If your Thanksgiving celebrations include paying a visit to the movie theater with a diverse range of relatives – lots of nieces, nephews and young cousins and such – the new release with the most family-friendly appeal is “Rise of the Guardians,” an animated Dreamworks adventure that revolves around familiar fictitious heroes – even if they aren’t blatantly labeled as such.
Based on William Joyce’s “The Guardians of Childhood” book series, the film adaptation features an all-star voice cast including: Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Alec Baldwin. MTV News was lucky enough to catch up with Baldwin to chat about how this particular film lured him into voicing the very familiar but ambiguously-named character North (aka Santa Claus).
“They don’t call him Santa, they keep him religiously non-specific,” Baldwin said about the politically correct nature of the character names. “There are two Christmases, there’s the Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Christ and then there is the Christmas that is the season of giving through the end of the year,” he explained, adding that he doesn’t think the new names will stick. “I think a lot of kids will come into this film and call the character “Santa,” and they’ll continue to call him “Santa” after they watch the DVD ten times, there’s nothing we can do about that,” he said. “But I do like the way they rendered the character, which is that all the characters have a little bit more edge to them.”
In the age of “The Avengers” and the broody, violent “Dark Knight Rises,” it seems par for the course that a group of holiday heroes would have “an edge.” But “Guardians” isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, the film still celebrates the spirit of the season, albeit an edgy one.
On a slightly unrelated note, hearing Baldwin address edginess and seasons greetings, I can’t help but be reminded of his brilliant installment of “Delicious Dish” on “Saturday Night Live.” Good times.