When a film examining the complexity of one classic character becomes laborious, then it compounds the complexity when a bevy of classic characters commune on the big screen. Not that it's stopped Hollywood from doing the latter with the thought that the more familiar characters thrown into a movie, the wider the demographics. There's something to be said for that when "X-Men: First Class" and "Marvel's The Avengers" managed to successfully progress the comic book world of utilizing a group of comic book superheroes rather than one.
It may work for superheroes, though it's still dubious whether communing other classic characters is something families want to see. In the abstract, it's easy to think combining classic movie monsters, fairy tale characters, or characters related to holidays would be a satisfying family film experience. Sometimes we find out that even those characters have more interesting dimensions to warrant frustration not honing in on one.
In the case of "Rise of the Guardians", we see Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, et al., becoming a new faux Avengers team that didn't seem to catch on at the box office. The reasons for that seem to be from the above thought: Kids would rather hone in on one of these characters, especially because they're new configurations. Arguably, the best bet for that is North (voiced by Alec Baldwin) as the ever-fascinating and evolving story of Santa Claus.
Kids have seen numerous tales about the story of Santa Claus (mostly thanks to Rankin-Bass's animated TV specials being re-run), yet this one is offbeat. In "Guardians", he has a Russian accent and a more interesting scenario of a North Pole native group that serves his every whim. It's quite a turn from the more gentle and whimsical origin tales of Claus from the Rankin-Bass TV world or "Santa Claus: The Movie" released in the mid 1980s.
The chances of a movie off-branch focusing strictly on North are slim to none at this point. And we've already seen film satires on the Tooth Fairy, an unsuccessful film focusing strictly on Jack Frost (in name only), as well as a film about the Easter bunny. Perhaps the only "Guardian" left that would be interesting for every age is Jude Law-voiced The Boogeyman and a story on his origins.
Regardless of what happens, you know more classic character team-ups in movies have received green lights. As Hollywood doubtlessly learned, though, a team-up movie in the vein of "Hotel Transylvania" goes a long way when the hearts of the original characters are already established. If we see upcoming team-ups of Brothers Grimm creatures or even more video game characters, they have to be in the configuration that's been familiar for at least several decades.
Communing well-known characters runs strictly on nostalgia rather than expecting us to believe they've been reborn with new backstories. "Wreck-It Ralph" used this template while still managing to place familiar video game characters in new and oddball settings.
Yes, with the Disney acquisition of LucasFilm, we may see a chain reaction of more classic character team-up movies. But it's infinitely better to see a faux Avengers movie with Disney and Looney Tunes characters (a la "Who Framed Roger Rabbit") rather than Disney characters hooking up with "Star Wars" droids or Ewoks.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Santa Claus