Know About Childhood Legends and Believe

Rise of the Guardians is one of the most beautifully stunning animated films ever. The scenes and the characters pop off the screen as a cherished Christmas storybook comes to life. This isn’t your average 3-D animated film with cartoon characters and make believe.

There is plenty of make-believe, but the animation looks more hand-drawn than computer-animated. This is one of the only recent animated films that also makes great use of the 3-D. It isn’t 3-D to be 3-D: fairies jump in and out of the frame, snowballs fly at your head and sweet dreams sweep all around.

Rise of the Guardians tells the story of Jack Frost (Chris Pine), an immortal boy brought to life by the moon. Jack is a prankster who brings snow days and winter joy to children, but who does not understand his reason for existence. He is unable to be seen because so few actually believe in him.

When Pitch (Jude Law), aka the Boogey Man, grows his army of bad dreams and night terrors, threatens the existence of the Guardians, Jack is promoted to Guardian status to help. The Guardians include North or Santa (Alec Baldwin),  the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman). They protect the innocence, safety and beliefs of children around the world.

If children quit believing in the Guardians, they will cease to exist and the fear and terror that Pitch brings will rule all.

Rise of the Guardians turns what we all believe as legend on its head. Santa and the Easter Bunny aren’t the cute, soft and cuddly icons we all know. They are butt-kicking, tough and serious protectors with a rarely seen soft side. We learn its the yetis who make toys at Santa’s workshop, not the elves. The Tooth Fairy uses thousands of small baby fairies to collect teeth and leave gifts. She is also the Guardian of our childhood memories. The Sandman is a sweet, lovable but strong figure. Don’t count the Sandman out of a fight.

My children and I enjoyed this film. I think I may have enjoyed it more than they did. It was refreshing to see a holiday film that didn’t just revolve around whether or not a fictitious holiday bringer of cheer and gifts exists. In Guardians, they all exist, it’s just a matter of how they touch each child to keep the dream alive.

Younger children may find the scenes with Pitch scary. He is dark and evil and no push over. He wants to scare children and get rid of the Guardians. Overall this movie is for older children. There is a deeper story and less action than most children’s movies.

If you are looking for the perfect family movie to take your tweens to this weekend, share a popcorn and see Rise of the Guardians.