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Rapunzel lets down her hair in this teaser for the new Disney film Tangled, but she's not the only one. Remember how in March Disney changed the title of the movie Rapunzel to Tangled? As Erik Davis wrote, it was to attract more boys to the film than, say, The Princess and the Frog, which has made a mere $267M worldwide at the time of this writing and has the nasty word "princess" in the title.
Well, this teaser definitely ups the ante when it comes to ditching Rapunzel's long-haired legacy. Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) is Rapunzel's accidental savior -- this smooth operator escapes his captors and takes refuge in what he thinks is an empty tower, only to find himself rather... tied up by Ms. Rapunzel (Mandy Moore). That's right, her slinky, sexy blond locks tie him to a chair. (That will be an awkward moment with the grandparents.) It's clear that Tangled wants very little to do with the vibe of its trailer from February, which is way more serious and only consists of voice-overs, primarily Rapunzel's. This time around, there's plenty of action and laughs, especially at Flynn's expense.
It's a clear shift in line with what the the prez of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios told the LA Times earlier this year: "We did not want to be put in a box. Some people might assume it's a fairy tale for girls when it's not. We make movies to be appreciated and loved by everybody."
One of the many problems I had with The Princess and the Frog was that the prince was such a d*ck, in both frog and human form. Flynn, obviously a nod to Errol, is rakish and naughty but the jokes are at his expense. Rapunzel, meanwhile, swings around from her lovely lady locks, shouting, "Best! Day! Ever!" So, despite Disney's reasoning, I say why not give Rapunzel a new angle? Especially one with a cooler heroine than before!
Beside, it's not exactly children's fare to begin with -- none of the original fairy tales really are, including the ones that Disney's managed to make accessible to audiences of all ages in the past. Compare Cinderella and her singing bluebirds to the Grimm original; in that version, the stepsisters are forced by their mother to cut off parts of their feet so they can wedge them into the prince's shoe and are given up as fakers because their mutilated feet are bleeding. Now that is a movie I'd like to see!
Over time, all of the old, gorier or scarier fairy tales have changed to make them more suitable for children, and that was way before Disney came along. Name recognition is important, yes, but since the Disney stories are already drastically toned down as it is, I don't see a huge difference between the way the fairy tales have evolved over the years and making Rapunzel into Tangled.
Take a look at the teaser trailer and the gallery of new images below.