jackfrost480 jackfrost480
Feature Film

DiCaprio as Jack Frost

DreamWorks announced today that Leonardo DiCaprio will make his animated feature film debut when he heads the cast of The Guardians. DiCaprio will be voicing Jack Frost. (Click image above to see larger, full length figure). The film’s story, according to the Dreamworks press release, is as follows:

When an evil spirit called Pitch becomes bent upon taking over the world by inspiring fear in the hearts of kids everywhere, a group of our greatest heroes–Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost–band together for the first time, determined to stand in Pitch’s way. More than a collection of storybook subjects, “The Guardians” are also a band of superheroes, who possess their own special powers. The film is based on “The Guardians of Childhood,” a series of highly anticipated books by William Joyce.

Peter Ramsey is directing; the film is scheduled for release on November 2nd, 2012.

  • Ahh, it’s nice to see Twilight influence our wondrous animation industry.

  • Klyph

    I think that’s the best looking human character dreamworks has creates so far. WAY better than any of the humans in MVsA and the Shrek movies.

    Also, yay it comes out half a month before the world ends.

  • “The Horror! The Horror!”

  • Looking forward to see what the Dreamworks crew will do with these known classic characters :-)

  • B. Plympton already made this (kinda).
    His film is 5 minutes long and almost certainly has more jokes and better artwork.

  • Joe

    The folds on the cloth are great! Very impressive that it really retains the design of hand drawn. The whole torso looks like a drawing. Great job DW modelers.

  • FP

    Sounds like a Rankin-bass special.

  • Robert Barker

    Maybe it’s me, but I think the character is visually unappealing. I don’t see life in the rendition. It looks like more computer muck.

  • Scott

    Dicaprio is a fine actor, but as a VOICE actor, he’s as exciting as Brad Pitt was in that horrible Sinbad movie, or every actor in Shark Tale.
    So un-animated.

  • Cody Covell

    Wait, Pitch?… Of the Mexican kids movie “Santa Claus Conquers The Devil” fame?!?

  • EatRune

    He looks kind of like a Kingdom Hearts character (not that that’s a bad game, despite its fandom).

    Am I the only one who’d love to see voice actors in animated movies rather than inexperienced celebrities?

    Still looking forward to How to Train your Dragon.

  • Twilight meets Rankin-Bass? :C

  • is it CG or stop-motion? It doesn’t say anywhere in the article, and even though the photo above looks computer treated in some way, it could be a model. Either way, the design of the film from this one image looks interesting

  • Ilford A

    The premise sounds like a big budget one-off of Hanna-Barbera’s “Drak Pack”, though DW will make it different.

  • TStevens

    I have to agree that DiCaprio has a voice quality that falls somewhere between Val Kilmer (Prince of Egypt) and Brad Pitt (previously noted).

    I’m probably not the best judge. I still can’t watch Shrek without wondering how Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz ever made it into the sound booth.

  • squirrel

    It seems like William Joyce is Hollywood’s ‘hot button’ right now.

  • troy joseh reyes

    why dont i have a good feeling about this? i mean its what we get every year at this time, instead of coal in the stocking we get it on the big screen, we mustve been bad, very bad.

  • That “awful” Sinbad movie had some of the coolest hand drawn stuff ever. I think it disappointed on story grounds, not voice performance.

    No one talked about Tom Hanks as a voice performer until Toy Story so the fact that no one talks about DiCaprio as a voice performer yet may not be an indicator.

    Wikipedia lists cast:

    Dwayne Johnson
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Natalie Portman
    Christopher Lee
    Hugh Laurie
    Ian McShane

  • Matthew

    Don’t you one-track homers ever get tired of bashing DW?!?
    Give it a rest and grow up. It may have been cool and hip to do so a few years ago, but their recent track record and future showings offer some great content.

  • So they’re casting one of the blandest-voiced actors I can think of as a voice actor? I’m filled with such excitement, I may go see an entirely different movie when this comes out.

  • John

    “Ward says:

    Ahh, it’s nice to see Twilight influence our wondrous animation industry.”


  • Comparing to what dreamworks have been doing in cg … the design is awesome !

    and the idea is promissing =D

    I even imagined that it would be stop motion when i saw xD

  • Thom Foolery

    I was thinking the exact same thing, Cody. The plot also sounds similar, but instead of just Santa squaring off against a devil, they tossed in some other holiday heroes. All we need now is for Riff Trax of Cinemaic Titanic to pick it up.

    As for the character design, I really don’t think its half bad. It has a slight Brain Fraud (Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, many other books on Fairys) influence to it. Not as good as his work, of course, but it doesn’t hurt the eyes like Christmas Carol. I think his body build will lend it self to some very interesting movement when animated.

  • Erik

    I like how dreamworks has to take 5 steps back before they can even take half a step forward.

    It’s funny it took Sony Monster house and Open Season until they started hitting two awesome films in a row (Surfs up/cloudy) and dreamworks still can’t figure it out.

  • Student

    Is it me, or does Jack Frost look like 2D from Gorillaz?

    Also, it looks more like stop-motion than CGI.

  • That one character design screams “I want to be animated under the direction of Suzie Templeton, not via hundreds of computers at DreamWorks Animation!”

  • Ben

    Christopher Lee ought to be good.

  • Brian O.

    “Joe says:

    The folds on the cloth are great! Very impressive that it really retains the design of hand drawn. The whole torso looks like a drawing. Great job DW modelers.”

    Seriously? Am I missing the sarcasm?

  • Go Peter! Good on you man!

  • He kind of looks like Leo, if you squint.

    But admit it, you’re just posting this to get a rise out of people!

  • Jim Engel

    I’m gonna go, because I see any animated film where the folds in the cloth look great.

  • Charles

    AWESOME! The drek from Dreamworks continues. At least they’re consistent. lol. (pardon my reproach)

  • Abe

    I agree, best looking CG humans they have put out yet, though the “pet dragon” people seem cool, especially some of the more brutish vikings

  • Matt

    This seems so very similar to Jamie Hewlett’s Gorrilaz character designs. Although much less appealing once put through the CGI-ifier. Bummer.

  • Um, I don’t know what everyone else is looking at, but visually, this doesn’t look that bad. At all. Especially for Dreamworks. They could still royally mess it up with their style, of course, but this looks surprisingly good for them and the story *could* be done well (many stories sound worse out loud than they really are, try it XP). It’s a bit too “cool” for the crowd I guess, what with that sweatjacket and all, but it’s not badly designed. Like people have mentioned, it sorta looks like 2-D from Gorillaz with some vague Brian Froud in there (in the face especially). I love the texturing on this, it looks sorta stop-motiony.

    I know how people here love to hate stuff, but coming from someone who’s not a fan of DW, Kung Fu Panda aside, the elitist non-computer non-DW non…etc. negativity is getting to be a bit much. It’s been a while since I’ve seen something other then endless sarcasm in these comments…

  • Lee

    I hear what people are saying, but I think this looks alright, I’m willing to give it a chance

  • Daniel M.

    for all of you guys bashing the look of this character, your also bashing James Baxter, for he had a good deal of influence on the character designs. Go ahead, bash one of the most respected animators around today just because you can’t get past the fact that its made by your least favorite studio….

    If your high school jock star ‘Pixar’ were to have put this image out, every single one of you would be singing a different tune, as well as suckling from that same teet even moreso than you are now….

  • Isaac

    Give me a break, Daniel. The watery eyes? The monkey-like face? The shoulders that hang behind the torso? The crotch-thrust pose? Does that look like good design to you?

  • A Alvarez-Finkelstein

    Christopher Lee is the Arnold Stang of drama. That is a good thing.

  • optimist

    This kind of knee jerk bashing is so old. It’s like a “blind taste test” where the subject is completely guided by what he thinks he knows instead of what’s actually there.

  • Slash Halen

    This characters mouth is kinda freaking me out. I don’t know why, but the face just looks… wrong. Honestly, I’m not impressed.

    And whats with Leonardo DiCaprio voicing him? He’s a fine actor, but come on.

  • The story has potential imo. Hopefully it will come out like KFP instead of the rest.

  • Daniel M.

    Isaac, could u break me off a piece of that kit-kat bar?

    no matter WHAT the design looks like, because its from DW it gets put under the microscopic scrutiny that all you so-called experts believe you have the ability to give. My point is this, if it werent from DW, it wouldnt have to go up against such a firing squad, mainly because all you folks would already believe its good, for no reason other than you’ve been told its good.

    Pixars designs work, and theyre fine, nothing wrong with them, but theyre all the same imho. Since the Incredibles, you could put everyone in the same family from that studio, and call it the Corleone’s. In the end, those grouped together designs will probably suffer the same fate.

  • Oh God. This must be the thing, Kids and parents will see it, Kids like it in their ignorance, parents kill themselves realizing how stupid the real world is! Pampered babies walk the Earth unknowingly and vulnurable to the wild! We must stop them for Dreamworks will bring about the end of days!

  • Daniel M, people here rip on Pixar as well, so your argument holds no water.

  • Sam Filstrup

    People are saying Twilight but this film would have to have been in development way before the release of the first film. I’m not a 100% sold on the concept seems kinda hookey but hey I’ll give it a chance when it comes out. Kung Fu Panda was a step in the right direction for Dreamworks hopefully they’ve learned from that film.

  • cm

    He looks rad to me.

  • Pez

    Maybe they should have designed the movie to look like William Joyce’s paintings rather than Dark Crystal

  • Isn’t this kinda “Monster vs. Aliens” again? With a touch of the premise from “Nightmare Before Christmas?” I think a ot of people here don’t mean to be bashing on DW except maybe for KFP, but comawn! Why not work in the Great Pumpkin, Tom Turkey, and borrow Kwanzaa-bot and the Hanukah Zombie, too. Maybe Bill Maudlin’s Joe & Willie could stand in for Veteran’s Day? How about the cartoon mascot of the guy in a straitjacket and Uncle Sam hat from the Krazy Kaplan’s fireworks stand billboards in Chicago (http://www.avoision.com/2005/07/01/road_trip_krazy_kaplans.php)?

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Somewhere Stan Lee is smiling, and that’s never a good sign. It was Lee, after all, who tried making superheroes out of The Backstreet Boys … and pretty much anyone and anything else.

    And am I the only one who thinks that Jack Frost looks like someone who wandered out of Kingdom Hearts?

  • keez

    What’s the point of Leonardo DiCaprio? He’s a great actor but who woke up and thought he should be a voice lead. He’s pretty much unrecognisable behind the mic anyway.

  • This film was actually written by William Joyce and a couple of guys who are ex-Reel FX employees and are now over at Moonbot Studio in Shreveport. They sold the rights to Dreamworks. I, too, will be interested to see what happens with the story now that Dreamworks has it. This design is promising, at least!

  • I’m not really enthused about this movie or care what lies in store for it as we hear more info in the coming months, but I have to admit, this human looks hell of a lot better than the ones in Monsters VS Aliens or the Shrek films (even though he does have a Twilight-y look to him).

    & do I see a slightly pointed Chuck Jones lip on that guy, or am I seeing things?

  • Ultra

    Really, DW never gets any character designs right! Did everybody forget about the designs for Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda; some of the best designs yet created for big studio CG.

    Man, people really do love to bash DW; valid or not.

  • You gotta love the weekly Dreamworks hater parades here.

  • He looks like the Rankin Bass 1979 Jack Frost, “Twilighted” up.

    But the design does have some appeal! I see some Brian Froud influence as well.

    Now, I wonder what the rest of the “team” looks like…

  • Luke R

    The DW bashing is really getting boring… KFP was the best animated film of the year, period. The amount of talent it takes to make a film like that is really something y’all should aspire to.

    * I challenge anyone posting negative comments about Dreamworks to
    also post a link to their own work. Seriously, back up your comments and show us all how its done, who’s first??!!

  • Ron

    It was ever thus…

    When Brew posted the Kung Fu Panda trailer:

    “I don’t really see anything that would make this stand out from the other mediocre dreamworks movies, not the jokes in the trailer for sure.”

    “The video’s still loading for me, but strangely, I can’t think of myself feeling too happy about the film.”

    “They already used up its comedic value in a 2 minute trailer! Frankly I’m a little scared to see how painful the slo-mo gag gets in the full 2 hour movie!”

    “I’m just blown away that they used “Kung Fu Fighting” as the theme track for this Kung Fu movie. I think its a clear indication that the people at Dreamworks have headed down an fresh exciting path of innovation and new ideas.”

    “Now when you say “it looks awesome”, was there supposed to be a [thump] sound effect right before the word “awesome”?”


    “DW’s star-effing casting and uninspired scripts continue to keep me at bay.”

    “even from a gut reaction this trailer is pretty crappy – and i’m allowed to judge the movie from it because thats the purpose that trailers serve! People make judgments on whether to see a movie based on the trailer. The trailer for this movie was unimaginative, cliche, and a general let down. Couple that with the fact that an executive dreamed up this rehashed premise, two people are directing, and writers have come and gone through revolving doors on the project. I smell a stinker.”

    “this is like watching my 8 year old cousin’s dream of a kung fu parody come to life. it just lacks wit and originality.”

    “The scenery is mostly boring, sparse and strangely desaturated and/or jarringly coloured. Its pseudo-Eastern flatness clashes badly with mostly typical bulgy-eyed, three-dimensional American cartoon characters.”

    “The more I watch this trailer, the more horrible I feel this is.”

    “Personally, I think it looks pretty crappy but I have no doubt it will do great.”

  • optimist

    “That we are being called on to take an entity as insincere and soulless as Dreamworks as serious, great artists is the perfect example of how… well, pathetic modern animation is.

    LOL Wat?
    I wrote an impassioned response to this, but then as you suggested I took a look at your blog.
    I’ll just go so far as to restate that really, there are some very talented artists at Dreamworks-hell they’re all talented-who have plenty of soul and sincerity. Really(and fyi John K wouldn’t be nearly as harsh on them as you think from your reading of his blog. Don’t take him too seriously).

  • Ron

    I was going to write a response to Guy’s “least smelly turd” observation, but then I clicked on the link to his blog. He’s 19. He’s in South Carolina. And his email address contains “Johnkrules.”

    I’ll avoid the 10,000 snarky things that occured to me, but… damn.

  • Ultra

    Guy, since we’re mostly talking about design here,please give an example of what you think would be something inspiring on the big screen. I’m not being sarcastic, I would sincerely like to know what would satisfy your tastes. Who are the artists that inspire you?

    I personally think Coraline was an incredible looking film that strayed away from the standard, but that’s just my opinion.

    I also don’t remember too many people bashing the character designs on Frog Princess, which I feel is a pedestrian return to mid 80s feature design. But, then again, DW didn’t make it, so it gets a bit of a free pass. Personally, I would have loved to see something along the lines of Hirschfeld’s Harlem. Disney certainly has the talent to pull it off.

    And I completely disagree with your assessment of the design in KFP and Madagascar. Craig Kellman and Nicolas Marlet are two of the best character designers ever and while the designs in both films were a slightly watered down version of their original designs, I still feel they both FAR exceed the work in some other major films.

    I think there is always room to improve, but we’re not talking about the future of design, we’re talking about what’s out there now.

  • vzk

    Before seeing that pic, I imagined a remake of that cheesy horror movie with DiCaprio playing the mutant killer snowman and Kate Winslet playing Shannon Elizabeth’s character during the infamous bath scene.

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Guy: do you have ANYTHING positive to say? I’d like to know what DOES meet your standards.

    It’s not the Jack Frost I would imagine, but I do like the design. I hope Santa is designed imaginative as well. I loved the Santa in the first Narnia movie because it was just a different take from the usual.

  • Rodrigo


    You are a better man than me for putting Guy down so delicately.

  • Ron

    Guy, just as an FYI, if you ever want to work in this business, when you call a studio’s entire output “turds” you are in fact insulting people. The campanile itself could care less.

    Which is fine, in the “everyone’s a critic” sense I guess. But when you try to slough off your John K fixation, I’m not sure what to make of this from your blog —

    “I just thought of something. A researcher takes three groups of man-babies and gives them food. One group is told the food has been handled by some random dude. One group is told the food has been handled by John Kricfalusi. One group is told the food has been handled by me!”

  • JMatte

    Ok, now I’m also curious to know what is the art or artist that Guy approves of or likes. Obviously, there’s lots of opinions on what is considered bad, but I’d also like to see the positive spin on things.

    At least to lighten up this entry a bit!

    As for the Jack Frost design, I do see what others have mentioned of some accent of Hewlett or Froud thrown in. I’m curious to see him move: that’s when the character really comes alive.
    That will take a few years though.

  • autisticanimator

    If this is concept art, there’s still the hope that they could or have changed it. I just appreciate that they are varying their styles for each film they make.

  • Ron

    Guy, seriously, I know what it’s like to be young and headstrong. But the notion that people who get paid to do what they love are some sort of souless sell outs because it doesn’t conform to whatever the hell it is that you are looking for is really insulting to the huge number of professionals here.

    It’s your business. But I’ve been in this business a long time and the most important wisdom I can give to any new guy trying to break in is “Don’t be an ass.” It would seem to be common sense, yet I’ve seen some pretty good artists get passed up for work because they had personalities that seem to be what you are going for here. Of course there are always geniuses that can get away with anything, but I’m not sure you are there yet.

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Guy, you confuse me.
    Insulting Dreamworks is the same as insulting the artists that comprise it. How exactly are you putting Dreamworks down without insulting the artists there?

  • optimist

    No one who’s 19 is old enough or experienced enough to be “deeply sick” of anything at all. I say this as a onetime 19 year old. Wise up for your own sake. You think some pros are being harsh? They’re actually being incredibly restrained. Showing some class.

    This discussion is supposed to be about an announcement regarding a new Dreamworks film, not responses to one or another posters.

    But it might be good to note that it’s foolish to make statements about how studios run when you have no actual experience of them. Reading comments on blogs-including mine-doesn’t mean squat. No one respects an opinion formed that way and rightly so.

    Go ahead-blame the artists. An artist, not an executive, drew and painted that Jack Frost model. You can’t have it both ways. Blame the artists, insult them, say what you like. But stick by it. Dish it out, but be able to take it too.
    That’s a dicey proposition until you’ve achieved at least a little bit of real technical skill.
    I don’t write that because you said things about anyone’s work that weren’t nice. I said it because it’s true based on your blog.

  • Sounds a teeny bit close to Mike Bell’s Super Santa. Not a lot, but a tiny, tiny bit.

    The design looks ok.

    eh, what can ya do?

  • amid

    We’re sorry for allowing the immature and off-topic user comments from “guy” on this board. Whoever he was, he was using a fake email and that’s a big no-no. His posts are now gone.

  • AdrianC.

    I’m not fan of Leonardo DiCaprio so, naturally, I’m not expecting much from him as a voice actor. The overall design of the character is questionable (really, a hoodie?), but the actual 3D model does look much better than any human Dreamworks has created thus far. I like the Frost’s face, too.

  • Gotta say, thats a pretty attractive and considered design. I’m sort of gay for it. It’s a really good bit of modeling.
    Totally disinterested in the story, but if the Natalie Portman character is that well designed, I’m in.

  • Matt Sullivan

    There goes 40-70 million in a-list voice acting fees alone. Have fun trying to make a profit.

  • Destiny

    Keep up the great work Dreamworks friends! Sometimes people are negative about these movies but thats because they don’t know anything about it except for a few released images. You guys will kick butt with Dragons!

  • Simon

    Isn’t this the second or third movie DW is making based on a book that hasn’t come out yet? I wonder why they don’t use books that are already released like Disney did.

  • Damon

    How about we wait until the film is released and then judge whether or not it’s good. Some days it’s an embarrassment being a film fan because people are always so negative.

  • Adam VM

    I continue to think this is a bad, bad idea, awesome design for Jack Frost notwithstanding.

  • Kimi

    I’m sick of celebrities voicing the characters of animated films. Come on I’m starting to see the use of celebrities as a crutch! Come on how about some new talent or even some T.V. voice actors/actresses for a change.

  • ChrisFrost

    So glad jack looks nothing like this now! Plus his voice is now Chris Pine! Much better looks and voice!