It is so comforting to know that everyone on earth is under the watch and protection of THE GUARDIANS, those mystical, magical beings that we all learn about early in life that give us something to believe in: Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Sandman, & The Tooth Fairy- with guidance provided by he, who watches over the entire world on a daily basis, The Man in the Moon! At the beginning of the movie, we are introduced to Jack Frost at the moment of his creation (voiced by Chris Pine), and watch with youthful amazement as he discovers his new magical powers to create beautiful frozen patterns as he taunts and teases humans as he also learns that he is invisible, and can’t be touched or heard. Jump ahead 300 years to a toy workshop staffed by Yetis, those mystical snow creatures rumored to exist in the Himalayas as well as elves, who are more servants and friends of Santa Claus than they are toy makers! Santa sounds amazingly like Alec Baldwin speaking with a heavy Russian accent and is alerted that in his global monitoring room, where there’s a huge globe lit with lights representing every child in the world who believes in childhood wonders and magic, there is a problem! Santa sees an old adversary that he hasn’t seen for centuries! The BOOGEY MAN has returned to takeover the earth and plunge it into another age of fear and dread like the dark ages! Santa puts out an alert to call his fellow GUARDIANS that is the Aurora Borealis (or the Northern Lights). As soon as they see Santa’s signal, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Sandman converge on his North Pole workshop where they are informed by the Man In The Moon that it is time for them to anoint a new Guardian to help them fight this new threat and Jack Frost is named as the new member of their elite team! So the Easter Bunny, voiced by Hugh Jackman in a heavy Australian accent, along with two Yetis are dispatched to retrieve Jack who has been enjoying being a mischievous little sprite for 300 years, causing it to snow on Easter and frosting over windows and nipping at children’s noses. For all of those 300 years however, Jack has wondered why he can’t be seen or heard by the humans, living in isolation which fuels his mischievous activities. Jack is informed that because of the Boogey Man, also known as Pitch and voiced by Jude Law, children are losing their innocence and belief in the magical wonderment of childhood. Instead of the happy dreams provided by the Sandman, they are having nightmares and waking up in fear. The lights are going out on Santa’s monitor as children stop believing in the magic of the legendary characters, and as their belief wains, so does the powers of the team. Jack must discover his purpose for being who he is by discovering who he was before he became Jack Frost! And so begins the “Rise of the Guardians”!
The animation team is to be commended on the awesome job they did capturing the facial expressions and personalities of each of the characters, especially Jack Frost.Tooth Fairy and her army of baby teeth collectors are also beautifully animated with brilliant colors! Tooth is half human and half hummingbird and never sets foot on land, constantly on the go to collect all of those baby teeth from children around the world and leaving a small reward to reinforce their belief in her magic! I haven’t seen a holiday themed film like this since I first saw “POLAR EXPRESS” in Imax 3D when it felt like a snowflake landed on my nose!
I particularly liked the underlying story plot of “RISE OF THE GUARDIANS” where each of the characters are charged with their own unique assignment to protect one of the different facets of the things that all combined provide us with our memories of the magic of being a child. I’ll never forget the day that an old maid school teacher of mine shattered our wonder and belief in those special parts of our childhood by informing us that our parents were liars and there was really no such thing as Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or any of the other things we had believed in for our entire short lifetimes. Our parents were furious that she had made them out to be liars and robbed us of our magic forever!
“RISE OF THE GUARDIANS” will entertain your children and restore your belief that maybe, just maybe, there really is a team of magical legendary characters out there somewhere that put the quarters under our pillows and stuffed the toys in our stockings and ate our cookies we put out on Christmas, and that Jack Frost magically painted the beautiful pictures we woke up to on a cold winter morning before the days of insulated double-pane windows. Yes, Virginia! There really is a Santa Claus!
Please comment below letting me know what you think, and share your favorite memory of your childhood! Do you think you’re on the Naughty or Nice list?