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!
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