This week I watched a "Santa" movie, and I didn't hate it! Normally Santa movies annoy me. They annoy me a lot. They always seem to recycle the same jokes, and they are always full of "Holiday Cheese." Not this one. "Rise of the Guardians" is probably the best "Santa" movie. I've ever seen.
Granted, when I first heard about it, I expected an epic fail of lame-ness. In a nutshell, the plot is this:
Jack Frost teams up with Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, to fight the Boogeyman, who is giving all the children of the world nightmares. That to me sounded like the lamest movie plot ever, and I did not want to see it. At all. Then I started seeing trailers.
I had to admit, it didn't look half bad. My cousin Sasha really wanted to go see it. She recognized it as based on a book series she had seen and said it was really good. After I saw another trailer in the theater, I was finally convinced to go with her. I am really glad I was. The movie is so much better than it sounded.
When I first heard about it I assumed that it was all about Santa, which as you may have guessed was a complete turn off for me. I did not want to watch another Christmas Santa movie. But that assumption was wrong. First off, it's not even a Christmas movie, it just happens to have Santa in it. Also, Santa was only one of four SIDE characters, and the MAIN character was Jack Frost. But even if Santa had been the star, it would have been cool. This was no Jolly elf with a chubby tummy, going Ho-Ho-Ho. This Santa is a massive, muscular Russian. He has Tattooed arms, and he fights with two swords. I'd watch a movie about this guy even without the other characters. None of that was even the best part about him though. Most Santa stories have the elves making all the toys. Not this Santa. This Santa claims that he just lets the elves THINK they are making the toys. They are pretty much little walking, giggling sight gags, like Christmas versions of the minions on Despicable Me. The real toy makers are a massive army of Yeti. My inner Cryptozoologist is quite pleased with this. :)
The other characters are all much "Cooler" than normally portrayed as well.
First up, the Easter Bunny. He's not a fluffy little cottontail bunny. He's a giant Australian Jackrabbit with an attitude.
The Tooth Fairy is not your regular princess/ballerina/fairy in a TuTu either. She seems to be part hummingbird, and she has thousands of much tinier hummingbird-fairies to help her with her job, which turns out to be about more than just collecting teeth.
The Sandman still seems a little on the chubby and cute side of the scale, but his powers make up for it, and he turns out to be very cool in his own way. (Dinosaurs + Manta Rays = Awesome. :) )
Jack Frost has been portrayed in many ways over the years, but this version is the best. He's kind of a rebellious teen/punk type of character in the beginning, despite the fact that he's about 300 years old, but by the end he's become a full on hero. There was actually a lot of depth to his back-story and character development, something you don't normally get out of a "Kids" movie.
The Boogeyman, AKA, Pitch Black, also turns out to be a great Bad Guy. They could have made him out to be a "Silly" sort of villain, but they did not, he ended up being a dangerous and formidable foe, and the film was much better for that.
All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. If you have kids, or just like animated films yourself, I highly recommend this one. :)