'Rise Of The Guardians' Is The Best Easter Movie, Hands Down
Every holiday should have a plethora of movies from which to choose, right? But when one seeks out a great Easter-themed movie, our only options seem to fall into one of two categories: One, the overly serious religious films (The Last Temptation of Christ, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Passion of the Christ) or two, ones we're way too old for and probably should only be watching if we have kids (Hop, Peter Cottontail, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown). Thankfully, there is an Easter movie out there that has a little more edge, and features the coolest Easter bunny ever put on screen. Yes, that's right folks, I'm talking about Rise of the Guardians .
Based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series, Rise of the Guardians was a 2012 Dreamworks animation release that seems to have become a bit forgotten these days. Despite having come out only four years ago, it hasn't really made its way into the lexicon of classic holiday movies. That might be because it doesn't focus on one particular holiday. But I'm here to put Rise of the Guardians firmly in Easter territory.
The movie tells the story of Jack Frost, a young lad voiced by Chris Pine who doesn't remember his past or where he came from. He can control ice and snow, but is invisible to the people of the world. Enter the Guardians; a mismatched group of childhood figures who protect children from a Boogeyman named Pitch Black (Jude Law). The Guardians arrive to recruit Jack as a new member into their already eclectic group. There's Santa Claus, here named North and voiced by a gruff, Scandanavian-accented Alec Baldwin; the Tooth-fairy, sweet and small, voiced by Isla Fischer; and Sandy, the Sandman, voiced by no one because he's just a silent, sleepy cutie. But the coolest character in Rise of the Guardians is most definitely E. Aster Bunnymund, a giant, big-footed Easter bunny voiced by my favorite Aussie, Hugh Jackman.
Bunnymund is the Guardian of Hope. He's also what is known as a Pooka, a philosophical warrior rabbit. Prior to joining the Guardians, he lived with other Pookas of his village before they were wiped out, leaving him as the only survivor. Now, he currently lives a "Warren," an oasis deep under the surface of Australia that is said to be the birthplace of spring. While other movies or pieces of Easter-themed entertainment might prefer the Easter bunny to be cute and cuddly, Bunnymund in Rise of the Guardians is not your average fluffy rabbit. He's enormous, standing at six or seven feet, taller than a grown human, and he's just seriously cool. Suave, calm, and collected, Bunnymund epitomizes the relaxation that arrives when spring hits.
Jackman's Australian heritage no doubt contributed to some of the character design, which includes keeping his natural accent, Aboriginal accessories, and boomerangs as weapons. Oh and his other weapons? Exploding Easter eggs. When Bunnymund taps his enormous feet on the ground, an elaborate maze of tunnels opens up to allow him to travel with a rabbit's quickness to anywhere in the world. That's not to say that Bunnymund's coolness means he's not also ridiculously cute. At one point in the film, when children begin to lose hope and no longer believe in his existence, Bunnymund shrinks down to the size of a regular bunny and the resulting fluff ball is just adorable.
One thing I love so much about Bunnymund is the way in which his attitude encourages viewers to face problems with a calm demeanor. The characters in Rise of the Guardians are literally facing the embodiment of nightmares, but Bunnymund has the confidence enough to not freak out. It's a lesson I've been trying to learn my entire life: not every problem is a huge one, and you don't need to have a full on freak out about every challenge you face. Granted, Pitch Black stealing children's dreams is a pretty big deal, but if anything, Bunnymund's relaxed courage is inspiring.
But the best thing about Bunnymund is everything that he, as the Guardian of Hope and the ruler of spring, represents to humanity. Coming out of winter and heading into springtime, we're reminded of rebirth. Flowers bloom, trees regrow their leaves, and we as people can be reborn. Everyone talks about Jan. 1 as being a time for personal growth and renewal, but I think it's springtime where we can truly reinvent ourselves if we so desire. Trying new things, meeting new people, and heading out into nature are all much easier in the spring. Even now I can imagine the warmth of the sun, the smell of grass and flowers, and feel inspired to head out into the world either facing what problems I have or to embrace the next thing thrown at me. Bunnymund's calmness exudes the "don't worry, be happy" ideal. And for that reason, Rise of the Guardians is the coolest Easter movie of them all.
Images: Dreamworks Animation; Giphy (2)