Monday, November 29, 2010

Disney's Vision A Little Tangled Right Now

Last week Disney announced that Tangled (quote) "will be the last fairy tale produced by Disney's animation group for the foreseeable future."

 In other news, (quote) “Tangled” Becomes Disney’s Biggest Animated Opening EVER!"

  Um, hang on a second.  
(sound of giant record scratching to a halt) 
What was that again?

Yes - you read it right (quotes are linked to sources if you'd like to read more). After announcing Disney is "closing the book on fairy tales" (to quote an LA Times headline) their own latest fairy tale effort, Tangled (a retelling of the Grimm's fairy tale Rapunzel) broke all animation box office records (including Pixar's) with their unexpectedly (obviously) giant pre-Thanksgiving opening. Um, yeah...

Women in Hollywood had their own things to say about Disney's swearing-off on fairy tales, though their concern is more about the lack of female-centric films in animation altogether. If you haven't heard, Pixar's first fairy tale film "Brave" (previously titled "The Bear & the Bow",  created and directed - until very recently anyway - by Brenda Chapman) has had a huge amount of controversy for replacing Ms. Chapman. (Look at the number of comments on that exclusive post, let alone what they have to say.) There are many reasons for the outcry, some of which I agree with, but my biggest regret is that the first female-centric-which-also-happened-to-be-a-fairy-tale film by Pixar that was to shake up the girl-needs-boy-for-happiness formula so prevalent in fairy tale movies, is very likely to lose that precious and unique focus. Now that Tangled is looking at success not only in the box office arena but as a serious contender for this years Oscar (only 3 can run this year), how will that affect a) Pixar's Brave and b) the new 'no more fairy tales' policy by Disney Feature Animation?

Something tells me there are a few knots in the company hair that need to be untangled before we can get a straight and solid answer.

For now:   
Long live the fairy tale!


  1. Their timing is hilariously off, but the news seems not terribly surprising. After milking the Princess line for the last decade or two, Disney has gotten quite the reputation of being girly-centric (not merely girl-centric) and seems to be overcompensating in their enthusiasm to appeal to boys.

    They're in a bit of a vicious circle: Disney's marketing, particularly of the Princess line, equated fairy tales to girly stories, and Disney is the fairy tale teller, so Disney = girly. Rather than ease back on the "Princess, Princess, OMG Princess" approach to their marketing with continued fairy tale stories, they'll just cut out the fairy tales altogether and probably start with a "Boy Stuff, Boy Stuff, OMG Boy Stuff" approach.

    The fairy tales will still be there, though, when Disney decides to return to them, as they have before.

  2. Not to be one of those fairy tale "purists," but I have to say that this news excites me a little. The possibility of its truth (rather than Disney just saying it to test the waters and see if it would be worth it to them) makes me happy. The quality of their films, in my opinion, has been steadily going downhill ever since "Hunchback." Not to mention the fact that they claim rights on the fairy tales they do distort for the masses. If they were more true to the storylines, I wouldn't complain quite so much. As it stands, though, this could be a boon to other studios willing to re-tell fairy tales the ways they were written.
    That said, it will be strange to see Disney go back to doing animated films like "The Three Caballeros" and other non-princess centric stories. Thanks for the info! I love this blog!!

  3. Olá! Estou encantada com o site! É uma pena que não falamos o mesmo idioma... mas quero aqui dar os parabéns pela iniciativa de criar um espaço tão belo e mágico como este! Voltarei sempre! Beijinhos!

  4. i just watched Tangled and i absolutely loved loved loved it !!
    Disney is the house of all fairtytales, how can they give up on them? i don't like this new-modern stories, sometimes it's just right to watch a fairytale. <3

  5. Tangled was freaking amazing, so this particular move by the Pixar people (I'm looking at YOU, John Lasseter) is baffling. True, coming out shortly on the heels of Harry Potter and just before Narnia did Tangled's box office no favors, but it's on track to become a HUGE merchandising vehicle for the forseeable future, which is usually Disney's cash cow anyway.

    One of my friends put it best: "If he [Lasseter] cuts off his princess nose to spite his Cars face, I'm going to be really pissed off."

    Exactly. Fine, you want to get rid of the fairy tale stories? YOU GOT ANYTHING BETTER TO OFFER????

  6. i love fairy tales!! and tangled! here's my faity tale/fashion blog :