|“||I'd say sweet dreams, but there aren't any left.||„|
|~ Pitch watching the Sandman be consumed by nightmares.|
|“||Don't look at me like that, old friend. You must have known this day would come. My nightmares are finally ready. Are your Guardians?||„|
|~ Pitch to the Man in the Moon.|
|“||I don't know what it's like to be cast out! To not be believed in! To long for a family. All those years in the shadows I thought, 'no one else knows what this feels like.' but now I see I was wrong.||„|
|~ Pitch to Jack Frost.|
Pitch Black (full name: Kozmotis Pitchiner) is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 25th full-length animated feature film Rise of the Guardians. He is the cunning, tyrannical and manipulative Nightmare King who plots to make children forget their beloved Guardians and send the world into "eternal darkness", an era where fear is the only thing that can be felt anywhere by anyone. He is Sandman's counterpart and Jack Frost's archenemy.
He was voiced by Jude Law, who also played Harlen Maguire in Road to Perdition, King Vortigern in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel, Billy Hanson in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and a version of Tony Shepard in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. In the videogame adaptation of the film, he was voiced by Fabio Tassone.
Pitch Black was originally a powerful master of terror due to humanity's great fear and terror of the dark in the times before the Guardians. But after the Man in the Moon chose and sent the Guardians to give light and happiness and hope to the children of the world, children lost their misery and fear of the Boogeyman, causing Pitch's power to wane until his existence was so fragile that he could not be seen or heard. This lonely existence, in comparison to the Guardians of Childhood who are loved and believed in all over the world, caused Pitch to harbor a bitter hatred for the Guardians.
Rise of the Guardians
For centuries, Pitch searched for a way to strike against his foes. Eventually, he found a way to transform the Sandman's dreams into nightmares, which are monstrous horses that he controls.
Pitch attacks what gives the Guardians their power: children's belief in them. He kidnaps the Tooth fairy's army of fairies to stop her from collecting teeth, but the other Guardians help her perform her duties. Seeing that more direct action is in order, Pitch battles against the Guardians, and manages to overwhelm the Sandman with black nightmare sand, killing him. Next, he sends nightmares to destroy the Easter Bunny's warren, while he distracts Jack Frost by taunting him with his memories.
When all hope seems lost, Pitch approaches Jack in Antarctica, and offered an alliance due to the fact that they were both outcasts. When Jack refuses, Pitch snaps his magic staff in two and throws him into a crevasse.
Children all around the world ceased to believe in the Guardians, and soon only one boy named Jamie still held on to the hope that the Guardians exist. With so few children believing in them, the Guardians become weak while Pitch gained incredible strength. As Jamie's hope is too irrepressible, Pitch tries to kill the boy, but the Guardians all try to protect him. With encouragement from Jack and the other Guardians, Jamie gets his friends together and prepares to stand up to Pitch. By not giving in to fear, the children gain the power to turn nightmare sand back into dream sand.
The Guardians regain their strength and manage to fight off Pitch and the nightmares. Sandman is also revived. Ultimately, the children no long fear Pitch and hence no longer see or hear him. Pitch attempts to run away, but is confronted by the Guardians. Pitch vows that he cannot be rid of them forever and that there will always be fear, but North reminds him as long as one child believes, that Guardians will be able to fight fear. At the same time, Pitch's nightmares arrived to the scene sensing his own fears, so they attack and drag him down into his lair.
Pitch is bitter, jealous, arrogant, deceitful and oppressive towards the Guardians as they were believed in and he was merely just written off as a bad dream. Out of all of the Guardians, Pitch has the most interaction with Jack Frost as he feels the two have much in common, which they do; however, while Jack is mischievous yet kindhearted, Pitch is extremely malevolent, sadistic, greedy and cruel. He is also seen as being the rival of Sandman as the two are polar opposites in both their abilities and color scheme.
Pitch is the Boogeyman and described as the King of Darkness. He is a downright and unequivocal sadist, deriving glee from turning children's dreams into nightmares and mocking a dying Sandy. When being confronted by the Guardians at Tooth Palace, he was heavily sarcastic and contemptuous, so he shows his rivals nothing but contempt with insults and threats.
He is also shown to be very manipulative and duplicitous, luring Jack Frost away from the rest of the Guardians so his Nightmares could destroy the Easter Eggs and was able to trick an enraged Jack into finding sympathy for him. However, if he couldn't persuade someone, Pitch resorted to blackmail; for example, he threatens to murder Baby Tooth if Frost doesn't yield his staff.
When it comes to Jack, Pitch takes a sinister, twisted, heartless, unpleasant and ruthless approach towards him. Initially, Pitch saw him as nothing more than a "neutral party" and ignored him; however, when Jack overpowered the Boogeyman using his ice powers Pitch was impressed and began to relate to him (the director himself confirmed it was genuine and not fake). After Jack refused his partnership, he breaks his magical staff and left him for dead.
Pitch plays extremely sadistic mind games with Jack Frost throughout the film, when he has lured him to his lair, he cruelly taunted him over his forgotten memories and mocked him over the Guardians never accepting him as a member.
He is also very insulting and vituperative, an example was when he told the Easter Bunny to suck an egg and threatening to snuff the Tooth Fairy's helpers with a pillow. He is also extremely traitorous, depraved and evil, so he was perfectly fine murdering Baby Tooth and Jamie to fulfill his goals.
Pitch is tall and lithe in appearance. He has pale gray skin, dull golden eyes, and glossy black hair that is styled in spikes that curve towards the back of his head. He wears a black coat that appears to be made of tangible darkness.
- Pitch also appears as the main antagonist and final boss in Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game.
- In the books which the film is based off, Pitch was originally an alien army general named Kozmotis Pitchiner, who was possessed by fear demons. Whether or not this is canon to the film is unknown, but it likely is not.
- Black is Pitch's signature color.
- Christopher Lloyd and Patrick Stewart were both considered for the role of Pitch before Jude Law was cast.
- In the film, Pitch is shown as an evil counterpart of Sandy, the Sandman: While Sandy is bright, short, round and gives happiness and dreams, Pitch is dark, tall, willowy and gives fear and nightmares.
- Pitch's underground lair is located down a dark hole under an old and damaged bed; a reference to the fact that Pitch Black is the inspiration for the Boogeyman, which children often fear to be hiding in the darkness under their beds.
- While some believe that Pitch was killed by his nightmares, the fact that the Guardians mention that they will be available to thwart his plans each time he shows up makes clear that he was merely imprisoned deep in his lair and will only be set free once again if he manages to reconquer his own fears.
- He is the second animated character to be voiced by Jude Law.