Rise of the Guardians

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Written By: Sarah Nguyen

I bet your first impression of this movie was that it was going to be another okay kids movie. Another Wreck-It Ralph movie that’s just not as good as it. That’s what I thought too.

After watching the movie, some of you would still think that, and some of you changed your minds about it. Well, that was what happened to me. I came into the movie theatre, thinking it was going to be a fun movie that won’t really be much, just a laugh here and there, but I was wrong. It took my breath away. From its amazing designs and cartoons to its funny, unique and relatable characters, the world of ROTG blew my mind. By the end of the movie, I was grinning like a maniac.

So, let’s start with the summary. This movie was based on the series “Guardians of Childhood,” by William Joyce (although not completely, since Jack Frost wasn’t an actual character in the series). It was directed by Peter Ramsey, who also helped make the movies Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. No wonder Jack looks a bit like Hiccup and Santa looks like Stoick the Vast.
So this movie is about the well known, but not well believed, Jack Frost, voiced by the famous Chris Pines. He’s a fun-loving, deadline-hating, rebellious teen that loves snow ball fights and giving children their snow days. In a way, he’s just like us, except for that he’s a winter spirit that had been invisible to the humans that don’t believe in him (which was everybody), for three hundred years. But all that is going to change when he is sent (albeit forcibly) to North’s Palace in the North Pole, where he finds out he’s a “Guardian of Childhood”. Him, being the “all fun, no rules” guy, immediately refuses the job. North, the Guardian of Wonder (voiced by Alec Baldwin) tries to convince him to join, but to no avail.

Jack is forced to cooperate with the Guardians when Pitch, a.k.a. “The Boogie Man” (voiced by Jude Law) destroys Toothiana’s (The Tooth Fairy, voiced by Islaw [Isla] Fisher) Palace, kidnapping all of her little helpers as well as the teeth (containing the child’s memories) from children all over the world. Without her helpers, she won’t be able to take the teeth from under children’s pillows anymore, and all the children will stop believing in her. Pitch also threatens to install fear in every child’s dream—as well as stopping them from believing in the Guardians.

So Jack, with his staff that can control all of winter, joins Tooth, Sandman, North, and his rival, Aster Bunnymund (The Easter Bunny, voiced by Hugh Jacklin [Jackman]), in the quest to defeat Pitch and help save the world.
So, this is the gist of the movie.

The part of this movie that interested me the most was the characters. They were new, unique versions of the old legends we heard about. Take Nicholas St North (North for short) for example. He’s a very unexpected version of Santa. Usually, Santa would be a very nice, soft, old man that gave an aura of a sweet old grandpa. But not North. He’s the complete opposite from that. Having two tattoos that say “Good” and “Naughty” on his arms, he gives off the aura of the tough guy. But despite all that, he has a soft side deep inside him that drives him to protect the children in the world, hence being a Guardian.

Tooth, usually, would be portrayed as some kind of mature fairy that’s wise and womanly. She is a bit like that, however she was more of a hyperactive kid that has an unusual obsession with teeth than anything else. She was instantly attracted to Jack’s white teeth. Her hyperactive personality matched her looks, as she was part hummingbird, part human. And, if you look closely, she’s also a mixture of a woman and a kid. She also can split herself in to multiple tiny dopplegangers that help her to get teeth across the world.

I also love the idea about the Guardians, and how (spoiler) they have a “center”; a characteristic that they most treasure. For Bunnymund, it’s Hope, hence being the Guardian of Hope. It gives the character more depth as well as a moral to the movie, and makes you wonder as to why it’s their most valued characteristic. It also tells us what we should hold on to and value, what being a child really is. Maybe it’s just me, but it also makes you wonder as to what is your own personal “center”.

When North gave a speech to Jack about the “center”, I immediately knew it was important. Not until near the end of the movie was when Jack Frost’s center was discovered. It was also connected to his past human life and how his human self died and was revived to become what he is now. In my opinion, this was very cleverly put, because it kept me curious about who Jack really is, and how he was put in this situation. Any info about Jack’s past wasn’t revealed until more than half of the movie was done. It kept me captivated throughout the movie.

Jack’s past wasn’t the only thing that captivated me. It was also his fun personality and situation that I (and probably the majority of you high schoolers) could relate to. Like most of us, he wants to play all day, no rules, and no hard work. He knows how to have a good time, and his witty humour makes for a good laugh. But he’s not just fun and games. He’s also lonely. No one noticed him for three hundred years, and he had no company. But naturally, since this is a kid’s movie, the movie doesn’t concentrate on that much.

The only problem I have with the movie was that the ending was pretty abrupt. The movie and characters had a surprising depth to it, but after Pitch got defeated, the movie rushed to an end so suddenly. It didn’t feel very complete.

The world that the movie portrayed is very magical and brought my inner child back again. It also helped me ignite my belief in the legends that I lost a long time ago and thought I’d never think of again. But now when I think of them, I think of the characters in this movie. This movie puts all the legends, including Cupid, Jack O’ Lantern, etc, into a new light and world for me.

I’d recommend this to the people that love adventure, humour, winter, and legends. But most especially, to the people who still have a “kid spirit” in them, or to the ones that somehow lost it, because I assure you that this movie will bring it back.

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