More than a collection of the well-known childhood legends, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities.  When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. ‘Rise of the Guardians,’ based on ‘The Guardians of Childhood’ book series by William Joyce, is directed by Peter Ramsey (Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space) and co-directed by Joyce. The film stars Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. ‘Rise of the Guardians arrives in cinemas from November 21st in the US and November 30th in the UK. My interview with Hugh Jackman for the film can be read here.

The Guardians represent hope, joy, wonder and dreams, children have an emotional investment in them. Yet Pitch, he represents the exact opposite of that?

Jude Law: Yeah. Pitch is the boogieman. Pitch is everybody’s fear and nightmare manifest. He is what lurks under the bed, in dark rooms. Pitch, he’s really the amalgamation of the unknown and fears. He has a huge amount resentment for being shoved under the beds for hundreds of years. He figures out a way to take the Sandman’s dream sand – the positive, pure golden sand that gives everyone happy dreams – and twist it into nightmares, these amorphous black stallions subject to his command, creating fear within children.

Jack Frost’s journey in ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is really one of self-discovery and realising his purpose?

Chris Pine: Jack Frost is the spirit, guardian of fun and mischief, snow-days, snowball fights. In this story, in this mythology, for the past two hundred or so years he’s been roaming the earth with no place to call his own. He doesn’t really have a home or many friends. The big thing we talk about in this movie is “the center”, what is your center, what are you meant to do? That’s really Jack’s story in the film, which is so very human, the question of, “What are we put on this Earth to do, what are we supposed to do?” I really like that about Jack.

Was that human element one of the things that gravitated you towards to the role?

Chris Pine: Yeah, I really like that about Jack. One of the journeys of this film is how Jack finds a home, friendship, community and a sense of purpose. Jack will instigate snowball fights, desperately wanting kids to have fun but also wanting them to know that he’s the guy behind it, that he’s reason that they’re having a good time. Jack’s quest – to have connections with others and to find the answer to what are we put on this Earth to do – is something that’s so very human.

To start with, the other Guardians see Jack Frost as a prankster and immature….

Chris Pine: Definitely. We have the classic heroes of childhood that we all know and are taught about, with the Sandman, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny. Jack Frost, he is the character that is not believed in and children, while they enjoy snowdays and the fun, they don’t associate that with Jack Frost. ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is a lot about believing and how belief gives power and life. For Jack, in the beginning he’s called upon by the Man in the Moon, who’s kind of our figure of power and knowledge – he’s been around for hundreds of years. The Man in the Moon leads him to The Guardians to induct him into this group. He doesn’t believe that the Man in the Moon has sent him there, he doesn’t believe that he’s part of this group and he doesn’t even want to be a part of this group at first.

Pitch’s whole agenda in ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is to encourage disbelief in children?

Jude Law: Yeah. The Guardians are a united front of all the most powerful, symbolic individuals who represent celebrations and beliefs, I suppose, around the world. Whether it’s Easter and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, the Sandman. And under the title “The Guardians”, they’re this united front that support belief and positive belief. And Pitch, he has a way of forcing disbelief into children’s understanding of them. So by encouraging disbelief, ultimately crumbling the power and eventually the existence of The Guardians themselves. Really what he wants is a world of pitch blackness and darkness (laughs), where fear is manifest.