Monday, December 3, 2012

Why Jack Frost?

Most of you have heard by now about the Dreamworks movie Rise of the Guardians (and if you haven't, I don't know what rock you've been living under). A lot of you have probably already seen it, and, as one artist on Devianart surmised, probably because of Jack Frost. I'll admit, I'm one of those hooked by the trailers featuring Jack. So, I'm wondering why are people so drawn to him?

Dreamworks has a great version of Jack: a simple design with a lot of personality injected into it. But it's what Jack represents that makes his character so appealing. 60% youth and beauty, 40% freedom and power.

Our society worships youth and beauty. It's heavy in our advertisements, our television shows, the cultures we try to emulate (like Japan). But youth doesn't just include appearance. It also includes a playful attitude, and freedom from consequence that childhood is. Of course, Jack isn't the first to embody this concept.

Freedom and power, coupled with the attitude of a boy about twelve years old - we all know who that reminds us of. It's a strong childhood tie that no marketing can challenge, a concept that's been visited and revisited in many forms since J.M. Barrie first brought the story to life. So, why not bring it back?

I applaud Dreamworks for taking this approach to Jack, since it's one we can't seem to get enough of. The UK has a penchant for turning out larger-than-life, forever young adventurers and it's time America got one of its own.

Girls want to date him and boys want to be him. That's why so many people love Jack Frost. One opinion, anyway.

5 comments:

  1. It's kind of a paradox isn't it? We want characters who are forever young, but also ones that change. That's why some people have such a hard time with Indiana Jones the 4th and fear what could happen with Episode 7. I'd like to be able to write a character who was forever young, but if they were mortal, at least, that would kind of deny it?

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  2. I haven't seen the film yet but I can see it's all over DA :P

    I guess this is part of the reason why I write YA - younger characters have more freedom than their adult counterparts, although we don't tend to realise how free we are in our teens compared to life with a full time job :P And as long as the story doesn't go beyond their teens and leaves the rest of their life off the page, then they too are forever young.

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  3. exactly, Miss Cole! Characters like Jack appeal to YA readers because for teens he's a daring heart-throb and for adults he's someone we long to be again. Darn responsibilities of adulthood!

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  4. Yes. Usually characters like that have to be immortal or at least not human to pull off being forever young. Part of the negatives of being immortal is the profound loneliness, though. So in that you create a sympathetic character who might long to have a human life, but can't. I love playing with that concept myself, but rather than bringing dead characters back, I usually just make my characters something other than human. It's a really interesting concept.

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  5. (actually I want to see this film because it's Chris Pine's voice is coming out of him :P)

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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