For years the Muppet's Christmas Carol has been my favorite Christmas Movie, that title is in serious jeopardy! If you haven't guessed I absolutely love Dreamwork's Holiday Release:
Based on series The Guardians of Childhood by Academy, Emmy and many other award winning author William Joyce, this movie has something for children of all ages. The premise is that The Man in the Moon has created Guardians (Santa and such) to protect the innocence of children. Each of these Guardians are special in their own rite and come together to fight against any attempt to take away the hope and dreams of childhood.
We attended the movie on November 23, the first Friday after its release. Making our viewing even more enjoyable was the very young children in the audience. There were times when I believe I was watching the reaction of the toddler sitting next to us rather than the screen.
I'm always surprised with reviews of animated movies. Very often they are trashed with complaints of the story line and character development. While I do believe that all movies should be held to a certain standard I also believe it is important that reviewers remember who the target audience of a movie is. With the sad quickness that children outgrow most of the childhood innocent fantasies so many of us embraced for years I absolutely love that this movie reinvented all of the main characters. Is this movie going to convert Santa non-believers? NO of course not, that is not the movie's purpose. This Santa is not the "bowl full of jelly" that is usually portrayed. North, as Santa also called, makes me think of a retired Marine or a viking gone soft; someone who seems rough and tough on the outside but will get down on the floor and play with a child. You'll find Sandman, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy all reworked and just as endearing as Santa. The Villain in this is Pitch, whose goal it is to make all the children of the world no longer believe in the Guardians. I love how Joyce visually worked night-mares by actually having them be dark horses charging into children's dreams.
The cast for this movie was phenomenal :
- Chris Pine ~ Jack Frost
- Hugh Jackman ~ Bunnymund (E.B.)
- Isla Fisher ~ Tooth Fairy
- Jude Law ~ Pitch
- Alec Baldwin ~ North (Santa)
My favorite throughout the movie was the Elves. Like many "extra" characters before them The Elves absolutely make this movie. It was actually the previews with them that made me even more excited to see Guardians. They provide so many of the burst-out-loud laughs that the movie would be incomplete without them.
I am quite confident that this movie will be a Christmas tradition for years to come. Actually we'll probably be playing it as Easter as well (like I need an excuse).