Guardians are the primeval spirits of Wasteland; little orbs that help Mickey in Epic Mickey I and II. There are two kind of Guardians: the Tints (blue Paint guardians) and Turps (green Thinner guardians).
The Guardians' origin is shrouded in mystery, though they likely where created by Yen Sid. They are mentioned in the graphic novel to be "the very essence of Wasteland", which is supported by the Mad Doctor's claim in the second game that if the Guardians are pulled out of Wasteland, everything (and, most chilling, everyone) in the land will become inert. In the graphic novel, the Earthquakes weren't even directly caused by the Guardians' extraction (since it that version the Mad Doctor doesn't pump them from the ground), but simply by the fact that them being imprisoned makes Wasteland unstable.
In your hud there is a bar and as you use more thinner or paint you will get two different types of guardians; Tints and Turps. Consequently if you have a mostly thinner bar and use paint then the bar will decrease. This goes the same with a paint bar and using thinner. As you use the opposite of what bar you have your guardians will dissapear at certain points until you use thinner or paint again. Guardians also symbolize which projector screen to go to by flying around in circles in the shape of Mickey's head. In the second game, Guardians come from Guardian Pools.
In the graphic novels
Due to their very small role in the plot of the first game, where they were more like mere game mechanics, the Guardians weren't included in Epic Mickey: The Graphic Novel. However, they do appear in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two: The Graphic Novel, where the Tints are called "the Blue Guardians" and the Turps "the Green Guardians". In this version, the Guardians are depicted as much bigger orbs than in the games. They also have an even more important role their, as the freed Turps are almost reponsible for the Mad Doctor's demise at the end until he is saved by Oswald (unlike the game in which it is Mickey and Oswald's messing witht the Mad Doctor's machine that put him in danger).
- The Guardians originally had more detailed designs but they were scaled back due to rendering performance issues.