Disney's 'Tangled': Do We Have the Right to Complain?

Jeanne Sager

TangledIt's hard to see the all-encompassing Disney as a victim.

But in the uproar over the upcoming Rapunzel remake Tangled, Disney is facing a hairy situation -- no pun necessary.

Unable to satisfy the mothers of girls with their wussy princess "role models," the Mouse opted to turn Tangled into a "prince" vehicle for attracting boys.

And just pissed the feminists off more.

Take the scathing review of an as-yet-to-be-viewed movie at Feministing:

This is not a feminist win. Disney princesses aren't always the best role models, but girls get to be the lead in the story. Disney deciding girls aren't worth marketing their films to (or if the trailer is at all accurate, making movies for) is not a victory. It's a reshaping of children's culture into a more male-centric place. This is Disney deciding to consider girls about as worthless as Hollywood considers women.

And at Broadsheet:

As delicious as the thought of a less princessy "princess" film may be, Disney's reasoning for it is just as big a feminist bummer as Ariel giving up her voice to get a man. It's the same line we hear about why women can't open films made for grown-ups -- the female market just isn't profitable enough, and men won't go see chick stuff. Never mind that female-driven movies like Sex and the City, Mamma Mia, and the Twilight franchise have been phenomenally successful in recent years, or that so many of the movies aimed at women are unwatchable schlock, or that no one ever worries about the future of male-oriented films, even when highly anticipated ones fail to perform. Women are an unpredictable niche market that just happens to be slightly over half the population. Deal with it.

I'm not going to defend a movie I have yet to see. It could be an all out suckfest, and this trailer leaves a lot to be desired:

But a little perspective: Sometimes, ladies, it's not all about us.


I say this both as a woman and the mother of a little girl: I'm shocked at times by our hubris. Because while our grandmothers, mothers, and nay we claim to fight simply for equality to men, this sniping about a male character smacks of one-upmanship.

We're not happy with princess movies. But please, oh please, don't take them away -- they put the spotlight on us and our harping.

My daughter has shelves full of princess movies. AND Cars AND Toy Story AND the other "boy" titles that we feminists have clamored for rights to for our daughters lest we be accused of pushing gendered thoughts on our daughters.

The ability to vroom a Lighting McQueen model across the living room is the balm on the wound ripped open when she walked into said living room in a poufy pink princess gown.

So why can't they own a "prince" movie? Done right -- and remember, no one has actually SEEN what Disney has concocted -- and we could finally have the positive role model for boys that Princess Tiana proved to be for our girls.

Or we could continue to bemoan the dopey princes Charming, Phillip, et. al and deny Disney has any responsibility to repair their boy-centric models.

But then no one would be talking about us.


Image via Disney

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