Rise of the Guardians
“Rise of the Guardians” is simply magical. It takes a very different view of the legends that we have all grown up with, bringing back nostalgia for adults and magic for kids. It attempts to truly make you believe in the childhood fables with its hair-raising battles, lovable characters, and spectacular wonders of lands beyond us.
The myths of the holidays come together with the four immortal Guardians—the jolly yet tough Santa Claus, the warrior-like Easter Bunny, the entrancing Tooth Fairy, and the silent but adorable Sandman. It is their job to protect and bring joy to children all around the world. When evil Pitch (the Boogeyman) threatens to overtake the world with fear, teenager legend Jack Frost is appointed as a new Guardian. The Guardians must learn to work together as a team and get children to believe in them before it is too late. Jack embarks on his own personal journey, as well, finding his purpose in being a Guardian. It’s the “Rise of the Avengers” from our childhoods, and in a good way, too.
“Rise of the Guardians” is visually stunning, especially in 3D. The sight of legends at work will make everyone believers once more. There are a lot of laughs and more heart than I expected. The poignant moments are expressive, especially when Jack bonds with the only boy, Jamie, who still believes in the Guardians. This is a movie for the entire family to enjoy without any innuendos, because the mere idea of legends uniting and epic battles in the night sky will make your jaw drop, cracking even the hardest of critics with its playful nostalgia. It also puts a fun twist on the characters, as well, bringing each one to life with a very distinct personality.
The film portrays Jack as a fun-loving, mischievous teenage rascal who first rejects his new title as a Guardian, frustrated by centuries of disbelief in him. For three hundred years, he feels unwanted because no children believe in him—and therefore can’t see him. He declines the responsibility that comes with being a Guardian because he doesn’t understand why he’s chosen. When he asks, “Why me?” Santa tells him, “You have something very special inside, and we can’t do it without you.” Jack discovers that he has the makings of a true hero—selfless, courageous, and, surprisingly, kindness.
The movie has two heartwarming messages. The first is about how everyone has a different role to play and a special “center”. Santa’s center is to bring wonder to the children, and Jack Frost must find his own center. God has also put “centers” into our own heart, things that we are passionate about and love to do. Just like Jack faces questions about his past and purpose, we also must deal with questions like “Who am I? Why am I here?” We can only find our purpose and destiny in God, who is theCreator of all. The Bible says in Colossians 1:16,
“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”
Another message is about hope versus fear. Sandman and Pitch (the Boogeyman) are the exact opposites of each other—one brings sweet dreams, while the other overtakes the minds of children with nightmares. Pitch declares, “It’s time for fear to rule the world.” In the end, even though the children acknowledge Pitch’s existence, they declare that they are not afraid of him because they have the Guardians by their side. AsChristians, we should not be afraid, because we have God on our side. Psalm 118:6 says,
There is mild name-calling between the Guardians, such as words like “bloody” and “coward”. Families can also talk about the worldly portrayal of Christian holidays. Christmas is supposed to be when we celebrate the birth of Christ, whileEaster is when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, but the secular view turns it into a mishmash of Santa, Christmas trees, the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs. Also, the Guardians look up to the mythical deity-like “Man on the Moon” for direction and guidance, instead of God. Another warning to parents is that younger children may be frightened by the idea that Pitch spreads fear through dreams and some battle scenes may be too intense for them.
I would recommend this movie to any family looking for a whimsical, slightly quirky, magical movie. The voice-overs are commendable and the movie’s feel-good, keep believin’ tenors will draw the entire family into a world of hope, joy, and child-like innocence. All in all, this movie was a joy to watch. The uplifting morals will find their way to not only your heart, but to your dreams as well.
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