We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Here's a quick quiz for you: What does Jack Frost look like? Young or old? I confess I've never had a mental image of Jack. In fact, until seeing "Rise of the Guardians," I never gave him any thought at all. The kids around me at a preview screening seemed more expert, perhaps because they know the inspiration for the film, William Joyce's book series, "Guardians of Childhood."
In those books, unread by me, Joyce imagines a loosely knit Avengers-style federation of the guardians of childhood. Most of them are famous: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and so on. Jack Frost's reputation suffers sadly in comparison. Voiced in the film by Chris Pine, he finds himself literally invisible. When he visits Earth, people are able to walk right through him. Since he is a spritely boy, he finds this depressing, although many kids have probably felt the same way.
Why is this so? The Man in the Moon never explained it to him. The Man in the Moon functions in the story as sort of a symbolic nature god, who never does anything but shine enigmatically in the sky.
This is a hyperkinetic 3-D action comedy, with the characters forever racing on Santa's sleigh, hurtling down chutes and zooming through tunnels that rework the same 3-D illusions over and over again. The characters aren't all referred to by what we might call their Earth names, and we get such as North, a broad-shouldered Santa (voice of Alec Baldwin); Tooth, the fairy (Isla Fisher), and Bunny (Hugh Jackman).