I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into theaters to watch this movie. You know that feeling? Of course you do. After all, no one wants to spend time and money and have it go to waste. Thankfully, it didn’t. I was more than pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the movie so much.

And if you, like me, are tired of the Twilight movie hype and would rather enjoy an entertaining, well told story, then “Rise of the Guardians” is for you.

The movie tells the tale of the guardians, the protectors of children all over the world. To us, they’re better known as Santa Claus, Sandman, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. And because of the holiday season coming up, you’d think the story was about them, but no. The character study this time around is of a relatively well known person, although many movies don’t spend too much time bothering with him. This character is Jack Frost. His story is one of every hero’s. At first unseen and forgotten by children, he journeys to be acknowledged and find his importance and place in the world while helping the other guardians fight off the boogeyman.

I know the holiday season’s here and with it comes a plethora of movies about Santa Claus and all other tales of cheer. And with such a large pool of holiday-themed movies, it’s easy for any one of them to drown in its massiveness. “Rise of the Guardians” should not be one of them. And while it includes Santa Claus, its focus is not on the Christmas holiday at all. That’s always a nice change of pace.

There were several things I loved about “Rise of the Guardians”:

  1. It isn’t strictly a Santa Claus movie. It focuses on Jack Frost and his journey. The movies about Jack Frost are countable on one hand and never has he been given such depth and humanity as he’s given in “Rise”. He is likeable, has a sense of humor, and a good heart. Anyone would be able to understand his confusion about his sense of self and struggles with why he’s been given extraordinary powers.
  2. It has a spark. Yes, this sounds cliché, but there are only so many movies out there that I can say that about. Many animations often have a great idea behind them, but are not executed very well, or they try too hard to infuse humor and imagination with a good story and always fall short. “Rise of the Guardians” has a magical spark that will make your inner child extremely happy. It has imagination, originality, and a simplicity which balances the pace and life of the story. By the time it’s over, you’ll wish there were still a few more minutes of magic.
  3. The attention to detail. The visuals and graphics are amazingly stunning, right down to the detailed design of Jack Frost’s hoodie. Sandman’s sand is a beautiful golden wisp of sweet dreams. And Santa’s tattoos (yes, Santa has tattoos) are intricately drawn. The whole backdrop is pretty awesome in its style and the usage of grayish blue hues for Jack Frost is a great choice.
  4. The characters. These aren’t your typical characters. Yes, they’re recognizable, but they’re all also originally different. Santa has tattoos. Shocking, I know. The naughty list is on one arm and the nice list on the other. It’s actually pretty cool. He doesn’t come off as being overly jolly either, which is refreshing. He’s a bit rough around the edges with a big, soft center. The Easter Bunny resembles a rabbit with a kangaroo twist. And… he has an Australian accent with a bit of a temper. The Tooth Fairy is bright and bouncy and full of energy. She’s pretty much as vibrant as her costume. Sandman is cute. He’s short, tubby, and made of gold. He doesn’t speak, but everyone listens. Jack Frost is fun, full of childlike energy, curiosity, and skepticism. The boogeyman is just the right amount of creepy and bitter, as villains usually are.

Also, something to think about: a friend noticed that Jack Frost resembles the boy who sits in the “D” of the DreamWorks logo. Maybe he was an inspiration!

And if you’re still debating what to go see in theaters, don’t miss out on “Rise of the Guardians”. Your inner child will be happy you made the choice. And don’t forget to take your children, too!

"Rise of the Guardians"
Credit: IMDb