Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tangled or Rapunzel

Here in Asia, it's called "Rapunzel".. when you have two titles for a film, it begins to smell like you don't believe if yourself, no matter the executives explanations of target audience etc.. Matter of fact, self consciousness at Disney has been a problem for a while now. The audience can FEEL when a film isn't sure of itself.. The gags become a way of saying "well don't judge me too harshly, you see, I'm just a silly film".. Instead of boldly telling a powerful and emotional story, they tread lightly. Like a teenager moving the first move, they are nervous if they are doing it right. The multiple title is one of many symptoms of this hesitation and lack of confidence. They don't seem to know what it means to tell an unapologetic, confident, and decisive story. Princess and the Frog was a big mess in this way. That said.. dang Rapunzel sure does look incredible visually!! I hope it's as good as it looks!


  1. The name change is indeed a dumb move. I think the visuals alone will save this film, and to that I'll still give them a hearty applause (everything I've seen of it looks stunning, but balanced even for a classic fairy tale, and well animated). It already feels like a step above Frog, so here's hoping (and I should get my butt to a theater to see it so I can actually comment!).

  2. The argument doesn't really work because MANY movies have alternate titles for international releases. "A Bug's Life," for example, was called "Vermin" in Spain, and "1001 Feet" in France (translated); "The Incredibles" was "Mister Incredible" in Japan, Growing up in the Philippines, I remember "Encino Man" being called "California Man" and Mighty Ducks called "Champions." Polish titles of movies are notoriously ridiculous.

    It's decided on a case per case (and country per country) basis, whether or not the title translates well in the country's language (especially when the title involves a pun), or whether international audiences will get the reference (I distinctly recall hearing the correct title for "Encino Man" later on, but BEFORE I knew where Encino, CA was, and thinking the title made no sense whatsoever.)

    Here's a blog entry talking about how commonplace this practice is:

    I dunno, you can make the comment based on the fact that it had a working title of Rapunzel Unbraided, but working titles are also commonplace, even (and especially) in the hallowed grounds at Pixar.

  3. good point arvin, i do realize this difference especially when it comes to international marketing.
    but i stand by my lack of confidence argument.. it's something you can feel in a film. and.. well.. tangled is just such a stupid title.. lacks that epic feel of a disney classic.

  4. Got to see an advance screening of TANGLED at the Disney studio last Sunday, and I'll be damned if it isn't a pretty damned good telling of this great fairy tale. I went in without great expectations at all. As a long time Disney Feature Animation artist who was there when they fell from grace, I haven't liked their product very much at all since Lilo & Stitch...but I was thoroughly entertained and unbelievably, really enjoyed TANGLED, botched title or not. Yeah, it had some elements that really annoyed me, but its overall quality by far exceeded my criticisms. Strange but true, I actually think they have created a modern day masterpiece! No baloney! I think people are really going to like's a beauty....
    (see my AWN review of TPATF