I have to admit, every now and then there is a movie that just slips by and I am not aware of it until sometime after its release. Such is the case of the 2012 theatrical movie Rise of the Guardians. While I had seen some of the Santa images, images I love since I am often confused with Santa myself, complete with the suit, long white beard, hair etc. I finally decided to get the movie so I visited a used video store and found the movie, a new never opened, still wrapped Blu-ray. So I decided to watch it with my granddaughter the first chance I had.
The first thing that surprised me was the caliber of cast in the animated film, which included, Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin as North, or Santa, Jude Law as Pitch, Isla Fisher as Tooth or The Tooth Fairy, and among many others, Hugh Jackman as Bunny or The Easter Bunny. All of these did a fantastic job, especially Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman who deserve being singled out for the emotional impact they gave to their characters.
I am pretty particular as a film reviewer. I comment on film from a fan or movie goer perspective and one of the sad things about this film is I truly wish I had had the gumption to see it when it was on the big screen. As is the case with many other animated movies, this one is filled with adult themes as well as themes and imagery that children will enjoy. I can’t recall the last time I saw an animated film with as much message as this. I loved it so much that my granddaughter and I sat right through it with no interruptions. We were fascinated with the images on screen and the story that was being told. Then the very next morning, I had to watch it again with my wife. She enjoyed it so much that she agreed, it is a keeper to watch over and over again. Virtually everything about this movie is nearly perfect, I can’t even find a single aspect to be critical of, it is that good.
I know many, especially some Christians will have some issues with the movie, that is a shame as the themes are deeply spiritual and I believe can be used to point to a specific purpose and used as a clear allegorical story, let me explain. There are those who have been chosen by a light in the sky, yet they have to surrender to that light. They are to be a reflection in many ways of the good that comes about. This reminded me of an old Barry McGuire performance on a recording years ago on an album with The 2nd Chapter of Acts. He speaks how followers of Jesus are to be a reflection of the light of God’s love, like the moon if you will, he states, “Wow I want to be a full moon.”
The characters in the story have a desire to love and bless children, after all children are special, just like they were with Jesus who stated that, “we must become like little children if we are going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Guardians are each characters based on lore and mythology to an extent who help keep children happy and focused. It is in the good dreams of the children, the faith, love and hope that they find their meaning, place and purpose in life, of course they have to surrender, and have faith in the things that seeks to give them those blessings.
As the story develops, there is an evil one who would destroy all good things. He wants to bring fear and to tear people away from all things that are good and brings purpose and life. Without giving too much away, there is a character among the Guardians who speaks to the heart, but never with audible words. He finds a way to enter into the lives of children to give that hope, that dream and that purpose. Later on that character gives his life to save the children. It appears as if all is lost, that he is dead and gone. Later on we see the need of a savior. That character returns from the dead to help save the world and defeat the evil one who rides on a black horse. Do I need to say anything more about how this seems to be clear Biblical imagery?
I found this movie fascinating and it has entered into my must view movies during Christmas, but it is also good for Easter, that first frost of the season or when a child places that first tooth under their pillow. It is also good at understanding the importance of not being afraid, yes we can and do know that evil exists but we also know there is a way to defeat that evil and in fact, that evil has already been defeated, we just have to accept, on faith, that there are those Guardians who protect us and have fought the battle for us, whether they be the angels around us or a Savior named Jesus.
How good is this movie? Quite good really, in fact, so good that I decided to write a review for a movie made in 2012. Now if you haven’t seen it, get it, find it, watch it, you will be glad you did, and for those who have already seen it, I am sure you would agree with my thoughts on this movie pretty close to 100% if not a full 100%.
To see the trailer for Rise of the Guardians, Just click on the following video, if the video doesn't work, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPLiBxhoug0
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