Thursday, September 16, 2010

Second Rapunzel trailer less Tangled than the first

Disney has released a second trailer for its November fairy tale, Rapunzel, which I refuse to call by its more marketable than thou name.

That's appropriate, considering this trailer is much more Rapunzel-centric than the first trailer, which baffled many  people, including me. Disney seemed to be trying so hard to sell a princess movie to boys that it seemed to me to be in danger of selling its soul. It was just this sort of clouded thinking that contributed to Disney animation's decline in the past decade.

I will give credit where it's due. The new trailer is an improvement over the first. Maybe that's because I'm somewhat old-fashioned in my Disney tastes, and because I think Mandy Moore, who voices the lead, is an underrated talent.

But Disney isn't quite out of the woods here, in more ways than one. The trailer gives no indication that the movie is a musical, but it is - with songs by Alan Menken, no less - the composer of Disney's latter glory days who wrote the music for the "big three" - The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Shouldn't that be a selling point?

Apparently not. Does Disney think that the mention of songs will send today's kids screaming for the hills, even in a more female-centric trailer?

Then again, Menken's partner on this picture is Glenn Slater, who collaborated with him on the utterly forgettable songs for the udderly forgettable Home on the Range, so maybe Disney has a point, though I prefer to give Menken the benefit of the doubt.

At the very least, this new trailer gives me more hope than the old trailer that Rapunzel will be a fun film - even if Disney's marketing is awfully tangled.

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