"Rise of the Guardians," is a 3-D DreamWorks Animation movie featuring folklore characters like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny; it's set for release near Thanksgiving. It might not seem to have much in common with "Star Trek," but Pine, 31, says working on "Guardians" has given him a better understanding of why "Star Trek" director Abrams is so adamant about keeping the plot of his films a mystery.
"J.J. is super-secretive. The scripts are color-coded, and walking to and from set we have to wear coats and everything," the actor said at the CinemaCon convention of theater owners in Las Vegas, where he was on hand to promote "Guardians." "It's such a pain in the [butt], but I think about how awesome it is, because what he's protecting is the magic of the unknown."
With the advent of the Internet, Pine says it's harder to preserve a sense of wonder among audiences, including children. Can the fantastical "Guardians" work for kids who are jaded at an early age?
"I think probably there's a certain amount of earlier cynicism because of technology and stuff -- they can look Santa Claus up online, and they'll find a blog post from some hater about he doesn't exist," he said. "I do think there's something genetically programmed in the brain of a child that wants to believe."
DreamWorks Animation screened roughly 15 minutes of the new movie to theater owners at the Caesars Palace Coliseum on Monday night, and director Peter Ramsey showed illustrations of each character and described them in elaborate detail. Pine gave an earnest speech about how his imagination ran wild as a kid. It seems the actor took his work on "Guardians" quite seriously. While Chris Rock told 24 Frames he finds doing voice work on the "Madagascar" films an easy gig, Pine said he agonizes over his delivery of every line.
"I do the voice for BMW too, and I'm always thinking, how do you paint a picture with words when the subtle nuances of just you and I sitting here together you can't display?" he said. "I'll go in sometimes and think I did a great job and hear it back and think, 'Well, that's not what I was trying to do.' It's the worst art form for an OCD perfectionist like me."
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Chris Pine talks about "Rise of the Guardians" at CinemaCon. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press