I am continually on the watch for Christmas hidden in just about any time, place, or thing. It’s part of being focused on Christmas all year round. Last week I went with some friends to see the Dream Works movie Rise of the Guardians. No, I wasn’t surprised to find a Christmas connection, it’s a Christmas season movie after all. I was very surprised though in just how good it was and the great Christmas message it had to share. It teaches about the importance of wonder, hope, dreams, and especially fun. You also get a really strong story about knowing who you are and being that person, no matter what. Check out the Guardians website for your own overview of the specifics, some games, clips, and a lot of fun.
The movie is based on a book series titled The Guardians of Children by William Joyce. The story centers on the Guardians. These are the protectors of children chosen by the Man in the Moon. Each of the Guardians guards a particular part of being a child against the darkness of nightmares and fear, all controlled by the Bogeyman, Pitch. Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus) is the guardian of wonder, the Tooth Fairy the guardian of memories, the Easter Bunny the guardian of hope, and the Sandman the guardian of dreams. The Guardians must work with a newly chosen guardian, Jack Frost, to fight off the latest attack from Pitch. The Children of the world give the power to the guardians through their belief in them. It is that belief that makes it all possible. Jack is frustrated because kids don’t believe in him so he isn’t “real”.
This struggle leads to one of the best parts of the film. North is trying to explain to Jack how it works. He shares his own nesting doll to explain that it is who we are at our center that defines us. North’s center is represented by a tiny wooden doll with HUGE eyes, the eyes of wonder. He gives us wonder in everything, a magic in the air, lights in trees- he puts it into the World. (Here’s a link to a low quality clip of North talking to Jack) If Jack can find his center then children will believe in him and he will know what it is he is to be the guardian over for the children. North’s center is Wonder and Jack must discover his center. The journey he takes to find it and the connection to the Christmas spirit is a great story. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go now. I plan to purchase my own DVD soon as I can!