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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Everyone. Some people include their backstories from the book in the movie, while others prefer to keep them divided. Even the writer and some artists working in Dreamworks have their own way of viewing the series.
    • Jack Frost. Was he really trying to help the Guardians or did he did it out of self interest? Keep in mind that he refuse to accept the invitation to become a guardian and only does so when he sees the chance to know about his past.
    • Pitch. Was he only manipulating the other characters (mostly Jack), and wanted to create a world filled with fear for his own selfish pleasure? Or was he a very lonely man who only wanted to be believed in, and truly wanted Jack as his friend? The scene in Antarctica shows a more complex side of him, making it hard to tell which interpretation is right. Of course, you could Take a Third Option and say they're both right.
      • According to the DVD's audio commentary and the movie's script, Pitch was definitely genuine in his opening up to Jack, and truly hated being alone. Pitch probably empathizes with Jack, and may really view him as a potential friend.
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    • Bunnymund. Some people think he's the same as in the book, while others tend to keep them divided. The fact the two versions are vastly different doesn't help.
    • Tooth and Jack's relationship. Some people see her as a mother figure for Jack. Others are okay with her being a possible love interest.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • When Jack discovers his memories of his previous life, he chooses to focus on the fact that he saved his younger sister, instead of the fact that he died in the process.
    • Also he is delighted to find out that he had a family once and the fact that by now all of said family is long gone doesn’t seem to bother him at all.
  • Award Snub: Was edged out of a nomination for the Oscars' Best Animated Feature by the surprise choice of The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: While several holiday movies with popular holiday characters had already been in theaters, the strange new premise of a superhero style team-up was a drastic change not seen before for mainstream audiences. If that didn't drove audiences away, then Jack Frost being the main character certainly did as he's still a obscure character and nowhere near as famous as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Bunnymund was probably right questioning Jack's initiation.
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  • Awesome Music: Alexandre Desplat's score.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Jack Frost. While widely accepted by people at the start, the fandom reaction and treatment of his character over the years has resulted in the character having some very divisive reaction on several parts of the internet. While it has gotten some bad reputation for the invasive ship wars (see below), the most influential fandom treatment has been the massively popular crossover ship ship of Jack Frost with Elsa. The ship has been one of the most popular crossover pairings resulting in fanart, fanfics to even cosplays becoming attractions at conventions, and while adored by fans, this has resulted in many fans becoming sick of the ship. For more see the Girl-Show Ghetto entry below
  • Colbert Bump: The crossover ship of Jack with Elsa has been credited for the popularity of this movie, seeing how it didn't have that big of an audience or fanbase to begin with.
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  • Critical Dissonance: The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, but cost $145 million to produce and only made $103.2 million at the North American box office, becoming Dreamworks Animation's lowest grossing film domestically since Flushed Away. According to Wikipedia, the total worldwide take was $303 million, but Dreamworks saw little of that money once budget costs and the distribution fee owed to Paramount were tallied up — they ultimately lost $83 million on it.
  • Crossover Ship: Jack/Rapunzel is a popular couple in Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons, as is Jack/Merida and Jack/Hiccup. Also, now that Frozen, an adaptation of The Snow Queen, has been released, Jack/Elsa has become immensely popular. There's also a small following for "Frosting" (Wendy Darling/Jack Frost), as Jack's personality is similar to Peter's.
  • Cult Classic: It unfortunately bombed in theatres and isn't quite a household name like Shrek or Kung Fu Panda, but it quickly developed a sizable, dedicated internet fanbase that persists to this day.
  • Die for Our Ship: Some people love the Frostbite/Rainbow Snowcone (Jack x Toothiana) pairing. Others see Tooth as a mother figure for Jack. Some people support crossover pairings, like Jack/Elsa or Jack/Rapunzel. Others prefer Jack/Pitch or Jack/Bunny.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Pitch has as many fangirls as Jack. Some have even said, without a single trace of sarcasm, that he's just a complete woobie who should be forgiven for all his misdeeds (which, y'know, includes his attempts to rule all the children with fear). More fangirls have gone on to compare him to Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph in that they're villains who want to be accepted, even though they have almost nothing in common and that unlike Pitch, the most villainous thing Ralph ever did was smash a cake.
    • A lot of this adoration can be attributed to the books of which the film is loosely based on, where not only was he once a human but also had a daughter who he lost making him more tragic than the film showed. Or, the adoration can be attributed simply to his good looks.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Cupcake and Baby Tooth.
    • Phil the Yeti, to an extent.
    • Despite only a few seconds of screentime, the little mouse is beloved in Latin-America. The Latin-American dub has the Tooth Fairy say that the mouse is from the "Latina division", because in Latin-America, it's a little mouse named Perez who leaves children money when they lose a tooth.
    • The fans are also very fond of Jack's sister (who isn't named and only appears once) and Pitch's daughter (who doesn't even appear in the movie).
  • Escapist Character: A young boy who dies young, becomes immortal, is free to travel the world without responsibilities and has magic powers while dressed in a hoodie? No wonder he's popular with teenagers and fan artists.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Jack Frost. Lampshaded rather nicely in a comic drawn by one of the film's story artists.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Pitch Black. The creators admitted in the official DVD commentary that they interpreted fear as something that "seduces you," so they made Pitch sensual and seductive on purpose. One director even complained that his wife seemed to like Pitch more than him!
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Frozen fans and Rise of the Guardians fans often accuse Disney or DreamWorks Animation of stealing the idea of a movie focusing on An Ice Person. Neither invented the concept: in fact, each studio have been very open about both Elsa and Jack Frost being based on pre-existing characters that predate both films, Elsa being inspired by a nineteenth-century tale written by Hans Christian Andersen and Jack Frost originating in folklore. Disney had been working on a film based on the Snow Queen on and off for decades, since the days of Walt himself, and leaked pre-production art was already online by 2008, the year Dreamworks purchased the film rights to William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series, which united the variety of folkloric characters seen in the film, including not just Jack Frost, but other well-known childhood staples such as the Sandman and the Easter Bunny.
    • There is small scale rivalry with the The Loud House fandom particularly fans of Lincoln Loud. Due to their physical similarities as well as both being Launcher of a Thousand Ships within their fandom. Any complaints of Lincoln's ships with often end up with fans complaining about the fans Sacred Cow treatment of Jack and his many crossover ships.
  • Fanon: Jack's sister is never given a name, but the most popular name in the fandom is Emma.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: The three most popular ships are Jack/Tooth, Jack/Bunny and Jack/Pitch. Jack/Jamie, Bunny/Tooth and Pitch/Sandy aren't as popular but still have a following.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Any of the times Pitch is paired with a Guardian, particularly Black Ice (Jack/Pitch), Black Sand (Pitch/Sandy), and Cavity (Tooth/Pitch).
  • Genius Bonus: The magic sleigh, heavy furs, reindeer and going up and down chimneys are all straight from Siberia, where Saint Nicholas was interpreted as a kind of super-shaman, who flew out the smoke-hole of his medicine tent and travelled the spirit world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Now consider that Santa's accent isn't just Russian, but eastern Russian.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: While not a girly film, Jack being Mr. Fanservice (and heavily featured in the marketing) and a Launcher of a Thousand Ships has probably not done this film any favors, with many potential viewers (and hype backlashers) disregarding it on account of Jack's popularity with female viewers and shippers. Because if something is popular with girls it's automatically worthy of contempt, right?
    • Not helping at all are the hardcore Elsa/Jack Frost shippers who tend to be very vitriolic and defensive when people express even the smallest dislike of the ship and its overexposure. This is made worse by a sizable portion of the fandom that see Elsa as having been made solely for Jack Frost and nothing else, which greatly pisses off sizable part of the Frozen fanbase, particularly the male side. Hence Jack garnering a ton of hate as many see the ship invading every aspect of the Frozen fandom community (the boiling point being the cosplays and a popular YouTube cosplay music video call "Find A Way" made by a Mormon family called WorkingWithLemons) to the point many see no other option but to fight back. Enough heated arguments for it and against have resulted in many people referring to Rise Of The Guardians as the Twilight of animated movies and therefore gaining a massive backlash not only against it but also its fans and even William Joyce himself. Overall most of the backlash against the film tends to focus solely on the Elsa/Jack Frost ship due to Elsa herself already being a Dry Dock ship, as there was no hate against the film until after Frozen premiered and the pairing of Jack and Elsa took off.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Ship names include:
    • Sweet Tooth for Bunny/Tooth
    • Rainbow Snow Cone or Frostbite for Jack/Tooth
    • Snow Bunny or Jack Rabbit for Jack/Bunny
    • Black Ice for Jack/Pitch.
    • Black Sand for Sandman/Pitch.
    • Braces: Sandman and Tooth.
    • Dust Bunny for Sandman/Bunnymund.
    • Black Belief for Pitch/Jamie.
    • Dark Chocolate or Rotten Eggs for Pitch/Bunnymund.
    • Black Christmas and White Christmas for Pitch/North and Jack/North, respectively.
    • Eggnog for Bunnymund/North.
    • Cavity for Pitch/Tooth
    • The Black Ice ship has now been expanded to include Golden Frost for Kozmotis/Jack.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: The massive online popularity of Jack Frost and the Jack/Elsa crossover ship everywhere has resulted in quite a number of fans hating the film and wishing that it had remained in obscurity.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A major complain against Jack Frost is that despite his interesting and unique character and origin, he still acts like a typical DreamWorks male lead as in previous movies. Cocky, smug and a smartass yet still a outsider we are suppose to feel sorry and identify with which was already done a lot with previous male leads. Not helping is him being voiced by a A-lister rather than a more proper voice for his suppose age, similar to previous castings.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Quite a lot of people went to see the movie just because of Jack Frost.
    • Alternately, those who wanted to see it not because of the plot or characters, but because of the incredible animation.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Jack Frost. He's paired with the other Guardians, Pitch, and Jamie. There's also a new crossover ship with him in it made every minute, the most popular being with Rapunzel, Merida, and Hiccup. And there's already quite the amount of OCs being shipped with him as well. And the original, people! Very predictably, the Jack/Elsa crossover ship has quickly grown to rival the popularity of the other three, and some fans pair him with Elsa's sister Anna instead. There's also a small but vocal minority who speculate that Elsa and Anna are somehow Jack and Rapunzel's daughters.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Those who dislike Jack Frost, specifically Elsa fans who hate having him paired up with her, love to bring up the movie's poor box office performance and being a dead franchise. Many fanarts and jokes will tend to portray Jack as a failure who's trying to date Elsa as a way to save his career.
    • Jack Frost will often be shown as being this to Shrek, a fan favorite and Dreamworks darling.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Due to Jack being 300 years old, some fanfic writers have portray him this way when it comes to shipping him with anyone who isn't immortal.
    • His scenes of looking through Jamie's window have been use by fanfic writers and YouTube videos to make him look like a stalker.
    • The existence of the horror film Jack Frost (1997) certainly hasn't helped either, as people have joked that the killer snowman and Jack are the same person.
  • Moe:
    • The Little Easter Bunny.
    • Sophie.
    • Jamie.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • A lot of the fanart is made to draw the Guardians as humans. Tooth is undoubtedly the most popular for this, with Bunnymund following.
    • Early on in the fandom, someone pointed out that without audio for Jack's "and the Easter Kangaroo" line, it looked like he was saying "You're an asshole". Double points for him pointing towards the camera. Needless to say, it caught wind with the other fans.
    • As a snarky response to the fans preference for Jack's spirit form over his human appearance, many say that Jack is a "Hollywood white-washing" that everyone is okay with.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Pitch killing Sandman. That's when we know he's willing to do anything to be believed in no matter how horrible. If he didn't cross it then, he certainly did in the climax when he was ready to either kill Jamie or turn him into a fearling. That was the first time he made it clear he Would Hurt a Child.
  • Narm Charm: It's a movie about legendary holiday figures who their source of power is children's belief in them. It sounds so overdramatic and pretentious yet it still works.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Word of God mentions in the official DVD commentary that people accused Guardians of ripping off The Avengers, though they claim Guardians was in production long before Avengers was even announced, due to animation taking longer to create than live-action. (And that's not even getting into the books, which are older than the movie.) However the Avengers as well as the whole MCU as a whole was years in development as far as the first Iron Man movie (2008) based on a long running series of comics decades before William Joyce began work on the books. Outside of the superhero team there is barely any similarities storywise. The film and books as a whole owe a lot more to the Rankin Bass Christmas specials, particularly Jack Frost 1979 where much of the fan crossover ships inspirations where taken from, than to the superhero genre.
    • Many fans think of this movie as being the first film to feature Jack Frost as a young protagonist. That honor actually belongs to the stop-motion Rankin Bass Jack Frost film. The film even features a Romantic plot for which many Jack Frost shippers (particularly Jelsa fans) had blatantly rip off from.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • As a result of ship wars, Jack Frost has gotten this treatment in some fanfics, especially in those that deconstruct the Jack/Elsa ship. Some even go as far as to question his motives in the movie and that he refused Pitch's offer out of some hidden motive to infiltrate the guardians.
    • Crossovers aside, when Pitch gets put into the leather pants, the Guardians (sans Jack) sometimes get the matching set of Death Eater masks. Why, all they do is torture the poor, innocent Pitch for the lulz!
    • Pitch gets this treatment as much as a villain can. In the movie, he's a bad guy all right, but he is somewhat morally ambiguous. In some fanfics, he turns into a Voldemort with a nose. Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons fandom and Jack/Elsa fanworks are especially guilty of this.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Many people who don't celebrate holidays will find themselves rooting for Pitch to win, as well as Frozen fans who hate the Jack/Elsa pairing. Then there are those who just dislike the Guardians and find Pitch to be a lot more interesting and sympathetic than the main heroes.
  • Sacred Cow: Jack Frost for many people, and let's just leave it at that.
    • The film as a whole at first at nothing but praise from viewers and critics and hardly had any criticism or flaws pointed out. Only after the Jack Frost/Elsa ship exploded on the internet was the film view with a more critical eye and viewers found problems with it as shippers often compare the film as being worthy to crossover with Frozen (take in mind that Frozen was also overly criticize more than any other animated film due to its popular status). However given Rise Of The Guardians cult status and base breaking popular character Jack Frost it was only a matter of time before the bubble burst.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: A rather odd crossover example, but fans who ship Jack with Rapunzel sometimes get into dispute against those who prefer to ship him with Elsa, while the latter group of shippers are also frequently at war with fans of Hans/Elsa. However recently there has been a backlash against Jelsa thanks to it's massive popularity with fantartists and cosplayers as well as many online petitions to get Jack into the Frozen sequel much to the annoyance of its fans. Not helping are fans of the ship who tend to be very vitriolic and defensive when it comes to Elsa fans questioning the ship's moral implications, canon continuity, age gap and Jack Frost's worth as a suitable boyfriend/Husband/King for Elsa. The issue has even reach the creator of Jack Frost, William Joyce. During an instagram Q/A Joyce was asked about the ship to which he reply that "It would be delightful if they could be together", while also acknowledging the impossibility of it as the two are owned by rival studios. While met with approval he was also on the receiving end of some not so favorable comments and he hasn't touch the subject ever since at least on a public forum (especially as he had to defend Rise Of The Guardians, which came out approximately a year before Frozen's release, from being seen as riding on Frozen's bigger success). While this has encouraged the Jelsa fanbase thanks to word of god approval (at least on the Jack Frost side), it has also resulted in a bigger backlash from Frozen many fans. As it is popular to the point that is the second thing that shows up on google on anything Elsa related, its massive popularity has led to it to become particularly controversial.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A major driving force for Jack was his desire to know about his past and his reason for being. However, when he actually regains his memories, the revelation of him having a family and a sister seems to have no lasting impact on him after the reveal. While it's true that 300 years have passed since he became a mythical spirit so his family would be long dead, the story doesn't show him having any desire to explore his past life. (It's possible they were planning on exploring this in future sequels that never launched due to this movie being an Acclaimed Flop.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The elves.
    • The other kids who aren't Jamie to some viewers.
  • Uncanny Valley: The design of the Guardians and some of the kids come across as this to several viewers, often described as a "Strange" movie by those who remember it. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that the animators where trying out a new skin texture that, as the Art of the Rise Of The Guardians book described it as, resemble "Jelly". This only get's worse with the Elsa ship where the style difference is much more noticeable, with Elsa having a traditional disney design and Jack's look resembling the much more stylized design of the books.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Despite Pitch's goal and status, many can't help but feel sorry for him due to being alone like Jack as well as being abandoned by the moon and forgotten.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Jack Frost comes too close to this trope for some viewers. While the movie establishes that he had been left alone without a reason or purpose for his existence for over 300 years, his attitude when presented with the offer to become a Guardian is callous and aloof. He comes across as not wanting to be responsible and takes out his frustration with the Man in the Moon on the Guardians.
  • Vindicated by History: By fans? Yes. By DreamWorks? No. Thanks to the superhero genre's popularity (partly thanks to The Avengers coming out that same year), and the perceived similarities between Jack Frost and Elsa within the fandom (not to mention Jack's Launcher of a Thousand Ships status), many people who missed Guardians in theaters checked it out and came to appreciate its merits. Sadly, DreamWorks continues to treat Guardians like an Old Shame. It even has gained enough popularity to earn a backlash against it.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Everything is detailed to the last hair. To say nothing of the design of the ice and snow flakes Jack creates which perfectly capture the art style of Guillermo Del Toro.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jack Frost. He never sees his little sister again after saving her, then spends 300 years all alone with nobody knowing he exists.
    • Bunny becomes this after Pitch's nightmares destroy his eggs and then cause the children to lose their belief in him.
    • Pitch too (albeit of the Jerkass variety), once you know he came through the same hell as Jack but wasn't as lucky as he was. Then when you add in his backstory from the books...
    • Tooth. In the film, children stop believing in her, making her palace disintegrate and causing her wings to stop working. Not to mention her fairy helpers (e.g. Baby Tooth) are put in danger and if you factor in her backstory from the books...
    • Jamie Bennett, when all the kids start losing their belief in the Guardians.
    • Jack's sister who witness his death and didn't even know he became a spirit.

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