Monday, February 10, 2014

A Dark Rapunzel Coming to OUAT (No, I'm Not Talking About Her Hair or Skin Color, Although She's Not Blonde Either)

Here we come to one of those times when the internet shows it's personality disorder: "..we want more diversity among Disney princesses!" is currently having a head-on clash with "..why is OUAT's Rapunzel not blonde?!".

:/ Yeah.

What is more interesting (to me) is not how 'non-white' the new Rapunzel character for OUAT's features will be, but how dark the storyline is promised to be (by OUAT creators Kitsis & Horowitz), and when we say "dark" here we mean The Grudge Japanese horror film dark.

No doubt it will be toned down a lot to keep the current mostly-family-friendly rating but that's the promise: The Grudge-dark.
In the second half of season three, we will meet Rapunzel (Alexandra Metz).
The executive producer, Adam Horowitz, has confirmed this to be true.
However, he stated that, “We’re not doing Tangled; we’re doing our spin on the character.” This just makes the news all that more exciting. 
Kitsis went on to describe Rapunzel’s character. He said that she is going to be a little darker and freakier. Think of a horror story like the vein of The Grudge. 
The long-locked damsel (Alexandra Metz) will be visited in her tower by Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) as well as a mysterious hooded menace. Might it be the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) lurking under that hood? "I can't tell you," says Mader.
I'm immediately reminded of the Fairest (Fables comic spin-off) Rapunzel and how perfectly that Japanese horror aspect is explored, not to mention how well it fits with Rapunzel's story. I guess the OUAT people aren't keeping up with Willingham's Fables/Fairest? Or are they?

Not only is the trend for understanding the villains' side of the story continuing but it has well and truly expanded into "the heroes aren't exactly as squeaky-clean as you thought..".

I have to say I'm enjoying the look at the anti-hero a lot - the perfect princess/hero approach of the last 20+ years has been cloying but at the same time this trend of villain stories and exposing the dark hearts of the heroes can occasionally feel a little forced. I'm curious to see where on the spectrum this storyline lands.

The way people are viewing fairy tales is certainly richer than it was a few years ago but instead of mining the multitude of stories that already have complex heroes and villains we're still in re-mix mode for the familiar ones.

This is not a complaint - exactly - more of a sigh at a missed opportunity but honestly, I'm just glad people are still considering different aspects of fairy tales more than they have for some time.

Sources: HERE & HERE

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