The Rise of the Guardians

The Rise of the Guardians is an American 3D computer-animated fantasy-adventure film based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood book series, and The Man in the Moon short film by Joyce and Reel FX.

And boy did the film exceed my expectations!

Well, first, I actually had no expectations, which is always good before going to watch a film. This allowed me to be open to what was to come. The movie came at a very synchronistic time, simply because of the path I’ve been drawn to in the last couple of weeks (or should I say, “uncovered”).

During the first couple of days of my Tales From Nanumea campaign (check out Pozible to pledge), I came across a Native American Cree prophecy called “The Warriors of the Rainbow.” Almost every word summed up how I felt about my work and purpose in life. Everything started to make sense. For so long, I had been forging with this “knowing” that what I was doing was important, but it didn’t always translate well with those around me. Part of the difficulties of business is trying to communicate what’s in your head, to others. (Actually, that’s a problem for many people.) How I was to make money from all this, was always at the forefront of the entrepreneur’s and investor’s mind. But I digress.

In Rise of the Guardians, the themes that stood out the most (to me) were:

  • Learn to implement a bit more play into your life
  • Guard one’s childlike innocence
  • Look to the past to understand who you are
  • Balance the needs of responsibility and compassion
  • Loving our enemies as ourselves
  • Belief and imagination can conquer fear
  • We are guardians of the children of the future

Learn to implement a bit more play into your life 

Jack Frost embodied this lesson perfectly. In all honesty, I never knew the story of Jack Frost all too well, and maybe that was the point. Jack Frost was a name people kind of knew, but never really bothered learning more about, at least not as much as the others (e.g. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.). Jack Frost was always the hidden gem – providing fun and games to children when things seemed down. This is such an overlooked part of life, and the archetypal “Trickster” is one that is usually taken for granted.

In indigenous stories, the Trickster is typically symbolized by the Fox or Raven. Both are notorious for playing tricks on both humans and deities alike. Sometimes it’s just for the sake of it, but sometimes it’s to teach deep and meaningful lessons. There is power in this playfulness, and we are reminded to always be aware of that – especially when times are tough.

The scene where Jack Frost turned a very dire situation with his sister, into a fun game, very much reminded me of a German film called Life is Beautiful. In this film, a father manages to make his son believe that the entire time they were at a Nazi concentration camp, everything was just a game. Some could look at this as an illustrious lie, perpetrated by a sick father who could not handle the reality of the situation, but this would be far from the truth. The truth of the matter was that the father shielded the child, and his innocence, from the destructive forces of the externalized world. This is the positive medicine of a Trickster in action.

Stay tuned for the next sections…

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