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  • Acclaimed Flop: Critics did like the movie, but it's considered a box-office failure for DreamWorks Animation since the actual revenue did not meet the cost of production and advertisement. In fact, the losses forced DreamWorks to lay off over three hundred workers!
  • All-Star Cast: Order of the day for a DreamWorks animated film.
  • Box Office Bomb: Lost the studio $87 million.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Almost at the start. This was the first in-house movie from DreamWorks Animation since Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas that lost the company money (Flushed Away also bombed, but that film was a co-production between DWA and Aardman Animations, and the results ended their relationship with them). As a result, DreamWorks was forced to lay off over 300 employees to compensate for it. Since then, DreamWorks has come out to the public revealing that they need to focus on their Cash Cow Franchise(s) to stay afloat, and given that this movie flopped, chances of a sequel are not likely.
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    • Rise of the Guardians was the first in a chain of films that were either not critically successful enough or not commercially successful enough due to combined high budgets and marketing costs .(During this period there were three exceptions: The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Kung Fu Panda 3 which were major hits.) Things came to a head in 2014 when Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Penguins of Madagascar bombed, with both films claiming the careers of an additional 500+ DWA employees and three critical DreamWorks Animation executives: Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke, Chief Operating Officer Mark Zoradi, and finally, DreamWorks co-founder/Chief Executive Officer/Disney veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg himself. Katzenberg agreed to sell DWA to NBCUniversal in 2016, but the agreement forced him to retire from the company (he briefly remained attached as the head of DreamWorks New Media before leaving to start the streaming service Quibi).
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  • Dawson Casting: Jack Frost looks like a teenager and is voiced by 32 years old Chris Pine. The fact that Jack sounds older than you'd expect from a teenage boy, though not to the point of being unbelievable, is seen by some as Fridge Brilliance: Jack's voice lets the audience know that he is much older than he looks. And in the flashback, Jack's voice is slightly more high-pitched.
  • Doing It for the Art: The directors' commentary consists almost entirely of the directors geeking out over how beautiful the movie is and giving a Shout-Out to the designers and animators who made it so.
  • Fake American: The very American Tooth Fairy is voiced by the decidedly Australian Isla Fisher.
  • Fake Nationality: Alec Baldwin gives North a booming Russian accent.
    • Hugh Jackman (for once) gets to avert this trope in a non-Australian production as Bunnymund.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Heavy Weapons Santa for North, especially among the Team Fortress 2 fandom, due to his resemblance in size, mannerism, and nationality to a certain, well, Heavy Weapons Guy.
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    • Jack Frost has earned the nickname Frostface for those who dislike him.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: In theatres, it was at Stage 0-1, well-received by those who saw it but so obscure it was an Acclaimed Flop. Following home release, it crept toward Stage 2 with few and far between cries of Needs More Love. With the rise of the superhero genre thanks to The Avengers (2012) and especially the runaway popularity Frozen, (with many comparing Jack and Elsa and inspiring endless crossover shipping), it launched into late Stage 2 / early Stage 3: a Cult Classic with massive internet popularity. Sadly, it seems to remain stuck firmly in Stage 3: popular enough to gain a Broken Base and Hype Backlash who drown out the positive voices, but not enough to become a mainstream household name (again, like Shrek or Kung Fu Panda), and not enough for DreamWorks Animation to (as yet) give it a new chance at life.
  • Follow the Leader: Averted, as while 'Santa's Elves' act more like the Minions in the trailers, they're actually more capable and moody in the actual film.
  • Genre-Killer: It was the last Christmas-themed kids movie that came out after a few ones that were critically praised but were also underperforming as well.
  • The Merch: Images found at the Rise Of The Guardians wiki show that there were plans to release a big merchandising campaign with the movie hoping to attract a kid audience. Everything was included from a spring theme clothing line (featuring Bunny and Toothiana) to Jack Frost toy staffs and pajamas which, unfortunately, failed to materialize likely due to the poor reception of the movie.
  • Old Shame: While beloved by fans, you'll hardly find it mentioned by DreamWorks thanks to its flop. Dream Works Universe of Legends features Jack Frost as a playable hero, hinting that DreamWorks may be coming around on this film; however most of the Guardians are missing and his role seems to only fill space in the roster.
  • The Other Darrin: None of the guardians are voiced by their original actors for the tie-in game and were recast with imitators:
  • Out of Holiday Episode: The film was released in November 2012. While Santa Claus and Jack Frost are two of the main characters, and most of the movie features snow-covered locations, it's actually set in the Easter period.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Rise of the Guardians was intended to be the start of a new trilogy for DreamWorks Animation, but the film's competition with other movies including Wreck-It Ralph along with the film's 84 million write down for the company deemed it very unlikely.
  • Vindicated by Cable: When released, Rise of the Guardians found itself in fourth place at the Box Office by The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Skyfall, and Lincoln. On video, Rise of the Guardians finally found its audience on cable.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Leonardo DiCaprio was originally going to voice Jack Frost, but he dropped out supposedly because of scheduling conflicts. His voice is somewhat higher and would've fit Jack's apparent age more than Chris Pine's.
    • Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Albert Finney, and Kevin Spacey were considered to voice Santa Claus.
    • Early casting reports also reported Christopher Lee as a choice for the voice of North.
    • Guillermo del Toro's suggestion for the story was to have Jamie be the Audience Surrogate. In addition, at least one early version had the climax take a darker turn in which Pitch uses his Nightmare Galleon to harpoon the Moon to create an eclipse to gather his dark forces under for an assault against the Man in the Moon himself.
    • In the ROTG art book, there are several illustrations of Sandy's Sandship, which flies around the world constantly remaining within the twilight time zone region to help Sandy spread dreams. The ship took many forms, all revolving around an ocean theme, with the ship even resembling a turtle and whale at one point. The ship was to be included in the battle against Pitch, where the Nightmares overpower the ship and eventually consume it, with Jack reaching out for Sandy's hand before he fades as well.
    • Some more early concept art for the film reveals that initial designs for Pitch were much more demonic and nightmarish than the film's version of him, which isn't all that different from the books. The concept art also reveals a scene in which Pitch joins with his nightmare sand and becomes as tall as a skyscraper, raining nightmares down upon the world, with Jack clinging on for dear life and looking down at the nightmare sand entering peoples' homes.
    • There are early storyboards depicting a very different plot of the story, in which Bunnymund is still a professor-rabbit, Toothiana meets Jack before anyone else did and is the only one in the group who never questions him, she promises to get his teeth back, etc. Some artwork from the creators hint that she was also going to be kidnapped once or twice. There was more Tooth x Jack Ship Tease; in the earlier versions of the movie, they have Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • Earlier versions of the script featured Pitch and Jack being brothers. In other materials (especially in rufftoon's drawings), they tend to interact as "Aloof Big Brother and Annoying Younger Sibling."
  • The Wiki Rule: Here is the wikia for the movie.

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