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Chris Pine: ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is like ‘The Avengers’ for kids


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Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman — we all know who they are, but what we didn’t know is that they’re part of an elite superhero-like force, the Guardians, who silently watch over and protect us during their off seasons.
At least that’s the premise for DreamWords Animation’s newest film, “Rise of the Guardians,” in theaters Nov. 21. Children’s imaginations, dreams and beliefs are at stake in this film, as evil spirit Pitch seeks to take over the world.
South Florida Parenting recently caught up with Chris Pine, who told us about his character in the movie, Jack Frost, whom the Guardians enlist to help defeat the enemy, Pitch. But it’s not all fun and games for Jack, who’s also seeking to figure out his place and purpose in life.


Can you tell us a little bit about your character?
Well, I play a character named Jack Frost, who is the spirit of mischief and fun, and he’s the guy that brings snow days and snowball fights. And he’s been asked by the rest of the Guardians of childhood comprised of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny [and] Sandman, the bringer of dreams. He’s been asked to join them in order to fight off this enemy called Pitch, voiced by Jude Law, who is the bringer of nightmares and fear and anxiety. And really the story is about belief and the power of the imagination. And the power of the imagination … conquers all.


Jack Frost is commonly portrayed as sinister and a villain. How is he different in this movie, and what is it about him that the Guardians need to fight the enemy?
It’s a hard question because it’s kind of central to the story. I mean, Jack in our story is not the villain… He’s kind of the spirit of fun… It’s like he has a wink in his eye all the time. Jack is asked to come onboard as one of the Guardians, and Jack’s been a loner all of his existence, and he’s never really felt like he’s been part of a group. And he’s never really felt like he’s belonged, and he doesn’t remember where exactly he’s from. So Jack’s journey in this movie is wrapped up into all those questions of who am I, and what am I about, and what is my purpose? And it’s kind of really a central human question. So I think what people attach to, whether you are an adult or a kid, are these real pivotal questions that we all deal with…


People of all ages often are drawn to animated films, but what do you think children in particular will take away from this movie?
Well, I think what’s fun about it is that it’s all these characters and names we’ve grown up believing in. … I remember growing up myself that I believed ... Santa Claus, obviously, and the Tooth Fairy and Sandman... And, you know, even Jack Frost I remember from the Christmas carols. So I think what’s interesting is to have all these [discrete] characters from … childhood linked up and united as kind of one force and seeing them together. So I think the story is unique, and I think also visually it’s a lot different than what kids have seen. There is … a superhero element to this film… This is … “The Avengers” for young kids.


What got you excited about being part of this film and playing your character?
I guess really what excited me about the film was the opportunity to work with all these wonderful actors and film makers. I’m a huge fan of Alec [Baldwin] (North) and Hugh [Jackman] (E. Aster Bunnymund). And I know with [Co-Executive Producer] Guillermo’s [del Toro] involvement it sounded like it was going to be a different kind of film. And I loved the idea of all of these characters … we all knew as children and kind of grew up believing in — this idea that they all knew one another. … I thought it was a unique take on a universally shared series of stories. And the idea of linking them together I thought was very interesting.


This is your first time doing an animated movie. How does it compare to doing live action? Do you have a preference?
I don’t prefer one to the other. They are definitely different beasts, for sure. The big challenge that I had in animation … is that the only tool you have — the only instrument you have — is your voice. You have to really use and modulate your voice to paint the picture of the character because the rest is … up to the animators. So I learned a great deal watching and listening to Alec [Baldwin], who, as you can tell even from the trailer, has an incredible ability to control and shift and shape his own voice...


When you work on an animated movie, do you mostly do solitary work in the booth?
You know, it’s a really odd way to make a film. Film making is such a collaborative experience; usually, when you get on set, … you have all different kinds of film makers, and you have the … prop people and the camera men, the camera operators, the loaders, the costumers, the writers, the directors, the producers… The animated film is a lot more piecemeal. You rarely get a chance to meet everybody until … way far down the line. So most of the work was done in a booth by myself. You’re with the director, the producer and the creative team, and I only got one opportunity to work with another actor, which was Alec [Baldwin], which was great.


What is it about your family that made you who you are today? And what was the best advice you learned from your parents?
… I was lucky to have a strong family; [my parents have] been together for over 40 years, and so I was very lucky in that respect. … There is not one particular best piece of advice, but I think a lot of times actions speak louder than words, obviously, and I felt at least growing up a constant belief in me from my parents. So I always felt like no matter what I chose to do or who I ended up becoming, I would be loved regardless. And that implicit support is probably more important than anything.


You seem to have a natural knack for comedy. What’s your favorite kind of character to play? Do you like to play funny, romantic, tough, animated?
I think you’ve kind of hit them all. I think in acting you get a chance to do everything. … I love action, and … I used to pretend that I was a spy when I was a kid. … I love comedy; I like characters that don’t take themselves all that seriously and can be made fun of.


Photo/DreamWorks Animation

Categories: Entertainment (114)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.


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