William Joyce is the author of the “The Guardians of Childhood” series, which is being made into the film, “Rise of the Guardians”. William also served as executive producer on the film. William recently released the third novel in “The Guardians of the Childhood” series, called “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies” and also a picture book “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask William a few questions about turning his series into a film and chatted about his new books.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your work on DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians”?
William Joyce: The upcoming DreamWorks Animation “Rise of the Guardians”, set for release on November 21, is based on my book series “The Guardians of Childhood.” It takes place 200 years after the team’s formation in the books; it tells the story of Jack’s recruitment to the team and centers around four of the guardians; Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny. The Guardians of Childhood book series tells a sweeping tale of the ongoing battle between Pitch, lord of nightmares, and the eponymous guardians, consisting of figures such as the Man in the Moon, Nicolas St. North, the Tooth Fairy, Bunnymund the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, Mother Goose, and Jack Frost. I also worked as the executive producer, so I collaborated on all aspects of the film. Design, story, and casting.
MG: What was the most challenging aspect of bringing “The Guardians of Childhood” to screen?
WJ: Narrowing the story down to a 90 minute film, then bringing that story to the screen. Animated feature films are titanic endeavors, and take years to realize.
MG: Tell us about the next novel in the series “Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies”?
WJ: Toothania, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, is the third and the newest in The Guardian series. It delves into the secret world of the third Guardian, the mysterious Tooth Fairy. This third chapter book presents you to Her Royal Highness, Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairies. There’s a lot more to her than has been previously understood.
MG: How many other book do you have planned in this series?
WJ: The Guardians of Childhood Series and The Guardians series will consist in total of thirteen books; the seven picture books in The Guardians of Childhood series and six chapter books in the Guardians of Childhood series.
MG: How did the idea for picture book “The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie” come about?
WJ: I’ve been working on a unified mythology for the icons of childhood since my daughter asked me if Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy knew each other. As a parent, I felt that Santa Claus, the Man in the Moon, all of them had become a little diminished. They deserve to be thought of as grand. Heroic. Epic. If Spider-Man has an origins mythology, then why not the characters we actually believed in? Creating a voice for their stories became my mission.
MG: Tell us about the road to “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” winning the Best Animated Short in 2011 Oscars?
WJ: We started Moonbot Studios three years ago, in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s an unlikely place to have an animation studio. We are, I believe, the 104th largest city in the United States. But we love it. Shreveport is home. To do the short we had to mortgage our houses and hunt for every nickel we could rub together. It was a huge risk. But we believed in ourselves and the story. Most of our employees were fresh out of college. Working at Moonbot was their first job. When we won, the whole city, the entire state of Louisiana, went nuts. It was like a Frank Capra movie come to life. They gave us a ticker tape parade, a key to the city, and sang for he’s a jolly good fellow. Our lives became like the movies we’d been inspired by and loved. It was surreal, unspeakably happy and perfect. But now our employees are totally spoiled.
MG: What can you tell us about your next film “Epic”?
WJ: Epic is an upcoming 3D computer animated fantasy-adventure film based on my children’s book “The Leaf Men.” It’s an epic adventure that just happens to be in the secret world of a teenage girl’s backyard. A race o tiny beings threatened by an ancient evil. I like to think of it as an intimate epic. It’s being produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Chris Wedge, the director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). It stars the voices of Beyoncé Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, and Steven Tyler. The film is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2013.