Guardians

Take your children, take your grandchildren, or just take yourself to see Rise of the Guardians.

There are times when every one of us needs a little reassurance.  Recent events make me feel that we are living in such times and Rise of the Guardians  the movie, might seem to be just for the children, but it’s not. It’s for anyone who has lost faith and stopped believing in goodness and the possibilities in the world.

My research produced a number of references from folklore to modern comics that deal with the subject of guardians and the battle between good and evil.  This particular story is based on a children’s fable described as a contemporary fairy tale entitled The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce.  I found it so charming, I sent copies to both sets of our grandchildren.  Joyce served as co-director on this magical and enchanting Dreamworks animation.  Here is an abbreviated synopsis of this sweet story, excerpted from the official website:

It’s a visually stunning yet simple story,  described as “an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes, each with an extraordinary ability.   Meet The Guardians of Childhood:

Fairy.

Santa Claus – more than a legend in this story, is called North and is given voice by none other than Alex Baldwin. He’s not your typical belly-full-of-jelly character, “he’s a warrior with a heart of gold who has  ‘naughty’ tattooed on one arm and ‘nice’ on the other.  Fierce, demanding and impulsive, everything about North is larger than life.  For North, nothing is impossible as long as he believes in it.”

Jack Frost, in the voice of Chris Pine, “is more than a myth. He is a supernatural being much like the guardians, but unlike the others, he is a loner: the classic rebel without a cause.  He too is immortal, eternally young, charismatic and smart.  He has incredible weather powers that he controls with his magic staff; he can control the winds, storms, cold and snow.  He’s the spirit of mischief and chaos personified.  But until he can discover the purpose behind his amazing powers, he will never be a true guardian.”

The captivating Tooth Fairy is more than a fairy tale.  Given voice by Isla Fisher, Tooth is “beautiful, elegant,  blue and green iridescent, half human and half hummingbird.  She is full of energy and always in motion  collecting children’s teeth with the help of her fleet of mini fairies who patrol the globe 24/7.  What you don’t know is that the children’s teeth hold the most precious childhood memories.  Tooth safeguards these teeth in her palace and returns the memories when we need them most.”

Hugh Jackman lends his tough Aussie voice to Bunymund, aka The Easter Bunny, who believes that he is more than a fable.  “Bunny is a cool, calm Australian, as dry as the outback; an in-the-dirt, rough and tumble protector of nature.  He follows nature’s rhythms and when it’s time for action, he waits for the perfect moment to act – all over in a heartbeat with the help of his enchanted boomerangs and exploding Easter eggs.   Bunny is completely unflappable.   The only thing that gets under his skin is North’s constant ribbing about how Christmas is more important than Easter.”

sandman

Dear Sweet Sandman – more than a dream – has no voice, but he is still “our guardian of dreams.  He communicates through magical sand images that are conjured in our imagination, like a game of charades.  He is ancient and wise and incredibly powerful.  Although peaceful by nature, Sandman is a fierce fighter, expertly wielding his dreamsand-whips to fight Pitch and his nightmares.”

And then there is Pitch, an evil spirit perfectly pitched by Jude Law, giving voice to the “boogeyman who hid under your bed when you were a child, and gave you reason to fear the dark.  He’s had to endure generations of parents telling their children not to fear or believe in him, while the Guardians are beloved by all.

But in his underground liar Pitch has devised a plan to change all that.  With the help of his sinister army of nightmares, Pitch plans to destroy belief in the guardians and all they represent – until there is nothing left but fear.”

When Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, “the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.”

Wasn’t it Tinkerbell who said, “You don’t have to understand, you just have to believe.”  Our world is so complex, it’s easy to lose faith, but maybe it’s worth a try. At least seeing this movie made me feel that way for a while.

Give yourself a treat this holiday season.  Go to the movies!