The wait is finally over. Opening in theaters today,
Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians” is the family film you’ve been waiting for all year. Before I saw the film, and based on the Thanksgiving weekend release, I thought it would be more of a Christmas movie, but it’s really about the Guardians —
), the Easter Bunny (
), the Tooth Fairy (
), Sandman and the newest member, Jack Frost (
) — coming together to protect children when their dreams and beliefs are threatened by the Pitch, a sort of “Boogieman,” voiced by
The film opens with Jack Frost's "awakening." He emerges from a frozen lake — only he doesn't know how he got there or what his purpose is in life. He later learns he had a life before he was Jack Frost, as did all of the Guardians.
When Pitch perfects his method of turning Sandman's dreams into nightmares, the balance between fear and peace is tipped, and children around the world stop believing. Pitch then starts taking down the Guardians one by one. The Man in the Moon tells them to enlist Jack Frost in their mission. And it's a good thing he did because the Guardians have spent so long doing things for the children that they've forgotten what it's actually like to spend time with the children. What Jack brings to children — laughter and fun — is what ends up saving them all in the end.
The portrayal of these childhood characters was superbly and uniquely done, with just the right combination of fantasy and believability. Santa Claus, or North, is big but not fat — kind of more like a heavyweight wrestler. He's tattooed, mysterious, intimidating but, at the same time, jolly and even gentle at times.
The Easter Bunny, or Bunnymund, is tough, fast and represents new beginnings. Sandman doesn't speak; he communicates by using his magical sand to materialize his thoughts into images. And the Tooth Fairy, or Tooth, is a bird-like fairy who protects children's memories in their baby teeth she collects.
While children may not grasp everything in "Rise of the Guardians," it's an onion for the peeling and provides lots of opportunities for self-examination and deep thinking. For a movie that's all about imagination and fantasy, it will leave you with lots to talk about with the kids at the dinner table.