Rise of the Guardians is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated fantasy-adventure film based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series and The Man in the Moon short film by Joyce and Reel FX.
Jack Frost is a carefree boy who has no responsibilities in the world aside from bringing winter wherever he goes. But everything changes when Pitch, the Nightmare King, begins his plan to engulf the world in darkness, the immortal Guardians must join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere.
- Chris Pine as Jack Frost aka the Spirit of Winter and the main protagonist.
- Alec Baldwin as North aka Santa Claus and the deurtagonist.
- Hugh Jackman as Bunnymund aka Easter Bunny
- Isla Fisher as Tooth aka Tooth Fairy
- Jude Law as Pitch aka The Boogeyman the main antagonist of the film.
- Dakota Goyo as Jamie
- Khamani Griffin as Caleb
- Dominique Grund as Cupcake
In 2005, William Joyce and Reel FX launched a joint venture, Aimesworth Amusements, to produce CG-animated feature films, one of which was set to be The Guardians of Childhood, based on the Joyce's idea. The film was not realized, but they did create a short animated film, The Man in the Moon, directed by Joyce, which introduced the Guardians idea, and served as an inspiration for the DreamWorks Animation's film.
Early in 2008, Joyce sold the film rights to DreamWorks Animation, after they assured him that they will respect his grand vision for characters and that he would be involved with the creative process. In November 2009, it was revealed that Joyce and Peter Ramsey, a DWA's storyboard artist, would direct The Guardians. Joyce acted as a co-director for the first few years, but left this position after the death of his daughter Mary Katherine, who died of brain tumor. Joyce continued to assist as an executive producer, while Ramsey took over the directing position, which made him the first African American who directed a big-budget CG animated film. As with some previous DWA's films, Guillermo del Toro came on board as an executive producer. This time he was present almost from the beginning, and was able to help shape the story, character design, theme and structure of the film. He said that he was proud that they were able to make some parts of the film more "dark and moody and poetic", and expressed hope that it will "set a different tone for family movies, for entertainment movies."The final title, Rise of the Guardians was announced in early 2011, along with the first cast.
Although the film is based on the Joyce's book series, The Guardians of Childhood, it is set up separate from the books. The series, which has been releasing since 2011, explains the origins of the characters, while the film takes place about 200 years after the books, and shows how the characters function in present time. Joyce explained: "Because I don't want people to read the book and then go see the movie and go 'oh, I like the book better', and I also didn't want them to know what happens in the movie."
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