Rise of the Guardians is a CGI animated film for children based on a book by William Joyce. It is built around the invaluable moral of believing in yourself. Like other great movies I’ve seen recently, it was effectively directed by the book’s author. The film also had a second director: Guillermo del Toro. I was surprised to see del Toro’s name since he was the director of violent horror style movies like Blade and Pan’s Labyrinth. Still, his art shines through in a way that really works for children. The characters reminded me of the video game Legend of Zelda and the Disney cartoon Peter Pan.”
The story centers around Jack Frost, voiced by Chris Pine. He falls in with “The Guardians,” make believe legends including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. In the beginning, Jack Frost is not convinced he is one of the chosen few but through time and testing, he comes to understand his place as a Guardian. Pitch is the villain. He represents fear. He is voiced by Jude Law and the character is quite scary. He reminded me a little of Hades from Disney’s Hercules. The elves are hilarious in the same spirit as Despicable Me‘s Minions. In the end, everything is set right as is customary in children’s movies. The theater was filled with applause at the end. It was an enjoyable ride watching this morality tale play out.
I must admit I was skeptical about this film at first but to my surprise I was very entertained by it. I greatly enjoyed this movie for my kids, who accompanied me there, but also for myself. Just like the Tortoise and the Hare, we get a bedside tale that teaches up something. In this case it is the power of believing in yourself and others. I’d say this film perfectly achieves what it sets out to do. Believing in yourself is a moral we never outgrow. That and some truly astounding CGI made the Legend of the Guardians a winner with my kids and I.