In the headlines today: Disney's move to rename its next animated movie, "Rapunzel." The new name? "Tangled."
Disney execs figure the new name will appeal to boys and have added what they describe as a swashbuckling male lead. Young boys, they think, have shied away from recent Disney films, scared off by a plethora of princesses and titles such as, "Princess and the Frog."
According to today's LA Times, princess marketing might be to blame for Disney's poor recent showings at the box office:
Princesses and other female protagonists helped lead the 1980s and '90s revival of the animation unit with "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Mulan." The difference between those releases and "Princess and the Frog" is that those earlier films weren't marketed as princess movies.
Uh, I beg to differ. The difference between those movies and "Princess and the Frog" is that the older movies were good.
Pay attention, Disney: I have four boys, four manly (boy-ly?) boys. These boys spend their days wrestling and swinging sticks. But while they shy away from the pink princess aisle at Wal-Mart, they're more than happy to watch The Little Mermaid or Cindrella. In fact, this boy-heavy family owns both of those titles. So stop worrying about the demographics and start concentrating on the story. Boys -- and girls -- love a good story.