About Me

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Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I like to write about children's literature, fairy tales, feminism, and pop culture in general. I've recently earned my Ph.D. in children's literature at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I also review children's and young adult books for Kirkus and teach English at Sowela Technical Community College. Oh, and I like cats! [Banner image artwork by Yuki Midorikawa]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Disney's "Rapunzel" ... now "Tangled"!




















I had been eagerly following the progress of Disney's "Rapunzel" ever since I found about it being in production, sometime around the time "Princess and the Frog" was getting ready to be released. Now the LA Times somewhat breaks the startling news: Not only is the film being retitled ("Tangled"), but the focus is shifting from the female lead to the male lead.

(Read the article HERE)

The reasons given are concerning: Disney is afraid it's original "girly" script and title would not appeal to boys. Box office returns for "Princess and the Frog" were apparently less than desirable, but Disney seems to have forgotten that super "girly" films like "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" did very well and continue to earn revenue, in part thanks to the insidiously brilliant "Disney Princess" marketing concept Disney began running in 2000.

So why the abrupt shift in focus for "Rapunzel"? It's terribly frustrating. And it's a topic that just won't seem to go away. Publishers (and some writers) in the children's and YA book industry keep insisting that boys simply will not read or watch girl-centric media. I know at least two little boys who saw and loved "Princess and the Frog," not to mention several male adults. And why is Disney now running away from its own Disney Princess brand?

In case you're curious, here's a bootleg recording of the NEW boy-centric concept trailer for "Tangled": HERE.

Anyone else reminded of Joanna Russ' "What Can a Heroine Do?"?

Oh yes, and for those who are interested, here is Shannon Hale's (one of my favorite YA authors) response to the whole debacle: HERE.

2 comments:

  1. I just had to drop by because....well I guess we have something in common...and we clearly share a love of stories. I don't write for children or specifically for YA but I do use a lot of fairy tales in my creative writing teaching. And I was interested in your Rapunzel post....hmmm male hero dominant...now where have I seen that before...

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  2. Oh my, I stared at your name for the longest time and tried to figure out why the site had let you sign in as me!!

    I know you, actually; I think you're the reason I couldn't use my real name on Twitter! haha! :)

    How tiresome is this whole "must have a male hero!" thing? And you know, Pixar (I believe it's Pixar) is doing it yet again with their soon to be released "How to Train Your Dragon." As Shannon Hale pointed out, girls are NEVER funny (with the exception of Dori in Finding Nemo), and it seems the Viking girl sidekick is going to be the straight character yet again.

    I dislike "ranting" about it SO much, because I hate to devalue these genuinely fine films. But I do think it's important to point out and discuss.

    Thanks for commenting!!

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