Rise of the Guardians - North (Alec Baldwin) and loyal elves helpers ©2012 DreamWorks Animation

Pictured above: Rise of the Guardians – North (Alec Baldwin) and loyal elves helpers ©2012 DreamWorks Animation

The new holiday movie Rise of the Guardians tells the story of how Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) have to join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere when an evil spirit named Pitch (Jude Law) attempts to take over the world.

Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher spoke of their roles at the press day for the movie in New York City.

What was it about Rise of the Guardians that interested you?

Rise of the Guardians – Alec Baldwin and his character North © 2012 DreamWorks Animation

Alec: I think when they showed me these people were going to be an edgier version of these characters. When you see the Santa Claus figure it’s usually Wilford Brimley, kind of a rosy cheeked, saintly man without a lot of dimension to it.

[The movie] doesn’t cross the line, but they had little touches. I love how Isla’s character (the Tooth Fairy) is hitting on Chris’ character (Jack Frost) when she meets him. It was a little more real, so I loved that.

Rise of the Guardians – Isla Fisher and her character Tooth © 2012 DreamWorks Animation

Isla: I was shown the artwork. It was very overwhelming how much work they had already put into the story and the movie before I came onboard. At that stage, I probably shouldn’t say this, but Leonardo DiCaprio was doing Jack Frost. Wow, I’m in big trouble. He dropped out.

Alec: At that stage who was playing Santa Claus?

Isla: Sacha Baron Cohen (her husband). I’m just kidding.

I thought it was so beautiful, original, magical and epic. It felt huge, and it just felt different from anything that I’d seen in the animated world.

Growing up, were there any children’s movies that you cherished?

Jamie (Dakota Goyo) awakens to find The Guardians – Tooth (Isla Fisher), Jack Frost (Chris Pine), North (Alec Baldwin), Sandman and Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman) – in his bedroom © 2012 DreamWorks Animation

Isla: I loved The Dark Crystal. It was the first film that I ever saw, and it just seemed so magical to me.

Alec: The Dark Crystal? My God, I feel so old if that was your childhood movie. I was going to say Mary Poppins.

I was born in ’58, and in 1970, I was 12 years old, and a lot of what I watched was Charlie Brown Christmas on TV, and the animated version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

In film there was nothing like there is today, it just didn’t exist. There was no DreamWorks or Pixar.

When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?

Alec Baldwin, Director Peter Ramsey, Isla Fisher and Chris Pine at a press conference © 2012 DreamWorks Animation

Isla: I was six when I stopped believing in Santa. My brother broke it to me, along with the Tooth Fairy not being real at the same time. It was a massive blow.

I actually remember feeling very betrayed by my parents. But, I was at least able to beg them more openly for the stuff that I wanted the following year.

Alec: I walked into a room and my sister was wrapping presents with my mother. I was like, ‘What?’ I was seven or eight, and they told me what was going on. I think they told me because the more kids my mother had the more wrapping they had to do.

So my mother said, ‘Come in here, pick up those scissors and let’s go.’

Were you devastated?

Alec: I was only devastated because it meant more work for me. I had to wrap presents all night!

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.