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Much like Katey, I absolutely loved Disney's Tangled, the studio's take on the Rapunzel fairy tale. Through and through the film feels like classic Disney, with some great songs, laughs and characters. As successful as the film was, however, it seems as though it will be the last Disney princess movie that we'll be seeing for a while.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the animation studio will not be producing any more fairy tales in the foreseeable future. Feeling that the genre has run its course, Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull and notable producer/director John Lasseter believe that the studio may return to the films at some point, but they don't have "any other musicals or fairy tales lined up." The move is being made because the studio believes that they can reach out to a wider base by filming other material, which is to say that boys don't seem to be too interested in watching movies about princesses. All of this comes after a marketing strategy for Tangled that has been aimed directly at a male audience, starting with the title change and trailers that emphasize the male lead, voiced by Zachery Levi.
There is another issue here, and that's the the whole "Pixar vs. Women" fiasco. The studio has been under intense scrutiny in the past year because no Pixar movies have had a female as the lead character or a women as director. Take away the classic Disney princess and what does the studio have left? Obviously there are other female stories to tell out there, but they're eliminating a staple that has existed since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out in 1937. Let's just hope that the younger male audience will go out to see Tangled, not only because it has a female lead, but because it's simply a damn fine movie.
UPDATE: Ed Catmull left the following message on Disney's Facebook wall:
A headline in today’s LA Times erroneously reported that the Disney fairy tale is a thing of the past, but I feel it is important to set the record straight that they are alive and well at Disney and continue this week with Tangled, a contemporary retelling of a much loved story. We have a number of projects in development with new twists that audiences will be able to enjoy for many years to come. - Ed Catmull