This is one of the more interesting posts about the name change of Disney's Rapunzel and other stuff on the Disney docket. From Monday Mouse Watch: Will “Rapunzel” ‘s new title translate into higher grosses for Disney’s next animated fairy tale? by Jim Hill:
As for the reason that Disney opted to change “Rapunzel” ‘s title to “Tangled” … According to the Mouse’s market research, it would seem that – outside of the United States & Germany – the story of Rapunzel itself has very little name recognition. More to the point, even those among surveyed who actually recognized Rapunzel’s name, these people had little or no knowledge of what her fairy tale was actually about. They knew that this story featured a princess with long hair who was trapped in a tower. But beyond that … zippo.
So here was Disney’s marketing department trying to trade on Rapunzel’s name recognition only to then discover – outside of the U.S. & Germany – this fairy tale didn’t really have any name recognition. Which then forced the Studio to rethink how it was going to sell this particular animated feature.
And thoughts on The Princess and the Frog's influence on the decision:
Speaking of Princess Tiana: Of all the Disney Princess dolls that were sold over the 2009 Christmas shopping season, Tiana moved the most units. Which is pretty extraordinary for a brand-new character.
So as far as DCP is concerned, “The Princess and the Frog” was a home run. They’d love it if WDFA turned out a new movie like that every year. Whereas the folks on the Studio side of things, who judge success not by how many dolls were purchases, but – rather – by how many tickets were sold … “TPATF” ‘s grosses weren’t quite what they were looking for.
Which bring us back to “Rapunzel” … Or – as this film is now known – “Tangled.” As I understand it, in an effort to win over young men, to convince them that this Holiday 2011 release is far more male friendly that “The Princess & the Frog,” the posters, trailers and TV ads for this upcoming WDFA production will place a pretty heavy emphasis on Rapunzel’s love interest, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider.
I don't really know what to think about it all and haven't done much reading about the topic. When I worked in Burbank, I learned to never expect Disney's corporate mind to stay the same from one minute to the next. But it's always fun to sit back and watch when I don't have a rabbit in the race. This time I'm just happy none of my personal friends are losing jobs in the hand drawn department...they were all let go almost ten years ago when the same kind of events took place.