With Rise of the Guardians opening this week, I recently got to see the finished film at DreamWorks Animation and it’s really well done. Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes. In addition, unlike most superhero films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is we join almost everyone in the middle of the story. If you’re not familiar with the story, it revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law). Here’s my video blog review and all our previous coverage.
To help promote the film, last week I got on the phone with Rise of the Guardians director Peter Ramsey. We talked about how they didn’t tell a typical origin story, the tone, how many times he re-storyboard the film and whether there were any dramatic changes along the way, the test screening process, collaborating with Roger Deakins, other DreamWorks Animation projects like How to Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, Trolls (which he said is “kind of partially based on a Terry Pratchett novel”) and more. In addition, Ramsey got his start as a storyboard artist working for David Fincher on Fight Club and Steven Spielberg on A.I., so we talked about those projects and a few others. Hit the jump for what he had to say.