Rise Of The Guardians. A movie many have seen and enjoyed, but I discovered myself only recently. This movie was fantastic. It was jam packed with great lessons, humor, and heart.
To name one general theme for this movie feels like a disservice to it, but I suppose if there is one to be picked, it is the need to protect childhood. To keep the child inside of each of us alive.
The movie follows the guardians, ancient protectors of children selected by the man in the moon. These guardians include Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, the sandman, and finally the newest guardian, Jack Frost.
Jack Frost is the only guardian who doesn’t remember who he was before he was chosen by the man in the moon, and a large part of the movie is about Jack’s desire to regain his memories, so that he can understand why he’s here. A relatable struggle for many. North (Santa Claus) gives Jack this advice. To find his center. What he is at the very core of his being. For North it is his childlike wonder.
The movie follows the guardians as they try to stop Pitch Black, the embodiment of darkness, and thus also of fear. He is trying to stop all the children in the world from believing in the guardians so that they only believe in him, he wishes to be seen again. For in this world if these beings are not believed in, they cannot be seen.
Jack also cannot be seen, and Pitch acts as a very interesting character foil to him. They’re both desperate to be believed in, to be seen, to belong. But in their cores, one wants to be seen so that they’re feared, to make everyone belong to the darkness. And one wants everyone to experience joy and fun, and wants to be seen so he can share that experience with people.
The entire movie stresses how important it is to protect the children, and their belief. And ultimately its exactly what saves the world. The children choose to stand up against fear, they choose not to be afraid, and thus take away all of fears power.
The only point I can really take from this movie, is that as fantastic as it is they included a mute character, and that this character is the most powerful. I found it somewhat iffy that this is also the only character to die. Albeit temporarily. Using a disabled character to essentially be fridged to convince everyone they really do need to stop the bad guy, is a problem Hollywood has more than you might think. It doesn’t lose more points for this, simply because it does later rectify it, and this is an older movie.
Nonetheless, this movie has powerful and important messages for children to hear. This movie was a delight from start to finish, and definitely has great rewatch value. I would highly recommend this movie to any animation lover, or anyone who wants to keep childhood alive.