Headscratchers / Rise of the Guardians

    Jack Carrying Sophie 
  • So children who don't believe in Jack Frost pass right through him if contact his made, but in the middle of the film, he carries Sophia in his arms as he returns her home? Had he ever tried touching someone before? Would that work? I'm assuming that since Sophie is a very young child, the rules of belief in the Guardians don't really apply to her, so if Jack was able to physically touch someone else, how would they react to it?

    Jamie Being The Last Light 
  • How is it that Jamie is, for a while, the only kid in the whole world to believe in the Guardians when his sister actually met them too?
    • Check the "Fridge Logic" page. It says this there. Twice, actually. They were really close together, only a room apart, so their lights were probably so close Pitch thought they were one (heck, on that globe an entire city is pretty much a dot). Or Sophie was just too young to actually even understand the concept of "belief". For example, Christmas is that day where toys appear under a tree decorated with glowy thingies.
    • Indeed, note that Sophie displays absolutely zero surprise at seeing the Guardians, or any of the wacky stuff she encounters. She's just too little for her belief to be a matter of faith, it's all "Ooo, that thing I've seen before that I like!"
    • Or because Sophie fell asleep under the effect of Sandy's sands, she slipped into a pleasant dream about the Guardians, so woke up believing the entire experience was part of the same dream. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero there, Sandy.

    Jack's Staff 
  • What is the exact connection between Jack and his staff? It was just an oddly shaped stick when he first picked it up, and before then, he was shown to still have powers. He's shown using his powers both with and without it, but there's one point in the movie where he's falling out of the sky and has to grab hold of the staff again before he can save himself, and when Pitch snaps it in two, Jack seems to feel physical pain as a reaction.
    • MagicFeather.
    • Maybe it just focuses his powers so he has more control over them.
    • This troper saw it as Jack's staff giving him more conscious control and direction rather than his "blunter" winter-spirit abilities (he uses the staff to create snowballs, but not to make it snow).
    • As the staff is what he'd used to save his sister, proving himself worthy of the Man in the Moon's favor, it had probably been a receptacle for his Guardian powers all along: he just didn't realize it, because he wasn't actually using them to protect kids (as opposed to showing them a good time), so was operating at a low ebb for all those years. That's why Jack himself was caught off-guard when his powers got so much stronger once he directed them against a genuine threat.
    • Probably like a wizard's wand in Harry Potter — wizards' power comes from within, but they need a tool like a wand to channel and focus it. Jack's power comes from inside him, but he uses the staff to channel it. Either because he's used it for so long, or because it's his only keepsake from his previous life (even if he doesn't know it), it's become an Empathic Weapon — that's why he's not as powerful (or at least doesn't think or feel like he is) when it's not in his hand (the scene where he can't fly when loses hold of it), and why damaging it hurts him.

  • There is a scene (just after Sandy's death) when Jack goes against Pitch all by himself, totally owns him, and even guardians ask "how did you do that?" For some reason, it's never explained, why exactly he could do that. The closest thing to explanation I may find, is that element fun and laughter is natural counter to fear and nightmares; but it's merely blind guessing, which lacks proof.
    • What you have listed seems the most likely case, in addition to the fact that Jack, unlike the others, doesn't have power that is only proportional to how many children believe in him. Notice how once Jamie becomes able to see Jack, he is unable to use the same attack to defeat Pitch as before, though this was also due to Pitch growing stronger through the fear of the children.
    • Heroic RROD brought on by seeing a good friend of his killed.
  • Bunnymund says "I'm bringing spring to every continent, an' I'm bringin' hope with me!" ... ... except for Africa, South America, and what's that last one, oh, yes, Australia. How can the Easter Bunny forget that Easter doesn't align with springtime in his home continent?
    • When North America doesn't get their presents or Easter eggs, the news probably spreads to the Southern Hemisphere. And where does it say Bunnymund is Australian? Sure, he has the accent, but he was never stated to be born in Australia. Also, are bunnies typically found in Australia?
      • According to the other wiki, yes.
      • Given the rabbit epidemic that occurred when settlers decided to introduce rabbits (see: animals with no indigenous predators), I'd say yes, though it's more controlled now.
      • Um, excuse me, just to pull you up on this, but Bunnymund is clearly modelled off a kangaroo. And it's not just an accent, he uses boomerangs as weapons. And he drops so many cliche Australian slang words that I feel like I'm choking on my own culture. He's definitely Australian, and it bugged me as well that they put Easter in springtime, when here it's smack in autumn.
  • North's accent and costumes make sense, Santa is modelled on St Nick, who was originally a Scandinavian and Northern European folklore, so him wearing Russian (?) style hats and so on makes sense. So why is Bunnymund so obviously Australian when rabbits are major destructive introduced pests in that country? Surely the Easter Bunny has been around longer than the 150 years or so rabbits have been in Australia?
  • This is something made somewhat unclear in the movie. if enough people believe in a specific guardian, does that mean that everyone can automatically see him or her? Or is it only people who believe in a specific guardian that can see that specific guardian.
    • The latter, I believe is the case.
    • However, if you know Santa Claus is real, you'd probably be more inclined to believe in Easter Bunny, etc. So it helps,
  • So, supposedly the town Jack was hanging out at towards the beginning of the movie had a snow day. But there's barely enough snow on the grass to constitute a snow day, let alone the streets.
    • If the town was part of a school district, instead of having a school system exclusively for that particular town, it's possible that there was heavy snow in another area and this town only got a little. This troper has had a lot of snow days with no snow at all, because of the weather in another part of the district.
    • Some towns do not close down school for any amount of snow at all, but others cancel school for just a sprinkle of snow on the ground. it's possible Jamie's town falls in the latter.
    • Jack ices up the streets pretty good in creating the snow day, which was probably one of the major justifications for it.
    • The snow doesn't have to be all that deep, so long as it's enough to, say, bring down a tree on the power lines to the school itself.
    • Where this troper lives, and possibly elsewhere, I'm not sure, the rule is if a bus slides off the road, then they have to call off school. There's also wind chill that could be cause for a day off - since most snow days have to be called by 6 or 7 or 8 in the morning, Jack would have had plenty of time to clear it up and allow for the kids to have some fun outside. Or maybe he just buried the school in ten feet of snow, as a joke. I think we all could imagine Jack doing that, couldn't we?
    • I've seen news reports of cities that normally get no snow, so when the littlest bit falls, everything shuts down. If Jamie's hometown is somewhere south where it rarely snows...
    • Of course, this all still does beg the question why, if Jack is the one who made the snow day, why he didn't make more of it. Realistically, who goes outside to play in the snow when there's hardly any snow on the ground?
  • Why didn't the Bunny just set the tunnel entrance to the inside of Santa's workshop, rather than outside?
    • Rule of Funny
    • Or it could be that Santa's workshop had some kind of spells preventing magical entry. That's very common in fantastic fiction.
      • That doesn't seem to be the case, since Pitch is able to appear inside the North Pole and Bunny later opens a tunnel to his warren directly from Santa's workshop. Still, it would be good manners not to directly transport yourself into someone else's home. It's like knocking before coming inside for non-magical guests.
      • Bunny also presumably goes straight back to Santa's after the Yeti's nap Jack, through his tunnel. It's possible he didn't the first time out of politeness mixed with Rule of Funny
      • Maybe to get back at North for forcing him to go on the sled earlier on?
  • What was with the mouse? Did he work for the tooth fairy or something? And if so, and if she still had people out there working for her, why were so many kids still losing faith so fast if they were apparently outsourcing their work?
    • The mouse is a European equivalent to the tooth fairy myth. It was a nod to other fairy tales. And if I had to guess, it's just about who woke up at the time. Remember timezones are a factor. So while other kids woke up, several others were still asleep. The European division doesn't cover places like North America.
    • Possibly the child in question was a European visiting North America, and the two different divisions got their orders crossed on who was supposed to pick up that particular tooth.
  • Why do only children count? I mean, I'm sure the parents would notice that they weren't replacing any teeth with quarters (or Christmas trees), or that there were a lot of gifts they hadn't bought, etc., so they have every logical reason to believe that there's either some weirdo creep in every neighbourhood in the world or the legends are all real.
    • Just standard kids movie stuff. If there's not a trope for Adults Don't Believe, there ought to be.
  • What about all the kids who aren't celebrating Christmas or Easter-there's plenty of Jewish kids...
    • The Tooth Fairy and Sandman are wholly secular. And while Santa and the Easter Bunny are associated with Christian/Catholic holidays, they're really just big jolly figures that even other kids probably enjoy the sight and thought of. Anyway, the Guardians protect all children, including the ones that don't believe in them, so it's not like it matters in the big scheme of things.
    • Not to mention, both Easter and Christmas are both related to even older holidays celebrating the solstices.
    • They're both very much representations of the secular side of Easter and Christmas anyway, which is an element that a lot of non-Christians get involved in (if only because they coincide with school holidays and so forth).
  • That isn't very clear about the film, but what were Pitch's actual feelings about Jack? That's sure, they both are enemies, but according to the scene in Antarctica, Pitch seems to see him more as he offered Jack to join him. The question is: was Pitch's only goal in this scene was manipulating Jack as usual, or was he truly sincere about the fact that he felt alone of not being believed in. It looks like that's one of few scenes where he was shown as sincere and actually showed some true empathy toward him, as he sounded very sad to not being believed in. And the face that he had when Jack refused his offer showed he was genuinely sad about being rejected, so maybe he was truly sincere about the offer. But before this event, Pitch definitely mocked Jack for not being believed in, spent all his time to torture him and even tried to apart Jack from the others Guardians by giving him the teeth of his memories. So, were these actions were planned from the beginning to make Jack joining his side, or was it something he did to break Jack down more than he already did?
    • Why not both? He could have genuinely wanted Jack to join him, but saw manipulating him against the other guardians to be more important. He may have just seen it as a way to do both. Also, he clearly believed he was in complete control and was going to win regardless. So he had no real reason to manipulate Jack other than to join his side.
    • I see so was that a twisted way to gain friendship, wasn't it? However, another point about this Antartica scene: why did he want Jack to join his side? Apparently, the first reason why he was interested in Jack was his powers wasn't he? However, if he only wanted his powers and being unstoppable if Jack joined his side, why did he just take the staff in exchange of Baby Tooth then just broke it right afterward? The staff is apparently an extension of Jack's powers, so he could have just kept it for himself. Or did he do it because Jack's rejection?
    • There's never any indication that the staff contains ice powers independent of Jack's, or that Pitch would be able to use them even if it did - at best, he may be able to use it as an extension of his own power over shadow and fear, but that's pretty doubtful. If breaking it is what seems to weaken Jack even further, then why not?
  • Okay, if Jack's powers affected the world, couldn't he have, for example, used his ice and such to write his name and animate ice sculptures to bring attention to it? I don't accept him being, if he was, illiterate as excuse. He had enough time to learn and his wind can carry books, if he himself couldn't have done that.
    • Maybe he didn't want to, and was mostly interested in having fun. Or he tried it a few times early on, it didn't work, and he gave up. Or he never thought of it before. Or Rule of Drama.
    • True belief in something involves having faith in it even when it may not be there. That's not nearly the same as being shown or told firsthand that something's real and just accepting it like that. Jack pretty much says so at the end of the film. Note how Jamie doesn't see Jack until Jack creates a frost bunny that causes it to start snowing in his room, by exposing his center in the shadow of Jamie's fear and despair.
  • How could Jack's baby teeth contain memories up until the moment he died? When he died he was in his latter teens at least, long after he was done having baby teeth.
    • The same way the other kids' teeth could give their memories back, even though the kids in question were scattered around the world. They were still connected.
  • Why did human Jack go ice skating barefoot? Even if he was too poor to afford skates, intentionally going barefoot on winter ice is potentially deadly.
    • He had ice skates too. You can see this in the scene with his sister. He probably took them off when his sister was trapped on thin ice.
  • If Jack Frost became Jack Frost after drowning in a frozen lake, does that mean other Guardians and Pitch came around in a similar manner?
    • Not according to the books. As I recall, North was the only Guardian besides Jack to start off as a human, and he was a wizard who chose to take up the role. Pitch was a human who was possessed by an Eldritch Abomination.
    • IIRC, the Tooth Fairy stated outright that they were all once human(Or possibly rabbit) until they were chosen to become guardians.
    • She said they'd all had lives and families. That doesn't preclude some of them having possibly been something other than human.
  • Quote from Pitch's character page: "He was once a Well-Intentioned Extremist who used fear to protect children from danger." How, exactly, did he do that? The movie didn't have anything about that and I'm not currently able to read the books.
    • In the sense of using fear as warning. For instance, say a child comes across a dog that's twice their size, barking wildly at them. They'd instantly be terrified and run away. Pitch once used fear as means to veer them away from danger, not outright protect them from it. And the books and movie seem rocky on Pitch's plot, constantly zig-zagging his story and morals. The movie takes place far long after the books, so it's likely Pitch has become a permanent no-good-doer.
    • The character page is referencing how children's scare-stories like the Boogeyman originally served a purpose, namely keeping kids safe from genuine threats by presenting the danger as something their imaginations could engage with. For instance, if Jack's little sister had been told that a ferocious monster awoke in the frozen pond each winter and lurked under the ice, waiting for careless little girls to walk onto a thin patch so it could break through and gobble them up, she'd have been pretty scared, but she'd have stayed off the ice and wouldn't have needed her big brother to drown saving her life.
  • What was it that prompted Jack to offer to take Sophie home after the egg-decorating scene? The other Guardians reminded him that he would be their best bet for bringing Easter to the surface if Pitch showed up, and he's just found out that all of them could use some more time spent with children...So even though he couldn't have foreseen Pitch using his memories to lure him off-track, why didn't he just let one of them return her home through a quicker method, like a snow-globe or those tunnels in the ground?
    • Bunny sure was needed at that moment, being the leader of the ordeal. Perhaps Jack simply got excited? He liked being in Burgess and he was probably thrilled to find out that he could actually hold Sophie, as opposed to passing through her.
    • Or maybe he unknowingly retains some feelings from his last moments as a human, and subconsciously he wanted to be able to take the little girl home safely because he wasn't able to bring his own sister home and tuck her safely into bed.
  • Each of the Guardians is supposed to protect a certain aspect of childhood - North is wonder, the Easter Bunny is hope, Sandy is dreams, and Jack is fun. But what is Tooth supposed to protect? Is she just a guardian of children's memories like she says, or is there some aspect similar to those of the others that is contained within the memories?
    • I think a bit of both. She and her fairies protect the memories, which is important in its own right, and specifically, of the memories of what's important- which probably means the decisions that made the children what they are, the times they had fun, even their regrets.
    • Yes, but...but what is Tooth's center supposed to be? Is it just...memories, or...?
      • The way I gathered, though I might be wrong, it is simply "memories". Just as North's is just "wonder", Jack's is "fun", Bunny"s is "hope" and Sandy's is "dreams"- however they each may be defined in different ways, as in dreams meaning not just dreams at night, but daydreams and dreams for the future as well.
    • In the very beginning, Santa calls on the guardians to gather at the pole. He says they "bring wonder, hope and dreams" (also foreshadowing their centers?). However, he mentions nothing that fits Tooth, except the watch over and protect part, which fits all of them.
  • In relation to the above, for how long do Tooth, Sandy and probably Jack have an effect on certain people? I mean true we stop losing "baby teeth" after a while but Tooth says she and her fairies remind "them of what's important." Does that apply to adults too? And adults most certainly don't stop dreaming, OR having fun at times (despite all appearances.)
    • I think it can be agreed upon that with the way adults (most adults) live, a lot of them don't really have time for things like really, truly indulging in wonder or fun, but that the select few times that they do may be a result of the Guardians' influences on them, perhaps so that they never truly forget what it means to be a kid. The fact that Jack was able to reclaim the memories of the day he died when he was still beyond the age of losing his baby teeth pretty much speaks for itself and, as you said, everyone has dreams at one point or another, no matter what age they are. But the Guardians' main focus is children since, if you don't show them what it's like to experience wonder, hope, or having fun, then they wouldn't have those virtues to look back on when they're older and they might really need them. (Take, for example, children who grow up in really troubled homes - a lot of them have trouble adjusting, fitting in, and such as they get older because they never got to live life as a normal kid should.)
  • Here's what I think to be a pretty good question - Jack refuses Pitch's offer to work together so that both of them would be believed in (and feared). This is before he finds out that Pitch still has Baby Tooth, so he's got no reason to hold back, but instead he turns around and starts walking away. Why didn't he try taking him down right then and there? Was he really going to let him get away?
    • I have 3 theories. 1, Heroic BSOD: Jack had been effectively expelled from the Guardians by that point; Pitch tried to tell him earlier, "This isn't your fight, Jack," and, now it really wasn't — once his initial rage wears off, despair sets in and he has no more will to fight the guy. 2, Shut Up, Hannibal!: Pitch was in full-blown Breaking Speech Mode, Jack remembered what happened last time he listened to the Manipulative Bastard talk, and decided it was safest to get away from him as quickly as possible instead of sticking around to fight and listen. 3: Although Pitch's speech didn't convince Jack to join him, it did make Jack feel sorry for him — Jack believed him enough to no longer want to hurt him when the guy wasn't attacking him.
  • Can someone please explain that last line of dialogue at the end of the film?! "When the moon tells you something, believe it." What was even the POINT of that? Was it meant to be some loose moral they tried adding onto the end, or was just because Dreamworks picked up the Idiot Ball for a moment? Seriously, what were they thinking putting that in?
    • I haven't seen this film that many times, so I don't entirely recall the words or the context in which they were spoken...Maybe Jack...meant it as something like, "If the world seems to be telling you you're fated and meant for something great, don't waste time fretting and worrying over whether or not you'll be good enough." Jack spends a lot of the movie seeing himself as inferior when the moon and the other Guardians try to convince him that he's meant to be one of them, and a lot of the problems in the movie may have been avoided if he'd just listened to them.
    • It's not meant to be a "moral" at all. Not everything in a movie is meant to be a life lesson. It's just a silly callback to earlier in the film, no need to creator bash about it.
    • My translation: "When you feel something inside you telling you this is what you're meant to do, go with it." Either that or: "When God tells you something, believe it."
  • Why did the Man in the Moon decide to make Jack a Guardian 300 years early? Did he even know that Pitch would make his return in the future and that Jack would be needed? If so, why couldn't he have the decency to direct him to the other Guardians, Tooth especially, so that he could reclaim his memories, figure out who he was, and thus be self-assured and ready when Pitch came to power?
    • Let's assume that he can't bring people back from the dead whenever he pleases (like, 300 years later), so he made Jack a spirit at the time he died because it was either then or never. It's also safe to assume he knew exactly what would happen in the future and when (most Big Goods with this much cosmic influence are omniscient) and the best way to move the pieces to win the game. Why couldn't he have just told Jack who he was, how he died, exactly how he would be needed in 300 years, what his job would be, make him a Guardian immediately, and give him all the information and power he would need for an easy victory? Because, would Jack have become the type of person who could defeat this enemy under those circumstances? He would have spent years pining for the family he knew he had but couldn't speak to, he might not have embraced his power so eagerly, he probably wouldn't have spent so much time bonding (albeit, one-sided) and playing with kids if he had such a huge responsibility on his shoulders and a dangerous battle to look forward to, and he wouldn't have proven himself like we see him do both in battle and through the choices he makes. A person doesn't become a hero — the type who's strong and smart enough to defeat evil — by having everything handed to them; you have to learn things and prove yourself on your own. That's what The Hero's Journey is for. The Mi M gave Jack his Supernatural Aid, but Jack had to undergo the journey himself, just like how a teacher gives students all the knowledge they need but can't take the test for them. (Maybe Jack thought he needed more information handed to him instead of wanting to find it himself, but given how he ended victorious, he really had exactly what he needed.)
  • I can understand the comparison between Jack and characters such as Tooth, Bunny, or North - they're all well-known holiday icons, so it's pretty easy and understandable for children believe in them, whereas when most people refer to "Jack Frost", they tend to pass it off as just an expression in the film. But about Sandman... Even when I was a kid, I don't remember ever hearing or learning about a character who sends people to sleep and keeps watch over their dreams... At least, not on the same level, as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny - it was actually probably on a similar level to the idea of Jack Frost. (In fact, I think the bogeyman was more of a universally recognized figure to children, so how is it that he's the one no one believes in?)
    • I knew what the Sandman was in elementary school. He even made appearances in some of my favorite shows (Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Muppet Babies). Kids might not look forward to his visits like the Tooth fairy and Santa Claus, but chances are good they'll know who he is and what he does. As long as they don't scoff and think, "That's ridiculous — there's no such thing as the Sandman," they believe.
  • I know Jack and the Guardians had a mutual dislike in the beginning of the movie, but how come Jack didn't approach any of these guys about his memories and purpose when he learned of their existence?
    • Why would he think they'd have answers for that in the first place? He's surprised when the Toothfairy tells him the teeth contain memories, so he has no reason to believe before them they'd be of any help.
      • Well, you'd think that they'd at least have a better understanding of the situation, as they already have believers and used to be different people. They could have pointed him in the direction of the Tooth Fairy in regards to his memories, and help him out with the rest.
      • Jack was surprised when Tooth told him all of the Guardians had past lives and families. For 300 years, he'd just wanted to know what his purpose was - he didn't even know there was anything else he could've been looking for.
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