Review: Rise of the Guardians

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Poster for “Rise of the Guardians” Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.
Childhood was a time of wonder and imagination. And, although we’ve grown up, we still remember those nights trying to stay up and see Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, and just hoping that the Sandman will give you a good night’s sleep. Looking back after maturing, it’s easier to appreciate what these mythical beings did for us as children: they gave us happiness and joy, something to look forward to and hope for—a purpose for being children.
Rise of the Guardians takes the well-known characters of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fair, and the Sandman and creates a tale that reminds us why we loved believing in them: because they were there for us. The movie does, however, take liberties in their presentation to add dramatic—and admittedly awesome—flair. Santa Claus is a large Russian man with tattoos on either of his forearms reading ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ as he wields dual blades; the Easter Bunny is Australian and uses his boomerangs to fight in ways that just blow the audiences mind; the Tooth Fairy is keeper of children’s teeth, and in those teeth are memories of our best childhood times; and, finally, the Sandman is a being literally composed of golden sand, silent and deadly in a fight.
The movie chronicles the tale of Jack Frost, who’s called upon to be a Guardian and help the original four Guardians face off against their old enemy Pitch, the Boogeyman. The overseer of the Guardians is the elusive Man in the Moon, who gave all of these mythical beings their power—there are other, lesser known beings besides Jack and the Guardians. However, when Jack was born as Jack Frost he lost all his memories of his original self and thus lost his purpose. When he’s called upon to be a Guardian, he sees that they all have their purpose—Santa is wonder, the Tooth Fairy is guidance, the Sandman is security, and the Easter Bunny is hope. These traits add a level of depth to these characters that just pushes this movie forward in the right direction.
The antagonist Pitch was a fantastic villain whose motives are rather sympathetic to all those who feel unloved—which we all do at one point or another. You see, when children don’t believe, then these mythical beings can’t be seen and are left forgotten. Pitch was once believed in, but now, not so much. Resentful of his history with the Guardians, he seeks to reclaim his lost power. The film is an emotional ride, having its ups and downs as our favorite childhood heroes are put to the test by Pitch, but, in the end, the movie reminds us of the joy we had as children and how, maybe, we might want to have a little bit of that joy now.
See it: If you want to experience a feel-good, action packed, extremely well done movie.
Don’t See it: If you hated your childhood (Well, I take that back—see it anyway cause it’ll make you smile. Promise).

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