28 November 2010
My Thoughts on Tangeld
The movie is a completely unabashed princess musical, but it's well done, emotionally compelling, and the plot makes more sense than the Disney Studio's "Frog" effort.
Some of it's recycled: the stepmother-witch looks like Bernadette Peters' creation of the witch from the stage musical "Into the woods", the characters are very familiar looking Disney fairy-tale "types" (right down to "funny horse #2) and the lead girl is a trapped princess who dreams of the outside world.
But it works. (possible spoilers ahead)
Rapunzel's hair as a magic McGuffin adds a great co-dependency subtext to her relationship with her possessive mother who comes off more as a deeply creepy child-star mom, than simply "Witch type #2".
The sorrowful King and Queen are silent, which is possibly the best decision made on the movie.
They are sincere characters, but really not important to the main story except as plot devices. By having all their scenes in pantomime they're treated as "too important to talk", giving them gravitas and status at the same time saving the audience the trouble of sitting through unnecessary speaking roles.
To me this proves that genre doesn't denote quality. As I see it: genre(as far as marketing goes) is little more than a list of settings and situations. Castles mean "fairy tale". Six shooters mean "western". But the requirements of genre say nothing about the stuff that really matters in a story like compelling characters, a well-written scenario or if the audience cares.