When it comes down to it, there are really only two companies when it comes to animated movies aimed at children and their families. Well, okay, so there’s not and I’m really generalising here but go with the flow, alright, I’m trying to spin a legend to you. Or should it be a fable. Hm, fable or legend? Wait, getting off the point here, what was my point again? Oh, right, yeah, two companies: the giant that is Disney, and Dreamworks. And today, we aren’t looking at a Disney movie. Yes, that’s right, get your gasps of shock out now people, it’s time we dip our toes into the Dreamworks side of the pool, and what better movie to do it with than recent epic, Rise of the Guardians?
Based on The Guardians of Childhood, a series written by William Joyce, the film is set roughly 300 years following the events of the book series. It tells the story of the Guardians – North, who is in fact Santa Claus, Bunnymund the Easter Bunny, Tooth the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman – as they try to enlist Jack Frost as a new Guardian. With Jack’s help, the Guardians hope to stop Pitch Black – the Bogeyman – from engulfing the world in darkness. The movie features the voice work of Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin, and Isla Fisher. The animation of the movie is, frankly, pretty darn awesome. The use of colours within the movie help to really make the characters stick in the mind, and their unique designs will mean that these portrayals of the characters of myths and legend will really stick in your mind long after seeing the film. It received mixed to positive reviews, but didn’t do all that well financially speaking.
But that’s not what we Wanderers care about. Well, okay, there’s probably some amongst you who do care about stuff like that, but I myself am not so interested in that side of things. For me, it comes down to what I personally think of the movie, my own enjoyment and what I got from it. That’s always how I approach these GUST type articles, and it’s a formula that seems to have worked so far. So yes, the basic plot of the movie is the Guardians plus Jack Frost teaming up to stop Pitch Black from engulfing the world in darkness. If you thought “hang on, isn’t this just an animated Avengers movie?” you’re not entirely wrong; Pitch Black does have a very strong resemblance to Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki. At least, I thought so. The idea of great figures coming together to help help save the world isn’t a new one – comic companies make frequent use of it for big events – but when it’s done well, it can seem brand new, and the take on it in this movie is very different to ones I’ve seen before. Well, outside of Discworld. Actually, that’s a good segue…
See, it all sort of hinges on belief. And it makes me think of the Hogfather, and Death’s comment – don’t worry, he’s a good guy, and he’s on our side – that humans need fantasy to be human. This is a good movie for supporting that comment, I think. It’s not just that we need fantasy to be human, but also to keep safe. That there is something out there, fantastical and brilliant, looking out for the people of this world, and protecting them from that which goes bump in the night. Okay, so maybe it’s idealistically hopeful of me but you know? I think even grown ups need a little bit of the fantastical to protect us sometimes.
And that’s what this movie gives you.
Pretty good, when you get down to it, I reckon.
Z McAspurren (does believe in faries, she does, she does… no, wait, that’s Peter Pan isn’t it?)