A new trailer for the animated film Rise of the Guardians has come out, expanding on a story illustrated in the first video: Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and such make up an elite troupe of mythical figures bent on defending children from evil forces (Jude Law). What the movie seems to be building itself on is the embrace of these beloved childhood characters and the spirit they represent. But there are two problems with this.
One: In ROTG, Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are warriors. Action heroes. That's not really the drill for these guys. Their magic is based upon their simple, peaceful stories. They represent happiness — the giving and sharing of joy on Christmas, the fun in a wholesome game of egg-hunting on Easter, the sense of accomplishment in losing your baby teeth. These characters aren't about fighting evil or going on action-packed adventures. This concept, while more visually riveting, comes at the price of the purity these characters were founded on.
Two: Setting the above aside, the film might well be able to blend the age-old charm of figures like Santa and co with the characteristics of their new incarnations. But this opportunity only extends, in a widespread fashion, to Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. These guys are safe bets. But how much time did anyone really ever spend loving Jack Frost (Chris Pine)? Had you even heard of him Michael Keaton? And the Sandman? Isn't that just a song from Back to the Future?
Maybe Rise of the Guardians will be a surprise charmer. But as it stands, the film doesn't look all that magical.