Pitch Black, better known as the boogeyman by children, is the main antagonist of the Rise of the Guardians.
Pitch is dark and malevolent - one would say everything a child fears. Since the Dark Ages when his power was at its peak and his later defeat, Pitch became embittered by no longer being believed in by children and even more sadistic as he only relished in turning the dreams of those who forgot him into nightmares and destroying the Guardians who were believed in instead of him. Centuries of being forgotten and not seen has given Pitch a sense of theatricality as seen through his display on the globe to get the Guardians together and later when he gloated about his impending victory to the North Pole.
Being a master manipulator, Pitch often preyed on his victims psychologically. His knowledge of people's worst fears allowed him to unnerve his enemies and enjoyed watching them squirm, often leaving their fates to their imagination through thinly-veiled threats before killing them. With these abilities he was able to draw Jack from the other Guardians despite being the most powerful against him and distract him long enough by exploiting his worst fear of being forgotten and give his Nightmares time to destroy Easter. This behaviour is evident towards the Guardians due to his deep jealousy toward them. At the Tooth Palace instead of immediately killing them only gloats and insults each Guardian individually by rendering their purposes moot.
As displayed multiple times, Pitch has a perverse level of pleasure from playfully tormenting with his victims in an almost animal-like fashion; these traits are exhibited when he turned Cupcake's dream into a Nightmare, overlooking Sandman's "death" and his behaviour before his attempt to kill Jaime. Pitch also considers his rivalry with the Guardians to be enjoyable as he reacted with excitement when he found another who shared this viewpoint, exclaiming "someone who knows to have a little fun" when Jack was able to challenge him with his magic.
Despite his cruel nature, Pitch has something of a sympathetic side. Years of loneliness caused him to find a degree of solace within Jack Frost another person who wasn't believed in and admits that he understands being cast out like Jack when he was isolated in the North Pole and consoles that he does indeed long for a family. However, as Jack points out Pitch only wants to be feared rather than loved or believed in, and this proves to be his undoing as his own Nightmares defeat him when his worst fear of not being feared comes true.
In the film, Pitch isn't exactly seen directly at first, but his black nightmare sand is seen swirling around North's globe of the earth. North assembles the Guardians, including Jack Frost, and they discuss the event. Later on Pitch is seen directly. He is standing in CupCake's room and muses about her dreams about unicorns before turning it into a nightmare. Pitch later appears at Tooth's palace where his nightmare horses are seen stealing the children's teeth and kidnapping Tooth's fairies.
The Guardians and Jack Frost try to fight back, but fails, though Pitch somewhat ignores Jack. The Guardians and Jack Frost charged at Pitch but he escaped in his nightmare Onyx. The Guardians decided to retrieve the teeth from the children's beds to keep them believe in Tooth, Pitch learned this through one of nightmares, Pitch decide to get rid of Sandy once and for all. Jack and Sandy follow two his Nightmares Pitch see Jack again The Sandman appeared behind Pitch and the two started which Sandy have the upper hand, Pitch begs be forgiven and that Sandy could his dream back, Thousands of Nightmares appeared around Jack and Sandy, in the sky Pitch took the opportunity of Sandy,and stab him in the back with a Arrow of black sand.
Jack furious charged at Pitch and send a handful of Nightmares to Jack and the Guardians but his surprised Jack destroy them all with amazing force. Pitch then decide to go after Jack. Later after Jack taking Sophie back home, he used Jack's Tooth box to lured him to his lair, in there he used Jack' fear of not been believe in, to distract Jack while he destroyed Easter and kidnapping Baby Tooth. Jack departs in disgrace and isolates himself in Antarctica. Pitch appeared to Jack and tried recruit him in creating a world that all Pitch Black and Jack Frost but Jack turn it down, in response he showed Baby Tooth and would trade her for his staff.
Jack conceded, but Pitch said no since he wanted to be alone. Baby Tooth fight him which end trowing her to a ice crevasse with Jack while he break his staff, leaves Jack in despair. He later appeared one more time in North's Workshop to see the lights gone but one light still glowing: Jamie, he go find the kid to stop him from believing in the Guardians. He arrived in Burgess and saw Jack again after Jack tried to beat him Pitch surrounded the weak Guardians in an ally, but they escape with Jamie and recruit his friends. Pitch sent the nightmares to stop the Guardians and the kids, but Jamie turn them back into Dreamsand, making the Guardians get the energy back He tries to battle the Guardians, but at his surprise, Sandy was revived by the overwhelming faith of Jamie and his friends. Pitch was out thanks to Sandy, and when he woke up, he saw them having fun.
Angered, he went after Jamie, but passed through him, revealing that Jamie no longer believed in Pitch. Pitch now fears that nobody will ever believe in him again. He then tries to retreat, but is cornered and confronted by the Guardians one last time. Tooth punches him, making a tooth fall out, as revenge for the harm he caused to the fairies. When Pitch says they will never get rid of him for good, and that fear will always exist, North replies that as long as one child believes in them, they will be there to fight fear.
Pitch then notices that the Nightmares are nearby and thinks that they are here to support him, but North says that he doesn't know what the Nightmares are here, but says he isn't afraid. Jack then says that they are possibly sensing his fear. Pitch realizes, to his horror, that Jack is right and tries to flee, but the Nightmares attack him and drag him back into his lair, feeding on his fear instead.
- His signature color is black.
- Pitch and The Sandman are identical spirits, but one is potentially more lethal than the other.
- Pitch is more commonly known to children as the Boogeyman.
- He is voiced by Jude Law, making him the fourth Dreamworks villain to be voiced by a British actor, Rameses II being the first, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, Tai Lung being the second, voiced by Ian McShane, and the third being Shen, who was voiced by Gary Oldman.
- His lair is in an underground palace accessed through a tunnel under a broken bed. This would refer to the old tale of monsters, like the Boogeyman, hiding under children's beds.
- Pitch can morph and blend into shadows around him.
- Pitch spreads fear across the world because he wants to be believed in and in a world where only fear exist, he will be believed in.
- Nightmares come from the fears that live in every heart.
- Pitch's Nightmares take the shape of black horses which help him accomplish his dark deeds.
- Pitch was on Earth first, he ruled the Dark Ages with fear at a time before the Guardians existed.
- Pitch hides under children's beds because of his love for scary and dark places.
- His eyes resemble an eclipse.
- In the books his daughter is Mother Nature.
- Pitch and Sandy are polar opposites and likely even each other's foil character:
- Pitch is tall and lean; Sandy is short and round.
- Pitch is dark and foreboding; Sandy is bright and appealing.
- Pitch creates nightmares; Sandy creates pleasant dreams.
Similarities to other characters
- He is quite similar to Jack Frost (this possibly being the reason that Pitch wanted him to join him), as both:
- Were not believed in.
- Were desperate to be believed in. However, Pitch also wanted the Guardians to no longer be believed in.
- He is similar to Rumpelstiltskin from Shrek Forever After as both:
- Consider that the bad actions have been committed by the protagonist (this, is a way, being true) (Shrek in Rumpelstiltskin's case, Jack Frost in Pitch's case) and that nothing is their fault.
- Have killed a protagonist (King Harold and Queen Lillian in Rumpelstiltskin's case; Sandy in Pitch's case) who was resurrected at the end.
- He is similar to Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2, both didn't specifically hate the protagonist at first (Shen, Po; Pitch, Jack Frost), only showing hatred for a group the protagonist was part of (Pandas for Shen, Guardians for Pitch).
Pitch has extremely pale gray skin, dull silver-golden yellow eyes, that resembles a eclipse and sometimes glows like a cat's eyes, jagged, sharp, white, teeth, and glossy, spiky, black hair that curve back towards his head and end in spikes. He wears black robes that has sleeves that blend into his skin and has a slit running up to the middle of his his chest and one on the side. Underneath the robes he wears black pants and black shoes.