Easter Baskets Full of Movies

This past Easter Sunday was a nice, quiet day.  The Syracuse Orange college basketball team  moved onto the Final Four the day before so I was in a good mood, and my family wasn’t planning on going anywhere.  I also got some great stuff in my two, yes, count them, two baskets!  Also included were some great movies!  My mother and I sat down to enjoy three of them.

My favorite movie of the three (and my mom’s, too!) was Rise of the Guardians , a DreamWorks movie about a group of magical characters including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and new member Jack Frost, who come together to protect children everywhere from the nightmare-inducing Pitch Black.  I wasn’t sure what to expect; I had seen a few trailers but not much else.  The description on the back of the DVD case made the movie a bit more interesting for me when I came across the villain’s name which was given as simply Pitch, which I recognized as an old name for the devil, something I thought was a bit unusual for a family movie.  Everything in the film was full of magic and wonder.  The settings of each of the Guardians’ homes and the town they visited looked fantastic, the characters were lively, funny, and touching when the moment called for it, and following Jack Frost’s journey from aloof prankster to rightful hero was very inspirational to me.  This film was a great one for me to get lost in, and I would love to see a sequel.

Hotel Transylvania was a much wackier film than Rise of the Guardians, but it hit another of my sweet spots.  The premise of Dracula running a hotel for monsters and his daughter Mavis falling in love with a human were solid in my view.  To me, the film felt like a two-dimensional cartoon even though it was really a computer-animated movie.  With the way the characters were bouncing around, it reminded me of an old Tex Avery cartoon at some points.  The jokes were also consistently funny all the way through; my favorite joke was one of the Wolfman’s daughters, a very young girl, giving Drac and his friends detailed directions to the airport.  Both this movie and the Guardians film had very cute characters, causing me and my mom to go “Awwwww!” every few minutes.  On a day where cute things are very welcome, these two films had some of the most adorable things I have ever seen and made me feel very happy.

The last movie my mom and I watched on Easter Sunday was Wreck-It Ralph, a tale of redemption which I now think was appropriate to watch at the end of a day concerned with rebirth and renewal.  In the movie, the title character, tired of being endlessly humiliated as the villain in a popular Donkey Kong-like arcade game, leaves his home and goes “game jumping” into other arcade machines in the hope of obtaining a medal which he believes will make the other characters in his home game accept him as a hero.  Along the way, he meets up with a little but feisty girl named Vanellope who, in turn, helps him to save the entire arcade from a massive infestation of murderous virtual bugs.  In true Disney movie fashion, he soon finds out the true meaning of heroism.  This is is the only film of the three which I previously watched in a movie theater, but it was fun to watch it again at home and be able to see a lot of details I hadn’t noticed before.  It was my favorite movie of 2012, at least of the movies I actually saw last year.  However, after watching the other two movies and being astounded by those, I couldn’t help but be a little underwhelmed with this one in comparison.  I already knew how Ralph’s story went, and I was a little less excited to watch it again after seeing what the Guardians movie had to offer.  All things considered, though, I think it was a nice way to end the day, and it is still one of the best Disney movies I have seen in quite a while.

I enjoyed all three of these movies and they made for a great Sunday triple matinee.  I believe they all had a theme of “bad seeds” (Jack Frost, Dracula, and Ralph) finding better paths for their lives which come to benefit everyone around them; what better message could you give on Easter?  How was your Easter Sunday (if you celebrated it, that is?)  Did you do anything special?  Let me know in the comments.

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