Walt Disney Pictures' 50th animated feature, Tangled, is a re-envisioning of the Brothers Grimm's classic story of Rapunzel. Umm, so why isn't it called that? And what's with the rough-and-tough guy who dominates many of the commercials? The answer to both questions: Marketing.
As the L.A. Times reported, Disney discovered a year ago with The Princess and the Frog that princess movies don't sell so well with boys—especially not ones with a girl in the title. So Disney changed the film's title and showcased the swashbuckling Aladdin-meets-Robin-Hood character who replaces the original story's prince in asking for Rapunzel to let down her hair.
Luckily, these marketing moves don't compromise Tangled's phenomenal storytelling or considerable charm. In fact, under its boy-sensitive marketing lies the classic Disney princess story—full of magic and dreams coming true. Still, the movie wisely takes a page from Pixar's playbook to fill the movie with so much well-done slapstick humor, action, goofy characters, and genuine fun that boys won't feel like the ads gave them the old bait-and-switch to trick them into a "girl" movie. After all, the boy-meets-girl love story is second to the story of a girl finding her real parents. (In fact, while this male viewer loved the audience-pleasing humor and action, it's entirely possible that he teared up way more than many girls will.)
Suffice it to say, Walt Disney Pictures has added yet another touching and enchanting favorite to its very rich animated collection.
The movie (which feels most like The Little Mermaid meets Snow White) begins in Beauty-and-the-Beast storytelling mode to set up the film's fable. Once upon a time, a drop of the sun caused a magical flower to grow in ...