The After-Hours Blog

Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 2
Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

What's Wrong with "Tangled"?

disney-tangled.jpg

About a week and a half ago, the trailer for Disney's "Tangled" was released. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out why it pisses me off, even though the animation is a lot better than I expected it to look. After the cut, watch the trailer (via EW's PopWatch), and then read what I have to say about it. After, you can tell me if I'm crazy or not.

Is it just me, or is that really annoying? I first heard of this movie a few months ago through a post on the Robot6 blog, and I'll admit that between the information in that post and the NPR editorial it links to, I was already biased against the film. Between this and Warner Brothers Animation's decision not to make any more direct to DVD movies with female leads, it's sad and frustrating to know that trying to attract boys to any sort of media has basically degraded to "girls have cooties."

That's not what's specifically bothering me about the trailer though. After all, I have never been one to let my ideals get in the way of a fun cartoon. I am nothing if not a hypocrite. At first I thought it was just that that this Flynn Ryder dude is a total jerk. He's not funny, he doesn't seem all that impressive, he's completely full of himself, and he gets his ass kicked by hair. Why is this guy our hero, let alone our point of view character? I dislike this guy so much that, at least while I'm watching the trailer, I retroactively hate "Chuck," one of my favorite TV series, because Chuck's voice is coming out this guy's mouth. Maybe Nathan Fillion could have pulled this character off, but I'm not sure. His Steve Trevor in "Wonder Woman" wasn't the main character, was actually pretty funny, and didn't give anyone "the smolder." What the hell was that? I can't blame the usually very charming Zachary Levi when obviously the problem is the character's face. (Sidenote: If you've never seen the Wonder Woman animated movie, it is awesome.)

After further consideration, I realized it's more than that. Doesn't the whole thing just seem a little too "Shrek" to anyone else? The princess is stuck in a tower, but she actually kicks ass and doesn't seem to need the hero at all. There's even a pop song that's a few years out of date. It's "Shrek," if Shrek was a smarmy jerk-face. The whole thing wreaks of Dreamworks, and as little kid who was positively addicted to Disney movies, that might just break my heart a bit. Of course, Disney's been breaking my heart for years. I should be used to it by now. It all makes me want to watch "Sleeping Beauty" for the 9 millionth time. That movie's got a fun male lead, a fairly cool princess, and the coolest freaking villain ever committed to film. Does this movie even have a villain, you know, besides viewer apathy? That's a serious question, by the way. As far as I can tell from the trailer, this movie has no major conflict.

It's also possible that Rapunzel's hair just freaks me right the hell out. What do you think?

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Comments (5)

Brenda (Shisho):

Actually, looks kind of funny. And I gotta say, we can do worse as a society with the current trend of girls standing up for themselves in fairy tales. Especially this one, which is kind of creepy with a strong "ick" factor.

No, not very original, considering the Shrek movies, but her giving him a whack after "the smolder" comment made me snicker, especially since I kind of knew guys like that in college. I think he's supposed to be smarmy. That's the joke.

I also don't have a problem with them renaming it "Tangled." I got the impression that the reason why they did this had less to do with gender roles and more to imply that they're messing with the fairy tale a little, and I have no problem with twisting a fairy tale around to have some fun with it. It's a trend in cartoons now, and so long as it's funny and not stupid, I'll keep watching it.

Now, that being said, yes, I think some of the executive reasoning behind it is kind of silly, but movie execs don't have the best reputations for making wise decisions. Much like the longstanding war of the sexes in Comicbook Land, some writers get it, but the majority don't. Some understand that women aren't looking for sparkly pink pony comics, just good comics, and some think that putting a tagline that compares the comic book to Sex and the City is an automatic win for anyone with boobs. Essentially, I suspect there will always be a conflict between stories and marketing. It's the nature of the beast.

Well, my problem right now is more with the packaging. It would be nice if they made an attempt to make this movies seem unique in some way. I like the princess, and I don't really understand why I have to put up with so much of the smarmy asshole to get to her.

Jose:

Remember my rant last month about the 80's cartoons being remade? i claimed its cause research & development people think its the trend & not doing it for the love. This is the same thing, some test audience filled out their score cards at a test screening & something worried the execs enough to make these changes. The Little Mermaid didn't get all great reviews by its test audiences & they still stuck to their guns & made what they wanted.

Laura you hit it right on the head, first thing i thought of was DreamWorks with the music & crap thats put in for quick laughs. I bet during the movie their gonna break into a lady gaga song or two with parodies of modern world pop-culture sprinkled in there.

I haven't seen The Princes & the Frog yet but leading up to the release last year kinda felt like old early 90's disney movies,
this feels like a 3D Emperors New Groove.

ok i'm done

The smolder part was actually really funny to me, but the rest felt hinky. When she yelled "Best day ever!" they exposed the target demographic, and I am both too old and have too many man parts to be in it.

I think my favorite part is how they're making a movie about RAPUNZEL and felt the need to not call it RAPUNZEL.

*sigh*