Contribute to Our Research

And Yeah,

I know that I stumbled upon this possibility last December, but I didn’t think they’d be absurd enough to do it. It’s late-era Eisner all over again. Sure, the title doesn’t matter if the film has the goods on screen, but I had hoped the era of Disney running away from its own shadow was over. This is shenanigans. Shenanigans, I tell you!

The problem isn’t even the name, as silly as Tangled is. It’s what the name represents – confusion, fear, lack of confidence and creative cowardice.

What’s doubly ironic about their attempts to take the focus off of Rapunzel and emphasize the male lead is that almost the entirety of Lasseter’s presentation about this film last September was about how Rapunzel would be such a kick-ass heroine with her hair-wielding ninja skillz. So I guess we’ll have to adjust to a completely new set of buzzwords. Rapunzel who?

Dear Disney animators: I’m so sorry that your hard work is being dorked around with by a bunch of lunatics. Know that there are a few of us naive simpletons out here who still think what you do is art, not product for the marketing gristmill. The film looks lovely.

Dear Disney executives: It’s hard to sell people on your product when you don’t understand, respect, or enjoy the thing you’re trying to sell. Or, as the kids say, UR DOING IT WRONG.

Related Posts...

4 comments to And Yeah,

  • Jeff

    You said it all in the first paragraph: “The title doesn’t matter if the film has the goods on screen.”

    Why even continue with the rest of the article? I would consider it to have merit if you expanded on why you feel the title represents “confusion, fear, lack of confidence and creative cowardice.”

    However, you do not. This aimless hate annoys me.

  • Fair enough, but there are several reasons to take issue with this no matter the quality of the film (which, as far as I hear, is high).

    These shenanigans with the name change represents another example of Disney having a crisis of confidence about its own product. This is a gripe I’ve had in a number of arenas, from their insecurity about EPCOT’s mission to their inability to recognize the home video market for their more obscure classic material.

    Aside from the “Unbraided” meddling in the Eisner era, this film has been “Rapunzel” for a decade. If the filmmakers were to come out and say that this name change honestly came from their hearts because it somehow better represented the film that they were making, I’d say fair enough and let it go. But the consensus is that this was all pushed by the marketing side out of panic over PATF’s performance. The confusion comes from the constant issue of Disney’s left hand not knowing what its right hand is doing (pushing princesses in the parks, fleeing from them at the studios). The fear is just that – a panic brought on by the not-ultra-blockbuster performance of PATF. And creative cowardice is the fear to innovate, and to push everything into handy franchisable containers because you don’t dare do anything unexpected and new (like Steamboat Willie, Snow White, Disneyland, Mary Poppins, EPCOT, etc.).

    Perhaps I could have been more circumspect in my comments, but it was a long week and I’m tired of the constant cycle of executives not having the stones to do it the way Walt did – make something awesome, and expect the public to reward you for it. Don’t try to tell them how to feel about it, let them draw their own conclusions based on the merits of of the film or attraction or whatever. Yeah, it’s overly simplistic, but I have that luxury because I don’t have to report to a board or stockholders. We’ve seen how bad it can get, in the last five years or so of Eisner’s reign, and I don’t want to see us go down that road again. I’d rather be alarmist and proved wrong than get ambushed again.

    Which is really the whole point about the title change – it’s too late in the film’s development to really harm it too much, but what about the next film? Disney only has one more animated feature in active production right now, with Joe Jump being in some nebulous state of development, and no one out here seems to know what happens after that. That would be fine if we didn’t know but Disney did, but lately it seems like they don’t know either. “Tangled” is less significant as a silly name for a movie, but way more significant as an indicator of the path ahead and who’s making the decisions.

  • And, as a complete tangent, I find it incredibly odd that the film comes out in 9 months and we’ve yet to have even any teaser footage.

Leave a Reply