- 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.