The true brilliance of DreamWorks’ “Rise of the Guardians” lies not in its ability to cover just about every holiday season (except for Halloween…sorry no Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown), but in its ability to humanize classic childhood characters that we all know and love.
The Guardians: Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman (the strong silent type) spin a colorful tale with Jack Frost (Chris Pine) at its center.
When an ancient evil, Pitch Black (Jude Law) also known as the Boogeyman, sets out to destroy the wonder of childhood, the Guardians must put their faith in a new Guardian–Jack Frost.
The sprightly personification of winter, Jack Frost is an oft overlooked piece of folklore. So it’s appropriate that in this telling he’s barely known to the children of the world, a fate which leaves him lonely, a little mischievous, and really just longing to be noticed.
His loner ways and initial distrust of these mythical powerhouses make him an easy target for Pitch who also lives in fear of being unnoticed. It’s a beautiful and complex comparison and it’s only one small piece of an incredibly well spun story.
The story is inspired by several works of William Joyce: “The Guardians of Childhood” series and his short film “The Man in the Moon.” These wonderful tales are beautifully adapted for the screen by the fantastic David Lindsay-Abaire. It’s whimsical, it’s clever, it’s intelligent. What more could you ask for?
I could gush about the animation all day, but I’ll keep it to a paragraph. It is absolutely stunning. I saw it in 2D, but I imagine it is even more brilliant in 3D. Best of all, there weren’t any blurry moments, you know what I mean, those moments that blatantly remind you that this was converted to 2D. Well done animation team. Well done. Okay I’m finished.
Finally, lest we forget the actors, they are brilliantly matched to their parts and the highest praise I can give of their performances: they’re free of distraction. That is, they all the true star of this film–the story (and the breathtaking animation)– to shine.
Technically it’s a winter song…it counts 🙂