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I saw the 'Rise of the Guardians' today in the cinema with my mum, and I'll spare you a spoilery review by simply saying that the I personally enjoyed it very much. The animation was beautiful, a particular scene near the end involving dinosaurs, of all things, was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The characters were a lovely spin on their original folk law/fairy tale selves, and there were no silly gags or Dreamworks!Popculture references in sight. I loved the film. It was magical.

Truthfully, though, having thought about it, it was so much more than that, to me. I spent the entire film with teary eyes and heavy heart. Yes, there were some tropes that could have been avoided and yes, the ending could have been far 'larger' and grander than it was, but there was an underlining theme to this film that forms a bit of an emotional trigger for me, and it's one that I'll happily embrace despite any flaws a film might have.

'Rise of the Guardians' is about belief. It's about that silly, 'childish' belief in magic and magical things that dissipates so quickly as we reach adulthood. That time when you believed in the Easter Bunny, in Father Christmas, or the Tooth Fairy? Those moments spent writing Christmas lists or carefully placing your tooth under your pillow? This film targets those exact moments in time, pinpoints that moment in your childhood where you believed, without question, in the existence of these beings. And that, right there - that belief in something magical, and special, and outside of our real world is something I'll defend well into my adulthood. Because it's real. They're real. All of them.

Maybe I'm at that ripe old age where I don't believe in Santa Claus anymore, but that doesn't mean he never existed. Right?

The truth is, I am highly emotional, I am extremely nostalgic and I am unreasonably, unflinchingly sentimental. Santa Claus to me was the magic on Christmas morning when I walked into the lounge and saw the pile of presents under the tree. He was the bells outside my window when I couldn't sleep, and the note thanking me for the mince pies and sherry on Christmas morning. The Easter Bunny was the mischievous sod who made treasure hunts that sent me all around the garden in the early hours, looking for eggs planted among the Spring flowers. He was the note that mentioned a 'Swedish family member', later revealing an egg hidden inside our family Volvo. The Easter Bunny, right there, is that memory; a clue I didn't understand as a child, a moment in time captured forever in that memory. I doubt my parents remember it, I doubt my dad recalls the night he wrote that particular clue. But it's here, forever, inside of me, stored away under the guise of Easter Bunny trickery. My adult self might 'know' the truth, but the memory doesn't have that knowledge. The memory never will.

And there were so many others. Firecracker, the stallion in the field opposite dad's cafe. I never saw him, not really, but I'd spend ages looking for him while sat in our car, waiting for dad to finish his business, as my mother pointed out that he's just there!, can't you see? And she'd tell me to look a little closer. I nearly saw him, I think. I caught glimpses of him, at least. It doesn't matter that I now know, in my grown up-addled state, that those fields never housed horses, or any livestock, for that matter. The knowledge I have now doesn't come into it. Firecracker is as real as any other childhood memory. The dragon breath that made the clouds turn red and pink in the evenings. The first star each night that actually answered wishes, should you ask. The pegasi that flew alongside the car when dad drove me places. The mysterious land my friend Amanda and I found across the stream and down a country alley.

I remember those things, I remember them happening.

If we're lucky, we believe in these things until we're about eight, nine years old. Maybe my judgment of modern children is wrong. Maybe it's far lower than that. I'm just using a ballpark number here, based on my own, most likely skewed, perspective. And, if we're lucky, we'll live to be in our 90s, maybe even reach the ripe old age of 100. That means we have nine years, out of ninety or a hundred, spent believing in something a little more. Only one tenth of our entire life will be spent believing in magic, and fairy tales, and superheroes, and bogeymen.

Isn't that disproportionate and sad? Shouldn't that mean we prolong the moments of innocence and magic for as long as possible?

Hell, I am a grown up. There's no avoiding that now. I'm barely a 'young adult' anymore, but there's still this pinch in my heart, a tiny unreasonable, ridiculous hole in my heart that screams to my creative, artistic, dreamer's mind; what if Hogwarts is real? What if the books and the movies were written as a coverup, the ultimate doublebluff? That J.K had known that something was up, all along? The same with The Doctor and his silly blue TARDIS. Is it all just a game? A daft ruse by the BBC to convince us it's just a TV show, yet all the while giving the facts right there, in our faces? What if The Doctor really is real?

If I can't let go one-hundred percent, even as a rational, questionably sane adult, why are so many people so utterly complacent that their children are losing their fairytale dreams? Is life too fast and too busy to waste time with silly stories when the children we tell them to will inevitably know the 'truth' eventually anyway? When our time believing is so unavoidably limited to those brief few years in childhood, maybe priority should be put on enabling the dreams and daydreams of our children. Maybe time should be spent dedicated to enriching the fantasies and silliness of fairytales and superheroes.

Life is fast, and life sure is busy, but it's also pretty short in the scheme of things. Childhood is just a fraction of that, and if we can't make it last any longer, why don't we make it so much larger?

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
tikibirds
Dec. 7th, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)
I want to see that movie and Disney's wreck it ralph.
insaneboingo
Dec. 7th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
I had a very similar experience with this movie. I went and saw it with a friend of mine, and late that evening we were talking about that Meme that's going around about the religious Nazgul. I made a comment about being terrified if a Nagul came up to me at a bus stop and she looked at me like I was crazy. It was then I realized that she was talking about a guy in a costume, and I was talking about the "real thing". It got me thinking that even though I am technically an adult, I still have that childhood wonder that allows me to believe in things like magic, Hobbits and a strange Blue Box.

Honestly, I think this is a wonderful way to live. I think that people who lose that wonder tend to be less happy with the world, because they are crushed by the full unhappiness of reality, all at once. Whereas people like us, are able to have a bit more... Idk, lightness. :)

So, long comment short, don't ever lose that. It is a wonderful trait and don't ever let it go. ♥

Edited at 2012-12-07 09:08 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
ladyguinevere83
Dec. 7th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
You're not the only one who can't let go - I do exactly the same as you, with even the same double bluff ideas! I've had them since I was a child and I don't see that ever going away. At least I hope so. I still spend large amounts of time thinking about fictional characters, just in the guise of writing original works.
secondlina
Dec. 9th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
I though the scenario lacked a bit of... something, but the aspect of the belief, the joy of being in that age where the world is magical, and the grief that comes with losing that wonder, it's really there in this film.

I think it's a bit sad that more and more, belief sees to be discouraged in little kids (working with schools and stuff, I see a lot of things that really piss my off). Belief is something that should be kept, and reingnated with things like Harry Potter, at all ages.

I loved Tooth in the movie. Because out of all the guardians, in my childhood, she's the one I believed in the longest (Santa got spoiled for me very young by mean family members, and we don't really do the Easter thing in Quebec, or have the sandman).
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )