Friday, November 30, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

Much more than just another holiday movie, Rise of the Guardians paints a beautiful, entertaining, symbolic picture of faith verses fear that impressed me very much.
The focal character of the story is Jack Frost. He awakes from what he can only explain as ‘darkness’ sporting special abilities given him by the moon. But Mr. Moon will not verbalize his intentions or Jack’s purpose. So, for 300 years, he causes mischief, but not all the bad kind. He has an uncanny way of helping kids smile.
One day, due to some sinister doings of the Boogy Man himself, Pitch Black, Jack is called on to become a Guardian, joining a team of like legends including – Santa Claus (they call him ‘North’), the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy. Jack is unconvinced that he has anything in common with such company, and is still a bit miffed at the Man in the Moon for telling the Guardians about his purpose instead of just telling him. However, he sticks around long enough to discover more about himself and his calling in life than he could ever imagined or hoped for.
While the story is not groundbreaking or completely original, two things stand out and make this film masterful. First, clever characterization of well-known and well-loved holiday icons brings them to life in a whole new way. I mean, who can resist an Easter bunny voiced by Hugh Jackman, more jack rabbit than Peter Cottontail, who has serious ninja moves with those magic boomerangs? Oh yeah… that’s what I’m talking about!
The second thing is its animation, especially seen as intended in digital. Crisp, sparkling, perfection. It is dazzling to watch, to experience.
What I like most, though, is the message. Faith eclipses fear – simple as that, but demonstrated in a clear, tangible, magical way. And before you get too hung up on the ‘magical’ part or the concern that this story glorifies secular representations of a couple sacred holidays, I see the band of Guardians more as characters each representing an aspect or trait of the One True God. Taken as a whole, taken symbolically, the Truth is present. Vivid, even.
So… truly a film the whole family can enjoy, I suggest you make a date to see Rise of the Guardians.
Happy Weekending, Dry Ground friends! Be blessed!