Well, before I dish a little bit on Disney’s upcoming animated release, “Tangled” (Which is actually titled Rapunzel in France), I will say that I was a big fan of the Princess and the Frog. Yes, many of the characters were tad bit too superficial and it didn’t pack the emotional pack of some other animated films such as Beauty and the Beast, . . . but it fit the bill. Nice hand drawn animation, good songs and an interesting plot. Plus, who doesn’t love New Orleans?
While the Princess and the Frog received rave critical reviews, it didn’t quite herald the return of great hand-drawn animation storytelling that Disney was known for. This was due in part to the large shadow cast by big sister Pixar, (which is owned by Disney now), and which still cranks out fantastic computer generated animation year after year, due in part to the director lead nature of the company and the premium placed on story. A little art house Pixar CGI film I like to call “Up” debuted in the same year as the Princess and the Frog, and it blew away audiences. ;-)
That being said, I have been following the development of Tangled closely, was blown away by early drawings and backgrounds done over a year ago, and have whispered into the ears of more than a few media types that, yes, Disney has topped the Princess and the Frog and the future of hand drawn animation at the studio is no longer in doubt. With great expectation I’ve seen a number of reviews pour in around the net, based on a special preview of some completed footage of the film screened last Wednesday. What I had seen and heard about the film prior to this event was very similar to what was actually screened.
One reviewer even wrote that, in essence, he was surprised that Disney knew how to make good animated films again. While I’m not yet ready to crow, “I told you so”, I probably will after the film debuts to general audiences. Too bad Roy Disney won’t be with us to witness the second rebirth of animation at the studio.
With the expected success of Tangled, and the stellar success of Toy Story 3, this could be the best year for the studio ever. All I have to say is that you’ve got to see this film for yourself in the theaters rather than waiting for the DVD.
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