Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.
As a child, William Joyce wanted more answers about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and other mythical figures than his parents were able to give him. “I know where Superman came from — from planet Krypton! — so what about this guy, the Easter Bunny?” says Joyce. The typical parental response to queries about how Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy did what they do was, “They just do,” which Joyce found dissatisfying, even years later when he became a father. “I wanted to come up with something better for my kids,” says Joyce. “And it really galvanized when my daughter asked me one hot August day — after her little brother lost his tooth — ‘Do the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus know each other?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ ”
Joyce, a celebrated illustrator, children’s book author, and filmmaker, began filling in those blanks, creating detailed backstories and a shared universe robust enough to fill a Guardians of Childhood book series. His imaginative work ultimately provided the foundation for DreamWorks Animation’s latest contender in this year’s Oscars race, the 3D animated Rise of the Guardians. (more…)