First off, this is the first movie I will be watching this year.
A little over a month before the new year kicks in and I see my first movie this year just now. When I go over the reasons why, I would say I just forget that a movie I was dying to see was being screened because of “other things” that I have to do. Eventually, the screening time is over and I’m done doing my “other things”. Irritating, if you ask me.
Getting on with the movie: There is the concept of a Guardian who takes care of and protects the interests of children, specifically, what it is to be a child. There are four Guardians namely, Santa Claus (also called North in the movie), The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and Sandman. Respectively, they are the Guardians of: Wonder, Memories, Hope, and Dreams.
These four Guardians also promote what they guard by doing what they “traditionally” do. Santa Claus distributes gifts to children around the world. The Tooth Fairy leaves money under kid’s pillows in exchange for their temporary teeth that come off. The Easter Bunny leaves Easter eggs all around for children to find. Lastly, the Sandman puts children to sleep and gives them good dreams every night. They have been doing this for more than 300 years already.
In comes the Spirit of Mischief and Chaos, Jack Frost, the main protagonist. He can control and make ice and snow. He’s the regular “bad-guy-who’s-also-the-main-protagonist” of movies. But since this is a family/child movie, he’s not that bad. Actually, all he does is have fun and get outrageous with kids, at the expense of wrecking a wee bit of havoc around the neighborhood. Kind of like Dennis the Menace — he’s a menace but genuinely innocent and “just having fun”. Anyway, he doesn’t know who he is really, save for his name, and what he is supposed to do with his abilities so that children would also believe in him.
Basically, all these mythical spirits (I hope they forgive me for calling them mythical) are assigned modernized, but still traditional roles in this movie. Every spirit or Guardian’s goal is to be “believed in” by children. Children’s belief in them gives them the strength and magic to do what they do and to live as immortal beings.
*spoiler alert!* Click here to avoid the spoilers and read the rest of this post.
Now we have Pitch, the Boogeyman and Spirit of Fear; obviously, the antagonist. He reminds me of Hades from the animated movie, Hercules, from Disney; minus the flaming black hair and voluptuous dark lips. He endured centuries of rejection from kids who don’t believe in him. All that anger has led to his dark plan at present: make children to stop believing in the Guardians by prohibiting what they traditionally do.
The Guardians were made aware of this by the Man on the Moon, sort of like the Supreme Being and presider among all spirits or Guardians. With that, he send the Guardians to ward off Pitch, but with the help of Jack Frost.
Jack Frost: “Anyone want to tell me why I’m here? I must have done something really bad to get you four together. Am I on the naughty list?”
Santa Claus: “Ha! On the naughty list? You hold the record! But no matter, we overlook! We are wiping clean the slate!”
However, Pitch proved to be a formidable opponent. First, he was able to steal all children’s teeth from the Tooth Fairy and disappoint some children from finding coins under their pillows from her. However, the Guardians were able to circumvent this situation. In his next attempt, unfortunately, Pitch was able to lure Sandman into a trap and sort of “poison” him with his “dark sand”, which kills Sandman.
Finally, Pitch attempted and succeeded in preventing the delivery of easter eggs in time for Easter Sunday. This resulted to children who stopped believing in the Easter Bunny. All this happened while a misunderstanding (also as a result of Pitch’s scheming) between the Guardians and Jack Frost.
The Guardians become dejected. But in the midst of depression, Jack Frost discovers who he is (who he was before he became a spirit) and comes back rejuvenated. He helps the Guardians and restores children’s faith in them. In the process, children also acknowledged Jack Frost. More importantly, Frost discovered his purpose, his so-called “center”, the reason why he exists as he is.
*spoilers end here* Click here if you want to read the spoilers.
I find the movie in good standing and is definitely a great family film. I just feel that the release date for this movie was too early. I mean, it’s not even December yet! It’s not yet the holidays during which, family get-togethers happen and at which, this film would be appropriately timed for screening. Maybe the distributors released this movie earlier in time for its Blu-Ray and DVD sales?
Characters need not much in-story development since they are, after all, “traditional characters”. But it was nice seeing them with a “new flavor”, specially Santa Claus. He is SOOO cool and bad-ass that I know kids will enjoy him. Comedy is brought by the Easter Bunny, Santa’s elves and big, furry helpers (who turn out actually to be Big Foots), and the Tooth Fairy’s baby fairies. Some pranks were also by Jack Frost. Motherly and tender, loving care is by the Tooth Fairy. Sandman, on the other hand, had less roles and doesn’t speak but still, is my favorite among the five. I would perceive him as the “serious guy” of the group.
There are, however, some parts of the movie that just aren’t logical. For example, kids walking around in the cold snow and a frozen lake BAREFOOT! Additionally, there are countries, as portrayed in a “globe-radar” wherein belief in any of the Guardians or spirits just isn’t applicable. But I’m spoiling all the fun for the kids. 😦
Overall, it was a fun and tear-jerking experience for me. Tear-jerking because in most of the scenes, I felt teary-eyed. I attribute it to the imagery and the script. The script and dialogues are desirably beautiful and go in-hand with the animation. Plus, the ending theme by Renée Fleming, “Still Dream” is truly inspirational.
Santa Claus to Jack Frost: “Yes! Big eyes that see the wonder in everything! And with these big eyes, I create what I see for the kids! That is my center. What is yours? What are you meant to do?”
Watching the film reminded me of the fun and amusement that childhood brings. I hope you would watch it and have the same experience as I had.