The Rise of the Guardians
Director: Peter Ramsey
Screenplay: David Lindsey-Abaire
Cast: Voices of Chris Pine, Jude Law, Isla Fischer, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Rating: ****** (Out of 10)
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall, Cine 3
When the children of the world are in danger, who better to protect them than their immortal guardians, North (Alec Baldwin), Tooth (Isla Fischer), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Sandy and wait for it, Jack Frost (Chris Pine). William Joyce’s tale of the Rise of the Guardians comes to life in this wonderful, whimsical animation adventure.
The plot is quite simple, when the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians must team up for the first time to protect the innocence of children all around the world. Santa, called North, and his buddies are the protectors of the universe. More specifically, they are protectors of all who are innocent, all who dare to dream and all who dare to hope. The bogeyman (Pitch – voice of Jude Law) threatens the world by causing nightmares and most importantly, making the children stop believing in our lovable characters.
The movie is loosely based on Jack Frost who is the movie’s central character. Jack struggles with the basic problem. “who am I”. He looks towards the ‘Man in the moon’ for answers who simply replies. “You are a guardian”. Pitch uses Jack Frost’s identity crisis as a base for ruining the other guardians’ motives of spreading cheer and giving hope to the children. He succeeds at that when the children stop believing in the guardians because Jack Frost delays delivering Easter eggs to the children and follows Pitch who has the answer to his childhood. The children stop believing in the Easter Bunny and this makes Bunny helpless and causes him to turn into a tiny bunny.
Watching the movie, one can’t help but think of the beauty of its simplicity. The Leitmotif is perfect for the festive season: the world is in peril at the hands of Fear itself. Who can save us?. Fear (personified as the bogeyman) can only be tackled this time with the joint efforts of Santa, Sandy, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and our main protagonist, Jack Frost. Winston Churchill once said the only thing we should fear, is fear itself. Who would have thought that a simple phone call to the north pole would contain this dark force.
Very often as a film critic, you find pleasure in examining the intricacies of a movie. This is especially true for psychological thrillers, action movies and romantic comedies where the central plot provides a basis for the narrative to grow. These movies are often designed to capture the audience’s mind with rich humour, indescribable feats of action or mind-boggling script. Sometimes though, you find a certain movie which is simply just fun. This is the case with the Rise of the Guardians.
As an animation fanatic I was very keen to see the movie and I am glad I did. When people think of animations they immediately think of childish infantile entertainment, The movie is a bit of a drag at the beginning but this shortcoming ends there. The animation is great and the writing is very thoughtful. It is also thought provoking which make it a great movie for adults too. The voice acting is on point for all the characters, thumbs up to Alec Baldwin. I found it hard to recognize his voice, he managed to add magic to the already whimsical adventure with his voice . I would say he is my favourite character. The Rise of the Guardians carries a meaningful message. It ends in a good way, the darkness and fear are all chased away and the children’s hope in the guardians is restored. Overall the movie is a good 93 minutes of laughter, fun and adventure. It teaches one never to stop believing.