"Rapunzel" Goes Gender-Neutral (With An Homage To "Fairy Tale Theatre.")S

Since Disney believes the title Frog Princess alienated boys, "Rapunzel" is now "Tangled." Happily ever after?

Says the producer, "In our film, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider meets his match in the girl with the 70 feet of magical golden hair...We're having a lot of fun pairing Flynn, who's seen it all, with Rapunzel, who's been locked away in a tower for 18 years." We're imagining Enchanted, but with Pantene-style tresses. As the LA Times tells us, "hints of swashbuckling action are already being leaked online."

There are of course plenty of other reasons for the studio to rejigger a story that's long been considered the most cut-and-dried of the rescue narratives. And I won't lie, anything that evokes Errol Flynn gets more of a pass with me than it really should. But the issue, as Disney sees it, is that, wait for it, the fairy tales are too inclined to have female protagonists. Well, yes. If they think they're going to fool kids into thinking Rapunzel is a newly-conceived action film - well, actually, maybe they will.

For those of us raised on Fairy Tale Theatre, however, it's hard to envision much of an improvement on Shelley Duvall's captured princess, who managed to have plenty of psychological depth and an evolved relationship with the prince without reinventing the wheel. Indeed, FTT would be a useful template for anyone seeking to adapt the classic stories: it modernized without excessive snark, gave a ton of actors work, and managed to always retain the stories' essential creepiness. Not to mention, Errol Flynn was a statutory rapist.


Disney Restyles 'Rapunzel' To Appeal To Boys
[LA Times]