Rise of the Guardians Analyzations
The Rise of the Head Canon


Recently, I’ve been making a Jack Frost/Elsa fanvid, and in so doing have been spending an inordinate amount of time rewatching Rise of the Guardians. As everyone knows, when you spend massive amounts of time watching something, you start to notice things you missed before and your brain starts trying to make sense out of them.

So in the spirit of fun movie theories, that may or not be intentional backstory added by the folks at Dreamworks, let’s talk about Thaddeus Burgess for a second.

Wait, who on Earth is Thaddeus Burgess? Well, in Jack Frost’s home town of Burgess, there is the following statue in the town square.


Thaddeus Burgess is the first recorded settler in the area where Burgess now stands and is the founder of the town. The placard on the statue’s base reads:


"Thaddeus Burgess"

"This river town was established in 1795, after Thaddeus Burgess who built the first log cabin here with his family before the bitter winter of 1795."

"Pioneers and freight wagons following the post roads to the southern mines crossed the river nearby at Nancy’s Ferry, and as a terminal for riverboats the town played an important part in development of westside grain farming and cattle raising."

So who cares about Thaddeus Burgess? Well, Jack Frost just might considering Thaddeus is his father.

Wait what?! Nelsie, how did you make that leap?!

Well, lets take one more look at that statue shall we. Look close.


Notice anything interesting or familiar about the statue on the far right of the picture? How about the middle of it? You see I’ve come to believe that the boy on the far right is Jack Burgess, and the girl in the middle is his younger sister.

Don’t believe it? Behold their clothing. The boy is wearing tight pants, a vest, a V-neck linen shirt and is holding a staff or crook of some sort. The little girl is wearing a long sleeved, tight-waist dress with decorative trim on the bottom. And finally the woman in the center is wearing a high necked, long sleeved dress with a very distinct collar.

Now lets take a look a some Jack-backs.




Same outfits, and in Jack’s case, same pose that he does throughout the entire movie. Not only that but you can see from the last picture that Jack and his family lived in a log cabin in the woods of Burgess, right next to the lake where Jack died.

"This river town was established in 1795, after Thaddeus Burgess who built the first log cabin here with his family before the bitter winter of 1795."

Another point to mention is that the winter of 1795 was bitter. Why was that winter particularly bitter? Well, maybe it’s because the first son of Burgess had just become a winter spirit and was trying so desperately to be noticed that he was freezing everything. Even Jack himself tells the wind to “take me home,” which it then promptly sends him back to Burgess.

If this theory is correct, then Jack has literally had the answers about his past sitting right in front of him for over 300 years. He’s literally been standing on top of it. Also, it should be noted that the people of Dreamworks went through all the trouble of perfectly designing that statue, and animation studios rarely include anything movies that they don’t want there. Interesting to think about, isn’t it?


So someone brought this point up, and I thought it would be interesting to explore further.

"I like this theory a lot, though the dates would have to be adjusted. 1795 is around 83 years after Jack was reborn."

Actually, I thought of that and it really depends on when the movie is set. If the movie was set in 2012, then yes, its about 100 years short. However…

The only things that establish a timeline in Rise of the Guardians are the date on the placard in Burgess which states that Thaddeus Burgess was the first person to settle there in 1795 and the “300 years later” subtitle at the beginning. 

Jack clearly lived in or around Burgess, as the pond just yards away from Jaime’s house is the same one Jack drowned in. In the beginning when Jack rises from the ice and winds up landing in a tree, you see that there is a small town a short distance away. Considering that Thaddeus Burgess was the first one to build his log cabin in the area, and established the town at around the same time, that town is Burgess. Now if we add 300 years onto 1795, then you get the date 2095, which certainly would make the timeline a bit dodgy


Also, if you look closely on the giant globe in North’s workshop when Pitch is doing his victory dance, Burgess is in Pennsylvania based on the location of Jaime’s light. That area of Pennsylvania hadn’t even been purchased from the Native Americans by the British government until 1754. If Jack were reborn 83 years (1712) before the founding of the town, then he more than likely would be Native American. So the 83 year discrepancy could mean a few things…

  1. Jack is in fact Native American
  2. The placard on the Burgess statue is lying and the founding of the town is 85 years older and therefore before the British/French laid claim to that land, which means there would be no legal settling there. Maybe the illegality of the settling was the reason the date was changed, so the government wouldn’t be called out on land stealing.
  3. Dreamworks messed up its math something fierce or they meant to put 200 instead of 300 in the subtitle.
  4. Rise of the Guardians is set in the future.


Ok so I am a firm believer that it is not fun that is Jack’s center, it’s his protectiveness. He is the only one in the movie that is constantly concerned about protecting others. Even when he died and became Jack Frost was because he died protecting his little sister! Case in point via gifs:

Top two gifs: Tooth and Baby Tooth. He only gave up his staff- the source of all his power, the only power at this point that they know of to fight Pitch- because Baby Tooth was in trouble, and he wasn’t willing to endanger her for anything. He was also the only one to go over to Tooth when she was obviously upset, and try to comfort her. 

Second row: Not as big a point, but that little “oh crap” moment he has when he falters and his hand flies up to make sure Sophie was still securely in his arms has definite protectiveness to it. 

Third row: His first order as the only one with full (or mostly full) power is “Get Jamie out of here.” Because Jamie is the kid, he’s the one without powers and he’s the one that needs protecting. 

Fourth row: Do I even need to explain these two? He’s practically oozing “If you want him you’ll have to step over my dead body.” 

Fifth Row: First gif he is again the only one concerned about Jamie. His protective stance only intensifies. Santa’s concerned with Pitch, Bunny is concerned with Jack, Tooth is frightened, but Jack is the only one actively defending Jamie. Second gif I love because I don’t know if it’s just me this is really important to, but let’s discuss the fact that Jack TURNS HIS BACK ON THE ENEMY to comfort Jamie because he’s scared. He completely disregards the massive and active threat in front of him to bend down and reassure Jamie that he’s going to be ok. 

(I didn’t bother making any gifs of him and his sister because c’mon, we all know the logic in that scene.) 

Now none of this is to say I don’t adore the other Guardians, or to say they care any less. They obviously don’t and they’re obviously awesome. But I think Jack’s gift is protectiveness more than it is fun and games. 


((Am I the only one who looked at that ancient, crumbly bed which happened to be right near the pond - the pond which was visible from Jack’s front door - and wondered ‘Could that have been Jack’s bed from before he drowned?”))


**Contains Guardians of Childhood book spoilers**

I just finished reading Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King and I came across an interesting parallel.

In the book, Pitch uses and Enslavement Charm to turn Ombric and North into porcelain dolls, forcing them to lie and watch as he prepares to steal the piece of the Moon Clipper that they had gone in search for to stop Pitch. In the book it mentions multiple times that North couldn’t so much as blink without Pitch telling him to, and that he had never felt so helpless in his life, despite growing up with basically no parents/friends/family/support system of any kind.

So I just find it very interesting that in the movie North paints himself on matryoshka dolls. Even more interesting, he paints Jack on a doll as well, like he’s using the doll to show affection and support -using it to help Jack find his center. Because he doesn’t want Jack to feel as helpless and immobile as he did, but he also doesn’t want to take the journey of self-discovery away from Jack.


can we just talk about how Pitch’s shadows dissipate into a snowflake pattern after they slam Jack into the wall god damn what else did I miss in this movie


can we just talk about how Pitch’s shadows dissipate into a snowflake pattern after they slam Jack into the wall god damn what else did I miss in this movie

Parallels: Mary Katherine and Emily Jane


//Oh my God.

I’m now convinced more than ever that Pitch is William Joyce’s autobiographical tortured alter ego.

You know why?

  • "Mary Katherine," the name of William Joyce’s daughter, can be shortened to "MK," and in fact was, in Joyce’s film "Epic," based on his Leafmen book.  
  • "Emily Jane," the name of Pitch’s daughter in the GoC books, can be and often is shortened to "EJ." 
  • Ergo two anglicized combinations of common, dignified but relatively plain, girls’ names, for daughters lost, or thought lost, prematurely to death, by fathers who were trapped in their own grief.  

But fathers who strove to go on doing the greater good (Joyce by writing inspirational children’s books, Kozmotis by guarding the Prison Planet). And Joyce’s biggest FEAR is perhaps, if I may be so bold as to venture a guess, to be trapped FOREVER in his grief, to lose his BELIEF in the good in this world, because of losing his precious child.  The way that it happened to Kozmotis when he involuntarily became Pitch. 

Pitch is what William Joyce most fears becoming. And who he, I hope, pities most.  

How very poignantly sad and strangely beautiful that is. 

I hope Mr. Joyce gives Pitch a chance to regain the selfhood that he lost.  I hope Kozmotis triumphs. 

I had to come back and type this despite it being 2 in the morning because wow.  


Interesting bit- Jack (Or Jackson as the name literally means Jack’s son) means ‘In favor of God.’ Manny is sort of a God figure I guess? In which case the name has to do with the movie. Also, I believe the Hebrew translation of Jack means the same as the Hebrew translation of Jamie, though I’m not completely sure.


Memorial—ROTG soundtrack Track 16

I started to listen to the ROTG soundtrack, and when this track came on, I realized that it has the music used from Sandy’s funeral and from the scene where the Guardians send Jack away. I think that’s really interesting because when you think about both scenes, the Guardians are both mourning in a way. They mourn the loss of Sandy because of his death, and they mourn the loss of Jack because they send him away thinking that he betrayed them. OMG! This movie and the soundtrack gives me the feels!


Pics are from DisneyScreencaps.com

Does Jack Betray the Guardians during the Easter Fiasco?

Okay, so this has been bugging me for quite a while, but like everyone else, I believe that Easter being ruined was not Jack’s fault, and I did not like the fact that the soundtrack for that scene was called “Jack Betrays,” but after I watched the movie again, I started to think about the scene and what the betrayal in the soundtrack title might be referring too.

Of course, we all know that it wasn’t Jack’s fault that he followed the voice into Pitch’s lair for a number of reasons. 1) he spent 300 years alone without knowing who he was or why he was there, so when you hear someone calling out your name when there’s no one else around and when that voice sounds incredibly familiar, you would probably want to go investigate. 2) It’s instinct to follow a familiar voice calling your name. Seriously, who among us doesn’t automatically turn their head when they think someone is calling their name? 3) Jack had no idea he was going into Pitch’s lair or what was going to happen. If anything, he probably thought that he was going to go check out where the voice was coming from and then rush back to the Guardians before anything happened.

But then we get to the part where Jack and Baby Tooth go into Pitch’s lair. It’s pretty clear thanks to awesome animation that once Jack sees the fairies and the memories he knows they just walked into Pitch’s lair. However, the voice stops calling for Jack, and Jack immediately focuses on getting the fairies out. However, when he is about to free them, that is when the voice starts calling out to him again, and Jack starts to search for his memories instead of helping the fairies.

The script even says that he forgets about his duties to the Guardians, the fairies, and everything else. Now this is where it gets a little confusing because we all seem to forget this little moment here when Jack actually digs for his memories. Jack didn’t know that he was being led into Pitch’s lair before he found the fairies, but…when he does figure it out, he puts everything on hold to find his memories. Like I said, the script even says that he basically forgets about everything to find his memories. So, this is where I began to wonder if this is what the track title meant by “Jack Betrays.”

First, let’s look at the meaning of betray: to lead astray, to abandon in a time of need, and to deliver to an enemy by treachery. I’ve even said that a betrayal is something that is intentional and malicious. It can’t happen by accident. It has to be something that you know that you’re doing or are about to do but do it anyway not caring about how the other person feels.

Now, I know Jack doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body, but…he still goes to intentionally search for his memories in the piles knowing that he needs to get the fairies out and that he needs to get back to the Guardians like he promised. However he doesn’t stop to think “Wait! I shouldn’t do this! I promised them I’d be back, and I need to get Tooth’s fairies out of here!” He continues to search for his memories until Pitch steps in. So in a way, I feel like this is what the track title refers to…that Jack betrays the Guardians by abandoning them when he goes to search for his memories, and think about what happens in the scene after, when the Guardians are all jumping on Jack and not letting him explain, he doesn’t even try to defend himself because he knows that what he did was wrong. In a way, he himself feels that he betrayed them by looking for his memories.

Okay, I just gave my opinion. Now, I’m really curious as to what everyone else thinks. So…thoughts?