Upon first glance, Rise of the Guardians seems like Marvel’s Avengers for young kids. It teams up childhood heroes like Santa Clause and Jack Frost to fight against Pitch the Boogeyman. However, amongst the “childish” exterior, one can consider this to be amongst Dreamwork’s most serious, ambitious, and heartwarming movies to date.
While the plot is simple enough, it takes you through an adventure that explores all of these character’s worlds and has you glimpse through the mythology that DreamWorks – or rather, William Joyce- created for them. For it’s average running time of 97 minutes, the film tries to accomplish a lot because of this heavy exploration. This makes the movie a bit rushed in the beginning, but it eventually finds its pace as it carries the main character, Jack Frost, through his journey of self-identity towards becoming a Guardian.
From start to finish, the movie lacks the gags, toilet humor, and pop-culture references that have been carried on throughout older DreamWorks films and replaces it with a script that truly attempts to capture the essence of these characters. Admittedly, the script may be quite trite in certain areas, making clear the conflicts and goals from the get-go and containing more exposition than subtext, but what the story lacks in its script it makes up with characters you root for and believe in by the end. Along with its absolutely beautiful animation and character driven universe, Dreamworks created a movie for the holidays that anybody can enjoy, child and adult alike.
Written by Melly Diaz, Graphic Design Senior