Rise of the Guardians is one of the most adorable animated films of the year. It is magical, charming, funny, simply put: it is indelibly wonderful. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this film. The trailers were unappealing and its underperformance at the box office made a negative impression. You could say that since my expectations were so low, I ended up enjoying this film a bit too much. Although, I wouldn't say expectations have anything to do with the actual film. It is more to do with me having the fortune of being the right kind of audience for this film.
I was heavily disappointed by the standard of animation films this year. Apart from Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and perhaps Brave, no other animated film really made a lasting impression. Rise of the Guardians manages to go the distance, as it becomes a time portal, which takes you away into its world. It may not be the most tightly scripted film, or even as great as Frankenweenie but it has a sense of wonder and spellbinding sweep that it makes you want to hug yourself. It is literally exploding with enchantment and wonder. The animation is gorgeous but it is the heart of the film that is carefully and tenderly placed that makes all the difference. I laughed at the jokes and cried during a few snuggly moments. The crying was out of sheer joy, mind you.
Hotel Transylvania gathered classic movie monsters; Wreck-It Ralph did that for the arcade video games. Rise of the Guardians unites our childhood heroes namely North (a.k.a. Santa Claus), Tooth Fairy, Sandman, Easter Bunny and Jack Frost. The villain is Pitch (a.k.a. Boogeyman) and Jude Law does a fine job with some enigmatic voice acting. The film is based on William Joyce's book which tells the story of a group of characters from mystic folklore that managed to find a place in the hearts of kids all over.
I myself had relationships with Santa Claus, Sandman, Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost. These relationships were mainly due to movies/ fairy tales but there is a nice little touch in the film that Jack Frost is invisible as no child really believes in him. He doesn't have a festival or a specific urban legend attached. I was surprised when I realized I never really paid attention to Jack Frost either. Maybe because I never actually had a chance to play in the snow because, well... there was never any snow around. The only memory I have of him is a bad Michael Keaton movie called Jack Frost (1998). (This has nothing to do with me watching it countless times on VHS)
Rise of the Guardians reminds me of The Polar Express (2004), a film I utterly loved but was surprised to find its low box office and sub-par reviews. The Polar Express stayed on screens for a while as the word of mouth caught on, similarly I learned Rise of the Guardians has earned a good word of mouth and is slow and steady at the box office.
The reason why I'm mentioning these films together is not because they are Christmas/ Holiday films or that they were badly timed/ marketed but because they made me want to be a child again. That is a rare quality almost vanishing from movies today. Very few movies â€œhave funâ€ while they play on screen. Rise of the Guardians is an ode to childhood. It is a perfect film for the holiday season. It is one of those movies I feel like revisiting right after watching them. Not to mention the smile plastered on my face while I walk out. If you are a child at heart, I highly recommend you give this one a visit.view less