SHREVEPORT, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the opening day of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: DWA) much-anticipated “Rise of the Guardians”, William Joyce, an Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and #1 New York Times best-selling author, today shared why he chose DreamWorks Animation to bring his characters to life, what inspired him to write the epic adventure and his role with the film overall.
“Rise of the Guardians,” which features the voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law Isla Fisher and Hugh Jackman, tells the story of a group of heroes – Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and Jack Frost – 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.
Joyce began his relationship with DreamWorks Animation several years ago after receiving a tremendous amount of interest from Hollywood studios to adapt his books into a feature film. His choice was easy. The author and the studio shared the same vision: neither wanted a traditional adaptation of the book into a movie form. Rather, they wanted to create a unique story featuring the same characters, but set 200 years after the version of events laid out in Joyce’s best-selling Simon & Schuster Guardians of Childhood book series.
“I wanted to set up the world in the books and then show how they deal with their lives in the movie when their ancient enemy returns in Rise of the Guardians,” said William Joyce, creator of The Guardians series and an executive producer of the film. “I didn’t want to be stuck trying to be true to something we’d already done. No studio in town wanted to do both the books and movies this way. DreamWorks Animation was the only studio who liked the idea of them being separate. They liked the idea that the audience would have a surprise narrative they would be experiencing for the first time. Director Peter Ramsey shared my vision and helped transform the Guardians from books to the big screen.”
“Bill Joyce is a master storyteller and the mythology that he created in his book series has inspired our creative team at DreamWorks Animation,” said Bill Damaschke, chief creative officer at DreamWorks Animation. “There is perhaps no more collaborative medium than the art of animation and we are thrilled to have had the unique opportunity to work closely with Bill Joyce to bring the individual stories of the Guardians together for the first time on the big screen.”
Joyce plans to write 13 books in his series, including picture books and novels that tell the story of these classic childhood heroes. The movie is really just one moment in a much larger narrative that Joyce is shaping. William Joyce’s daughter Mary Katherine inspired him to do the series when she asked if Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny knew each other. This question sparked his creativity which became the common thread of the book series and central theme behind the animated film. He hopes these stories will speak to children of all ages who are trying to make sense of the characters.
Joyce added, “My vision is to explain the mythology for these classic characters in picture, film and story form. This movie is just the beginning.”
About Dreamworks Animation
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE® Magazine for four consecutive years. In 2012, DreamWorks Animation ranks #14 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 24 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The Company's theatrical releases for the current year are Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted on June 8, 2012 and Rise of the Guardians on November 21, 2012.
About William Joyce
William Joyce has achieved world-wide recognition as an author, illustrator and pioneer in the digital and animation industry. In February 2012, he won an Academy Award for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” an animated short film about the curative powers of story. Working with his team at Moonbot Studios, Joyce also created two best-selling, interactive iOS Apps, “Morris Lessmore” and “The Numberlys.” In past two years, he has also written seven hard copy Simon & Schuster children’s books including “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” “The Man in the Moon,” “The Guardians of Childhood,” “The Sandman: Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie, "Toothania: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies," “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King,” “E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!” Named by Newsweek magazine as “One of the 100 people to watch in the new millennium”, Joyce has been heavily involved in the world of digital animation from its full-scale inception at Pixar Animation. His projects have been produced by nearly every major film studio including Disney, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation. His feature films and television shows include the films Robots and Meet the Robinsons and the television series Rolie Polie Olie for which he won three Emmy Awards.
Joyce was an executive producer of the animated feature, “Rise of the Guardians,” for DreamWorks. Additionally, he is the writer, producer, and production designer on the Fox Studios feature film, Epic, based on his book The Leaf Men. Epic is scheduled for a summer 2013 release. The combined box office total of the films he has originated or been an integral part of is close to a billion dollars. All five of his feature films have earned over $100 million worldwide. Both of his television series achieved worldwide status, the rarest and most difficulty level of achievement in broadcast television.