Rapunzel Unbraided…

The newly established, but already excellent, Character Design Blog has a few concept art looks at Rapunzel. Word is on the blogstreet that Director Glen Keane is working on retooling the film, which is good since it’s still 3 years before it’s scheduled to hit theatres. I suspect you’ll see a name change and a move away from the ‘Shrek’ style comedy that has been the main complaint regarding Chicken Little.

While six year old kids may not get the kind of humor found in Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, I wonder if that might be a good direction to go with this story. Alternatively she could go all Laura Croft, that long hair might come in hand if you had to repel down a tomb or two.

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17 thoughts on “Rapunzel Unbraided…”

  1. I’m really looking forward to this coming out!

    Even at 16, I’m still a sucker for the disney classics, and I am praying for you NOT to do a Shrek style-comedy. Take us back to the days of Disney Princesses! Make a film like Mulan, like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tarzan! Give us class, subtle comedy, and a charming young woman with attitude!

    You don’t have to listen to me, but seriously, we don’t want nor need another film chock-full of pop-culture references. At the risk of sounding repetitive, take us back to the classics!

  2. I agree completely. I am 19 and still waiting for another good disney classic to come out. I collect the movies and miss the old story lines of true love and life lessons. Please don’t ruin the story of Rapunzel for the younger generation. Give them a real fairy tale that doesn’t include hidden adult comedy. Don’t get me wrong I loves those too but not for this Fairy Tale. It should be done right, the same as the other classics and not to be made into a mockery.

  3. Oh… when I saw the future plans for this movie a year ago at MGM Studios, Orlando, I was ecstatic. I was excited because it LOOKED as if it could be another classic, and not another ‘mockery’. I am only 16, and watch probably of two or three disney classics a month (at least). Please don’t let me down… haha

  4. I’m 21 so i’ve most of you beat age wise, lol. But I love the classic Disney also and have been wanting to see Disney make a Rapunzel movie since I was a child. I’m hoping that this one can top (or at least match) my current top three Disney creations:
    1.Sleeping Beauty
    2.Beauty & The Beast
    3.The Little Mermaid
    I love the romance and clash of good vs evil, mixed with childhood simplicity. Pleasssseeee make my dream come true with this.

  5. I’m a 44 year old mother of a 17 and 20 year old daughters, and I watched nearly all of the Disney movies with them as they grew up. Of all the fairy tales – I love Rapunzel. It is by far my favorite. Winifred from Once Upon a Mattress (Princess and the Pea) comes in a close second. As an artist I greatly admire the work that goes into the making of these animated films. As a mother I am not always impressed with the characters and the plot departures. On the plus side I did read the original Brothers Grim stories as a young girl, and I was pleasantly surprised how much of the Sea Witch’s lair remained in the Disney re-telling of The Little Mermaid. On the negative side I get disturbed by the excessive youthfulness of some of the heroines. I understand that the original fairy tales were written in a time when teens and preteens were considered eligible for marriage. Disney certainly takes artistic liberties with expanding the stories so I like to see the heroines looking more like 18 to 20 year olds at least. Esmeralda, Belle, Aurora, Pocahontas, and Cinderella all appear to be on the age appropriate side. Ariel, Snow White, and Jasmine, however, are all too close to 15 or 16 years old in appearance for my taste. I’ve seen the early release images of the newest heroine, Rapunzel, and to me she looks like she is 12 or 13 years old. I can only hope that this image is from the point in the story where she is first put in the tower by the enchantress. I sure hope the artists age her before she gets to the point in the story where marriage is talked about. I can’t imagine Disney will keep the part of the original Rapunzel story where the enchantress discovers the pregnancy and sends Rapunzel off to live in the desert with her twins. However, it would be nice if there were not a bunch of distracting subplots. I noticed a swirl of fairies and cute Disney like animals that are nowhere to be found in any of the Rapunzel stories I’ve ever read. Rapunzel really doesn’t need a sidekick. Really… she doesn’t. In Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty had cute little animals to talk (and sing to) but they didn’t cross the line into marketing devices like Flounder, Sebastian, or Meeko and Flit.

  6. Whoops! I read the Brothers Grim fairy tales AND Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid as a girl. Oh well… not sure these blogs get read with any kind of urgency for creative input anyhow.

  7. I posted this on the Character Design:

    (NO NO NO….Rapunzel looks like she is 12 years old! This is terrible. Think of all the kiddie porn lovers out there who are going to be watching this and thinking someone’s little girl. And Rapunzel needs to be older. In the Grimms’ fairytale she is 12 years old when she gets locked in the tower. Read this quote from the story.

    “When she was twelve years old, the fairy locked her in a tower that stood in a forest and that had neither a door nor a stairway, but only a tiny little window at the very top.

    When the sorceress wanted to enter, she stood below and called out: Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
    Let down your hair to me.
    Rapunzel had splendid long hair, as fine as spun gold. When she heard the sorceress’s voice, she untied her braids, wound them around a window hook, let her hair fall twenty yards to the ground, and the sorceress climbed up it.

    A few years later it happened that a king’s son was riding through the forest. As he approached the tower he heard a song so beautiful that he stopped to listen. It was Rapunzel, who was passing the time by singing with her sweet voice. The prince wanted to climb up to her, and looked for a door in the tower, but none was to be found.”

    See a few years passed from the time she was locked in the tower until the time came when the prince found her, visited her, and IMPREGNATED HER. Please don’t let them make her look like a 12 year old when the prince comes. Or if you do at least adapt the story so that they become friends and she is returned to her TRUE parents. Please don’t give pediphiles a reason to live!!!!)

  8. I’m a 17 year old BOY and I still love disney movies, beat that (and I’m straight!). I really am glad that disney has learned their lesson and gone back to the classic fairytale heroine that started them out, saved them after dumbo and pinnochio, almost one them an best picture oscar with beauty and the beast and marked the end of their good movies with mulan. BUT PLEASE PLEASE LET IT BE A MUSICAL!!!! It has to be a musical!
    I mean what disney movies are the most memorable and fun? musicals thank you very much.
    I also agree with the comment about it needed to go back to the old days instead of cheesey pop culture references and stupid mockeries.
    Please no tomb raiding with the hair, have mercy
    I’m excited, I’m hopeing for the best, don’t let me down disney!!

  9. I am very excited about the up and coming Rapunzel! When I was 8 years old I had a dream of becoming an animator and tried many times to come up with my own ideas for a future animated film. When I reached 7th grade I had and idea to develope characters for one of the undone fairy tales Rapunzel. When and Animator came to the mall to promote Disney’s up and coming Pocohantas I had a chance to talk to him and show him some of my work. He gave the usual advice on how I could improve and work to become and animator. I was even more determined after that to follow my dream. Now obviously disney has had Rapunzel planned a long time in the making and I know that I had nothing to do with that at all, but I am so excited and thrilled to see the beauty of the art for a movie that I myself had once dreamed of doing. I now look at those old drawings and laugh. But I am truly looking forward to this new development and as any devoted Disney fan can’t wait to see more information on it. I am rooting for this one Disney!

  10. Im 18 years old and i love disney!!! I really hope that disney would go back the way it was. The lion king, mulan, the little mermaid where all such great films. Dont they realise that these recent disney films are rubbish and arnt making that much profit. I hate the new disney films (ratatouille and cars) they are all sooo boring and they are not even funny. Disney films are known for there romantic storylines, fantastic music to sing along too. This is why disney isnt so popular these days. The last good disney film i remember coming out was Tarzan!

  11. In ten years, no one will be waiting cars, treasure planet, chicken little, etc, we raely watch them today. but in ten years poeple will still be watching beauty and the beast, cinderella, little mermaid, etc.

  12. i agree with Seth Bacon, due to the technology of the making of the film, they will end up looking dated, and people will loose interest.
    i mean, dont get me wrong, pixar have done some great films, but i fear that all they shall be remebered for, is their historical value of reaching a new level of animation. 2D has a beauty and quality that has kept it being used for nearly 100 years! Disney didnt have to use 2D, they couldve experimented with Stop Motion or Claymation, but they didnt, 2D films have always been their way, and im glad they shall continue on with them.
    As for Rapunzel herself, obviously, she will not be 12 years of age. Just because Grimms story had her that age, disney wont do it. They wont literally do Grimm, they will just adapt it for their medium. They did it with Anderson, Grim in the past, even with History. Pocahontas was between the age of 12-15 during her story, whereas shes portrayed as 18+ in the film. its the same with all disney princesses, Aurora and Ariel are both 16, and these days disney will not go any younger.
    Snow White is younger than that, around 15 or less, but times have changed, its not socially acceptable for 12 year olds to go running off finding “true love” and get married. She will have to be a decent age.

    Some people have been moaning about Rapunzel herself being a passive heroine, i think judgeing disney in the past, they will not make her a character who sits around waiting for her true love to appear. Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas all did things for themselves and put their stories in motion. people need to remeber that Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella came out around 50+ years ago, when society had a different view on women, it was only with the womans lib movement in the 70’s, that things started to change. Disney do not need yet another disney princess who takes charge, but they will not make the mistake of letting her do nothing. She will be a blend, she’ll have to be, to fit her story and to fit today socially. we just need to give disney a bit of faith thats all!

  13. Well, I am 37 and I am a complete sucker for fairy tales. I agree that what is needed is the old Disney recipe to come back. Rapunzel would be a great start. I also think they need to take a hard look at Thumbelina. NOW that would make the perfect Disney Classic comeback for the old style Disney we all grew up with.

  14. I am excited about this film too. The only hesitation I have is how old Rapunzel is. I know it’s a long time coming and a lot could change, but she looks 12! As much as I loved the little mermaid, Ariel looked so young, and it’s almost at that point where you kinda feel creepy. She made up for it with her script, and seemed beyond her years. My favorite examples of age though are Belle, Cinderella, Mulan, Aurora… No matter what age they were supposed to be, they all seemed at least 18, and that’s the way I think it should be in Rapunzel. When I was little, I loved the Little Golden Books version of the story, and they made her look so beautiful and womanly, not childish like the picture from the film. Here’s hoping…

  15. Cody,

    There’s a fairly good chance designs have changed for the film since we saw the last drawings. That said, doesn’t Rapunzel stay up in her tower a long time, long enough to grow long locks of hair, before she is rescued. So perhaps there is a young and an old Rapunzel.

  16. Hello, John!

    I read your comment about “Rapunzel”… do you know something about new plot of this beloved fairy tale? I know that in 2005 it was a stupid spoofy of fairy tales in which modern day bold girl (named Claire) and fat pizza delivery guy (named Vincent)become Rapunzel and her Prince by a spell of the evil witch… I know that Glen Keane changed the plot in 2006 (thank heaven!) and today the movie isn’t a sort of Shrek ripoff and it is a classical fairy tale with no modern day references…

    So I’m curious to know what is new plot and if Rapunzel is called Rapunzel or her real name is Claire and Rapunzel is a sort of nickname?
    Do you know if Bastion is the name of Rapunzel’s Prince?

    That asked, I really hope Disney doesn’t use scatological humor in this movie… I hate movie in which there are toilet humor gag (I also hate the gag in “Enchanted” in which Pip the chipmuck is involved into a scatological humor gag in the sequence in which Narissa come to New York!)! So I hope Rapunzel hasn’t this sort of horrible gags! I remember old Disney classics (like “Sleeping Beauty” or “Cinderella”) in which there are funny sequences but there aren’t toilet humor gags!

    Thank you by advance, John!

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