Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yes, No, Maybe So: Tangled

Unnghhwhaa? I thought Rapunzel i.e. Tangled was going to be a YES for me from day one. But...



Teaser trailers are supposed to excite you. Unless they've changed the def' in Websters, this is not what I'd personally describe as "excitement". This is no tease, but a bully. But let's break down the reaction anyway to our traditional yes, no, maybe so trailer feelings.

I've been waiting my whole life for Disney to take on the Rapunzel story. In fact, when I was a kid and reading books on animation and wanting to be an animator myself, this is the fairy tale I fixated on as something they hadn't done and why was that and could I please do it myself? Plus, it is a musical and Alan Menken is sometimes brilliant (even if they did make the bizarro choice to do the songs with a 60s flavor).

How bad could this movie really be?

I don't wanna know the answer to that question.

I mean... "This is the best day ever!"??? Ghastly! Doesn't this take place in ye olde medieval times and isn't Rapunzel a shut in? Shouldn't it be easier to imagine her as Sleeping Beauty's BFF rather than a member of Bratz. Anyway, both Rapunzel and her prince charming type, refashioned here as a thief, seem to be enrolled in that infamous late 90s/ early 00s school for bratty self-aware animation where characters do "funny" antics while random rock songs play or make anachronistic jokes & pop culture references that have utterly no connection to the time period or the material. This school's dread curriculum first entered Disney product with Aladdin and by the time of Hercules and Tarzan, all the classic textbooks had been replaced. I began to realize that nothing was ever going to feel as pure and magical and, well, mature, as Beauty & The Beast again. Shrek (not from Disney) was the star pupil of this Satanic School's teachings. I HATE SHREK. So I transferred out as quickly as I could and put all my hopes and future dreams in the hands of Pixar and imported Mizayakis.

But sometimes I miss classic Disney fairytales so this is not the best day ever.

On the other hand... if I hadn't been wanting to see Rapunzel onscreen since I was a wee thing constantly brushing and braiding my big sister's long tresses, ! I know! maybe I'd find this cute? I mean cute like Flynn Rider and his porn name who you know'll start showing up in those lustful Disney fan-fantasies soon enough. If I see it when I'm feeling exceptionally generous, might it be [gasp] fun? We don't see Mother Gothel (the villain) in this teaser but Donna Murphy is providing her voice. Donna Murphy is amazement, trust. Can there at least be an excellent song for her? A "Poor Unfortunate Souls" level classic?

Help me out here with your own yes, no and maybe sos. Tell me I worry too much.
*

25 comments:

David said...

I would argue that the anachronistic jokes and pop culture references go back further than Aladdin. Consider much of Baloo's dialogue in The Jungle Book. Or there's the Fab Four Vultures in the same film.

Owen said...

Ugh. I'm with you about Shrek and all the other animated films that use pop culture references and (gasp) subtle naughty jokes as a means to supposedly make the movies fun for adults. Meanwhile Pixar is making their movies fun for adults by using good storytelling with engaging themes and characters.

I've long dismissed Dreamworks animation but they blew me away with How To Train Your Dragon. Meanwhile non-Pixar Disney has the occasional good one (Lilo & Stitch is a personal favourite) but Tangled looks like a pass.

James T said...

I'm sorry Nathaniel but I can't give you much hope. I find it nearly terrible.

I don't understand why they always think that when they make an animated movie, they have ro remember what year it is. These movies work best when they feel free to be their own thing. I don't want it to be witty (or try to be) in 2010 and 2010 alone terms. I want it to go beyond a specific time period. Whether someone liked Princess and the Frog or not, I think that movie understood that.


And, this teaser was just angry! Action, violence... I even hate his face when he comments on his nose.

I just hope that this teaser what the product of manipulative marketing (but that's what I was hoping for Lovely Bones).

Plus, it's 3D. Oh, the horror!

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

Pop culture references makes movies instantly dated and disposable.

Volvagia said...

Yeah, and it used to be that period comedy at least tried to be ageless. (The General, anyone?)

NATHANIEL R said...

i just don't get why it has to be that way. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is a massive hit and it's not trying to be all "ooh look we're so 2010 hip!"

and Pixar movies rarely fall over themselves to do that -- though Cars is a problem in that ultra NOW and thus entirely disposable way.

BeRightBack said...

Oooh, Nathaniel, it's not you, there is nothing redeeming to be found within that trailer. Except maybe the tentacle-porn possibilities with Rapunzel's prehensile hair.

Linda said...

Huh, that's weird. I saw the international trailer first and I was actually really looking forward to it! So I didn't get why everybody here was so down on it.
The international trailer is here: http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/tangled/trailers/7441
(Funny that it's in Flemish/Dutch - didn't expect to hear my language on an international site!) It's much less violent and much heavier on the fairytale side of things. (Also, Narnia soundtrack! XD) So yeah, if I'd seen this trailer first, I'd probably be doubtful too, but the international trailer is much better imo.

I didn't really get the impression that it was so heavy on the pop culture references. Certainly not to Shrek levels! And like David said, Disney has always had some pop culture references. The pop music in the trailer is annoying, but with Alan Menken doing the music I'm trusting it won't actually get to that in the film.
And I must say I really love the artwork! It's so smooth and 'gentle', and the style is like oldschool Disney, in a way. (I actually compared Flynn's looks with those of Phoebus from Hunchback, to a friend. And then we concluded that Flynn was Phoebus's evil twin.)

So yeah, I'm optimistic. :)

Arden said...

this looks bad. i heard that this was titled "tangled" and a trailer cut with almost no rapunzel to target the young male audience and not seem too girly. hoping to repeat the success of How to Train Ya D? Confirm? Disconfirm?

NATHANIEL R said...

right. i thought about mentioning that ARDEN. How to Train Your D. Gotta get them boys in the theater.

Never mind that Disney should actually be proudly arrogant that they hold a practical monopoly on girl protagonists in cartoon features (in the US at least)

Paul Outlaw said...

Actually, as much as I enjoyed the look and story of How to Train Your Dragon, it bugged me for the same reason: anachronistic, über-American teen language and behavior.

NoNo said...

Wow, very disappointing! I think what you see is what you get with this Teaser Trailer. I was looking forward to this because I never got the vibe that they're trying to hard like they did with The Princess and The Frog.

With that film it was obvious they were trying to fit it in with The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, etc. But this just looks lazy.

But Alan Menken > Randy Newman, so I still have a tiny glimmer of hope.

The Film Junkie said...

This is one time where I'm really looking forward to a case of false advertising! Hopefully this mess of a trailer, which was obviously constructed to entice the young male viewers who skipped on "The Princess and the Frog", is not indicative of the film as a whole. They have a real opportunity to make another classic and I really hope they don't botch it up. I'm another one who doesn't care for the Shrek franchise, so I'd prefer Dear-old-Disney to stay as far away from from that style as possible.

Deborah said...

There are lots of additional reasons this looks bad. The princess looks VERY young. Like, too young to have a Prince Charming ifyaknowwhatImean. The stuff she does with her hair looks...serpentine. Did we give her superpowers when I wasn't looking. The rougish thief isn't rougish, he's just a boor.

James T said...

Deborah, do you wanna bet that she'll use the hair to beat the bad guys just when we all think they're about to kill her hot(??) thief?

Dimitra said...

Am I the only one who liked the trailer? I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, this is definitely NOT the final trailer. Those contain more scenes, plot points etc.

Philip said...

Wow, they definitely should've done more/something different with the teaser. That doesn't make me want to see that at all.

Chris Na Taraja said...

Mine was a "No" a few months ago when you posted the first picture, and now it's a "definitely not". This latest Disney adventure looks like it's marketed to kids who eat too much sugar and act like crack babies.

Anonymous said...

this looks more road to eldorado than actually a disney classic fairy tale...I hated that movie!

NATHANIEL R said...

anon -- good call. it does look more like that. I don't understand why they wouldn't want to model this on beauty & the beast and sleeping beauty and cinderella and whatnot.

Tim said...

Setting aside the (atrocious) pop-comic mentality, what happened to that promised "moving oil painting" aesthetic? The characters look like they stumbled in from the set of Despicable Me.

Anonymous said...

Well the film looks harmless enough, but I think you can forget any relation whatsoever to the Rapunzel classic tale That's probably why they changed the name to 'Tangled'.

Also the same director of Bolt is in this, so it can't be that bad. Not that I'm going to see it.
Also who wants to bet a Kie$ha song will make an appearance?

NATHANIEL R said...

Tim -- yeah that was my first thought too. Didn't they promise a rococo oil painting look? It's more like cheap CGI with supersaturated plastic color.

Volvagia said...

I'm thinking they were trying, but it would have taken much too long and cost way too much. So...Dreamworks style CGI it is.

Volvagia said...

Additionally, the director got replaced and shifted into executive producer. (Read, NO POWER.)