Monday, 6 January 2014

Raise of the Guardians

This animated movie was a big splash at the time, and yet it's not something that seems to be cited anymore.

Jack Frost is one of many supernatural creatures that exist. Because kids love the legends of a chap who goes around freezing things! When Pitch Black (yes, the movie, not the character) turns up and starts terrorising the world (yeah, damn you movie!), Jack is roped in to be a Guardian, along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman. But Jack is not a happy fun guy, and doesn't know his origin, so he's not jumping on the bandwagon... although he's immediately against Pitch and there's no actual equivocation as to whether or not Jack is 'good' or not... And it all comes down to the kids in one city for a final battle, as these things always do.

I know this was based on a book, but there's a lot of problems I have with this, because they set up things in their own canonicity which doesn't work. The Guardians need to help collect teeth, and seem to do so during one night... but night is a continual thing! They've established that they are dealing with whole world, but you can't suddenly start talking about 'hey, we got these things done' and 'tomorrow they'll be in trouble'. Time doesn't work like that!

And why these particular guardians? The movie very deliberately doesn't go anywhere near the topic of religion, but skirt the issue carefully with the Easter Bunny talking about Easter being a time of renewal... um, particularly if you are talking America, there's a whole other theme associated with that time... let alone Christmas time... But even within that, Santa, Easter, Tooth, Sandman... and Frost? What brings them together? Why not, say, the tall tailor who cuts of the thumbs of thumbsuckers? Or the Jolly Green Giant? Or Puff??? [They do refer to the Leprechaun and the Ground Hog.]

Aside from all that, the performances are decent, although the voices don't quite match the characters. Chris Pine as Jack and Jude Law as Pitch just don't fit well. And the animation is stylised as Dreamworks does.

A decent enough movie, but one that hasn't stood time.


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