Suspension of Disbelief: Rise of the Guardians
Did you ever hear of a movie where Jack Frost, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and a very sassy Easter Bunny team up to fight the forces of evil? Because that movie is Rise of the Guardians, and it is delightful!
The movie tells the story of Santa, Tooth, Bunny and Sandy, who are the four Guardians- protectors chosen to look after the children of the world. However, when Pitch (the boogeyman) tries to engulf the world in darkness, they have to enlist the help of a new member- Jack Frost. Jack wants to refuse their proposition because he is bitter after years of not being believed in- as this has rendered him invisible to humans. Santa (adorable, tatooed, Norwegian Santa) persuades him to join them to fight against the evil that Pitch is injecting into kids’ dreams- as well as finding out about his own lost origin along the way.
There are many pros which make this movie an absolute delight to watch. One- the primary reason for my enjoyment- is the animation. The standard of animation is generally very good in big-budget kids’ movies, but Rise of the Guardians is particularly gorgeous- due especially to the attention to detail. During the opening scene of the movie, Jack causes frost to form on a tree- it was done so beautifully that I was smiling in my cinema seat like a little kid. Sandy is made of individual sparkling sand particles, for which Dreamworks had to create OpenVDB- a more efficient tool for animating amorphous materials such as smoke, which was released by the studio to public domain in August 2012. Even down to Tooth’s feathers and the stitching in their clothes; the detail was there.
The story itself is very novel- the idea of all the legendary creatures from our childhood banding together as an allied front against the evil Boogeyman! The personalities of each character are well-developed, leading to some adorably funny conflicts. I particularly loved Hugh Jackman’s macho, Australian Easter Bunny- and I challenge you not to. He created much of the comic relief of the film with his decidedly un-fluffy demeanour, and the interaction between the characters was a joy to watch.
This movie is all about belief, which might not appeal to the sensitivities of some skeptics. It didn’t bother me personally, as it was centred in a world which was quite obviously fantastical- but some others may disagree. One of the heroes of the story is a small boy who never stops believing in the Guardians, despite a complete lack of evidence. Everybody else has stopped believing, but he continues unconditionally. Belief in fantastical creatures by small children, however, is harmless enough that I think most people would be able to suspend disbelief and still appreciate the story, but it might be a factor which is worth bearing in mind if you want to show it to any particularly impressionable children.
All in, I’d give this movie 4/5 Easter eggs- it wasn’t mindblowing, but it was magical movie and a thoroughly enjoyable watch.