Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tangled Poster/Twisted Marketing...

Disney Marketing department, what the hell are you thinking???

The latest poster for Walt Disney Pictures' "Tangled" is out...

Memo To The Mouse: This. Is. Not. A. DreamWorks. Film.

As I've said before, I don't care too much for the marketing that is being done for this film. It's deceptive, it's manipulative and it bares very little resemblance to the actual film they're trying to promote. Let me be clear, I've not seen the film yet, but I've talked to several who have. I've had e-mail discussions with others and I've talked to a couple Bothans that worked on it. I've also seen the reactions from those that have been to the screenings too. And everything I get from that is a world away from what the marketing department has delivered.

I think the "Boy Factor" and the "Princess Factor" have been blown way out of proportion in their decision to portray this film as hip, edgy and something that boys will clamor to go see. In fact, I think the marketing department should be fired. They've done a horrible job promoting this film. Then again, look at the marketing job they've done for "Tron Legacy" and see the difference. It's pretty good, hmmm? Perhaps they've just forgotten how to publicize a Disney animated film?

Because from all I've been able to gather, this film resembles a cross between "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty," not "Shrek" or "The Road to El Dorado." I've heard testimonials from people that said this is a truly great animated film: hauntingly beautiful and filled with moments that will make you laugh and cry. From the beginning to the end it is every bit as worthy of the Disney Animation moniker as those classic films from the 50's to the 80's. Take my advise and don't let the trailers or posters keep you from seeing this. See it for yourself and judge it for yourself.

Let's just hope the marketing department hasn't forgotten how to promote "Winnie the Pooh" come this time next year...


Anonymous said...

Well the marketing department isn't the only ones making it look like a Dream Works film, the stylization of the characters looks rather like a Dream Works film, and having a "celebrity" voice doesn't help too much either.

Honor Hunter said...

Totally disagree with you, Anonymous. The styling of the characters look straight out of Glen Keane. Look at "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin." It looks exactly like his style and much like the films from the 50's/60's. Look at the horse from "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad." Everything I've seen in design rings true from Glen's wonderful renderings.

As for the celebrity voices? If I didn't know who they were, I wouldn't know who they were. The guy from "Chuck" isn't going to register on the radar of 90% of the people. And Mandy Moore isn't exactly Angelina Jolie. The only people who will be bothered are those that care enough to look it up. Ehh...

Anonymous said...

50s to the 80s? So it's not as good as the films from the 90s then? Winnie the Pooh is going to be slaughtered because it's being released the same day as the final Harry Potter. Even crazed Disney fans like me won't be there. I think there's a conspiracy to make these films fail :(

Animated Response said...

"50s to the 80s? So it's not as good as the films from the 90s then?"

He's referring to the start of the second golden age in 1989. You know, nineteen EIGHTY nine.


J said...

Winnie the Pooh will be marketed to the Toddler crowd. Is my fear.

I've heard great things about this film, at the same time I'm trying to distance myself from what the story will or might be about as much as I can. I want to go in fresh without any preconceived notions.

My greatest fear however is they've killed this movie without any hope of survival by putting Tangled and Winnie the Pooh up against the final Harry Potter films. I'll be seeing it, supporting it, and hope to enjoy it. But I really don't think it stands much of a chance. Maybe word of mouth will help it proper.

A2Z said...

Ok, I have to speak up. I am one of the people who were lucky enough to see the film the other night.

I want to answer a couple of questions.

Many people are thinking this is has a Dreamworks type of feel. Based on the trailer, I can see why many would think that. But trust me, it's classic Disney! I was hoping to enjoy it, but afraid of it being another mess of Shrek-type jokes. It's not. In fact, what Honor wrote is a good description of the characters and tone of the film. Sleeping Beauty meets Little Mermaid. It has a very 50's Disney feel to it. The animation also is drop dead gorgeous! I have never seen a Disney film with such staggering imagery. That lantern scene alone tops even my favorite scenes. It's the Kiss the Girl scene in this film. Please don't stay home and not see this film based on the trailers. It's a wonderful film full of everything I love about watching those classic Disney films.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Disney handle the marketing for Pixar films for the most part?

Anonymous said...

It's too early to judge the marketing of this film from just the trailers. There have been several accompanying making of videos and discussions with the filmmakers the past couple of weeks now and it has been pretty straight forward to what the movie is about. The most recent ones released have been very revealing.

As with the trailers, I like how it doesn't really give anything away about the movie itself. It provides a sense of mystery about the film while at the same time making it appealing to a mass audience which otherwise wouldn't go see a movie like this if they knew it was a musical. Hey if it makes people think it's a Dreamworks kind of movie and gets butts in the seats then i'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

In one trailer, Rapunzel says something like, "Shut up! Best. Day. Ever!" This is an example of hugely irritating, 15-year-old girlspeak found in today's high schools - a hallmark of the Shrek franchise - or worse.

Every moment of the trailers reflects writers & directors listening to their youth coaches. Some of the above comments reek of studio plant.

Anonymous said...

I agree. While I'm not a fan of the marketing, if it lures in more people then good luck to them. Plus, if Disney manages to regain the public's trust then further down the line they probably won't have to market films this way again.

Connie Moreno said...

*taking a deep breath*

OK guys, I think it's up to us to spread the word to everyone who will listen that this movie is going to be GOOD. I am going to start by referring my friends and blog followers to read this blog post.

Cory Gross said...

At this point I'm not sure which is worse, the advertizing or the sheer number of people coming out of the woodwork to say "no really, trust me, it's not at all like any of the advertizing, go see it, for real."

I dunno'... I'll have to see what the mass audience says. In the mean time, I'm just about ready to give up on seeing anything new out of Disney that I like. Maybe some of the upcoming live action films will be good, but with the animated stuff and Pixar and the way the parks are continuously being handled, I'm getting prepared to hunker down with my DVDs of old Disney stuff and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

Fair criticism about the poster, but I think it's a VERY minor concern. I can feel the struggle of the Disney marketing department on how to promote this film, after "Frog Princess" under-performed last year, and other fairly recent Disney animations like Bolt, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons maybe didn't do as well as hoped.

It seems maybe that Disney is purposely keeping the trailers and posters mostly generically hip and non-specific, hoping to not dissuade anybody. The Disney name alone will bring a HUGE audience, especially over the holidays. Despite not being overly wowed by any Tangled advertisement, I'm far more intrigued to see the Disney film than Megamind, another film by Dreamworks that LOOKS like another film by Dreamworks (not always a good thing.)

Most films released on Thanksgiving depend GREATLY on word of mouth to gain big commercial success. If Tangled is as good as the early buzz, audiences will be filling seats all the way through Christmas, no matter what the poster looks like.

spacemtn77 said...

Not that it makes it better, but isn't this poster for international markets? I think the only "official" poster we've had in the US has Flynn and Rapunzel peeking through all of the hair. US Trailer #2 is a million times better than US Trailer #1 IMHO. The song by Pink really trashed the whole thing. /rant

Hugh Hogwarts said...

"Every moment of the trailers reflects writers & directors listening to their youth coaches. Some of the above comments reek of studio plant."

And your comments reek of someone hoping the film will fail. Watch it, if you don't like it, then tell everyone it's bad and be done with it. Just don't condemn it before you've even seen it.

As for those "studio plants," they sound remarkably like the people that have seen test screenings of this.

Imagine that.

j said...

'"The Disney name alone will bring a HUGE audience, especially over the holidays""

While this would be true maybe 10 years ago, in todays market Disney's name brings no more attention then any of the other dozen or so animation studios and movies being released a year. They've become lost in a shuffle of a crowded industry which they longer stand apart from.

An example of the Disney name no longer being able to bring in a crowd is The Princess and the Frog. Classic Disney magic, music and storytelling. Unfortunately as good as it was, audiences didn't flock out to see it. And it ended up being a flop. Time may tell a different story (the little mermaid), but studios aren't sitting around to wait anymore. If they don't see a return in opening weekend sales, then it's immediately a failure in their books.

In fact the only 2 films this year that have brought in a profit (albeit a large profit) were franchises sold based on someone elses name. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Pixar's Toy Story 3.

Don't get me wrong, I want Tangled to do well, I want it to be successful and I want everyone to enjoy it. My enjoyment is number one, but it's important for me to see Disney succeed again in the field that gave them face.

Kevin Bruehl said...

Disney is nothing like Dreamworks. WHat's the difference? Disney makes great films, Dreamworks doesn't. I loved the Princess and the Frog and I am really looking forward to this. I've always loved Disney. Heck even Steve Martin worked there. I'm not an expert in marketing, but this still looks good. Thanks for not comparing it to Shrek, I still don't know why that's on the top ten list of animated films. Let's replace it with Iron Giant. Anywho, so many people are fans of Disney and I think they'll love this. I can maybe understand why they they changed the title, but I still think Rapunzel was better, oh well, won't affect the quality of it.

Theme Park Fan said...

I truly believe the marketing has tanked this one big time Not only does tracking have this at 35 million for thanksgiving weekend but it only shows a 135 million domestic gross , you can take this one step further . Facebook fans have it at number 23 with only 18,900 thats lower than megamind, and Alpha and Omega compare that with Tron which is in the top 10 with over 100,000 followers clearly disney marketing isnt reaching its audience and portraying it to its potentiald .
I am afraid of anotehr disney animation flop and the eventual shuttering and then it would just be pixar..
Marketing better come up with something catchy and soon!

Pixie Arrhh said...

"While this would be true maybe 10 years ago, in todays market Disney's name brings no more attention then any of the other dozen or so animation studios and movies being released a year."

Not really true, sorry. Yeah, it has lost some value, but the name Disney means quite a bit. That's why it's still attached to the Pixar name in adds. As for the erosion of the brand. That's one of the reasons Lasseter canned the cheapquels. Although they aren't for me, the Tinkerl Bell stories are a much higher quality. Not as much as the theatrical, but if they were that good then they would be theatrical. Since being in charge for the last four years, Lasseter and Ed have had to try and turn the ship around, so to speak. It's taken time, but the films, straight to DVD titles and such have all dramatically improved. Tangled has been getting great reviews despite a horrible marketing campaign and after this comes Pooh. I've talked to people that have seen it and say it's very good. It's my belief that as of next year, the ship will have been turned around and heading in the right direction. It took a while, but with new and exciting projects coming out after the lull of 2012, WDAS will once again be the animation house that is looked at as the standard bearer.

Anonymous said...

At least this movie is bound to be better than NEXT year's holiday Disney film...the Muppets. If it even gets made, that is.

Anonymous said...

"Disney makes great films, Dreamworks doesn't."

Not true anymore. With Dreamworks pumping out films along the lines of Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks has definitely taken a big successful step forward. What amazed me about How to Train Your Dragon was that it had no pop culture references, it was just a good story told in a classic setting with great visuals and style.

Meanwhile, Disney is giving us this- "Shut up! Best. Day. Ever!"

Call me a hater, whatever, but Disney has given up with its films and I garuntee you Dreamworks will continue to outperform it in the coming years (sans Pixar of course).

Nathan Birnbaum said...

How to Train Your Dragon didn't look that great based on the trailer, but I went and saw it. It's my second favorite DW film after Panda. In fact, those two are the only quality films they've made in my opinion and Kung Fu Panda is the only one that is as good as a Pixar film. Dragon was close though.

If del Toro is involved in their films it can only mean that they're going to be making a considerable improvement in quality. They'll be a real challenge, that said, I don't see Disney giving up on animated films. You should see it before you condemn it. I hope you don't judge everything based on such a small amount of proof. Very shallow, I'd hate to be your friend with you making such rash decisions.

If it sucks, it sucks, but I have faith in John Lasseter. He's brought the quality up to a much higher standard. If Tangled turns out to be a DreamWorks type film I will be disappointed, but I also don't believe that will happen. Especially after hearing some of the reviews.

As for the Muppets film, it'll be out next year during the holidays, deal with it. I can't believe the Muppet Trolls that like to frequent these comment sections.

Disney Parks Mania said...

Great post. It will be interesting to see how this film turns out... check out the new Disney blog, Disney Parks Mania!

Colorado Sweetie said...

Marketing is about getting people into the theater. What they see and then how it gets marketed by word of mouth will be totally different. Shrek type movies are usually a huge success and they are following the way those movies are marketed to get people into the seats. Full seats=money. It may not be the way any of us would market this movie but it may work for Disney. I personally do not see a movie because of the marketing. I see a movie because it looks interesting or fun or scary.....

Anonymous said...

"Very shallow, I'd hate to be your friend with you making such rash decisions."

Get over yourself. No reason to attack him like that because you disagree with him.

"I personally do not see a movie because of the marketing. I see a movie because it looks interesting or fun or scary....."

And... a film looks interesting or fun or scary from the marketing... that's what marketing is...

T said...

Maybe some of you need to read some of the reviews from that 'work-in-progress' test screening for media not too long ago.

Then you all might not be so quick to condemn Disney and this film before it even sees the light of day...

Anonymous said...

"In one trailer, Rapunzel says something like, "Shut up! Best. Day. Ever!" This is an example of hugely irritating, 15-year-old girlspeak found in today's high schools - a hallmark of the Shrek franchise - or worse."

SIGH...She does NOT say "shut up". Where they hell did you get that idea from? I guess you are just trying too hard to find something to complain about.

Honor--I understand what you mean, but the important thing is that its a good movie. Can you really blame them for trying to get butts in theater seats? I think you are being a little rough on the marketing guys. If they do succeed in attracting the "boy" crowd, then what's the harm?

As I've said before, the competition is absolutely FIERCE these days, You can't blame them from trying to attract people.

I mean, its AWESOME if Tangled is a good movie. But you also said that Bolt and Princess and the Frog were good, (which they were, I enjoyed both of them) and yet neither of them got the attention that they deserved.

I'd REALLY appreciate your comments about this Honor. :)

These days you rarely respond to someone's comments.

Anonymous said...

Given how badly Disney's marketing department is handling Tangled makes you wonder how it's going to handle the campaign for the Muppet movie. Making that look even lamer than it's probably going to be will be a challenge even for them.

Anonymous said...

...And I have one more thought;

The bottom line is, being a good movie just isn't enough anymore sadly, (at least for Disney)
These days audiences are very discriminatory. People need to be lured to the theater.

The reason why people flock to Pixar films is because Pixar has ALWAYS made good movies. Pixar has such a following these days, that even if one of their upcoming films looks like a stinker to some, they will STILL go see it, because its a Pixar film.

People are still learning to trust Disney Animation again.

The sad truth is, even though Tangled is in all probability a good movie, it will still get clobbered by Dreamworks' Megamind.

So Honor, I guess what I'm saying is,
I do believe you when you say that Tangled feels like classic Disney. That's great and all, but with all due respect, what's your point? That fact is not going to put bread on the table.

Notice that Megamind is also being marketed as "hip" and "edgy"..
And it is definitely going to beat Tangled, unfortunately.

Despite the fact that Disney Animation is making good movies these days, sadly they just can't catch a break these days. You can't blame them for trying to learn people the the theater. They are just trying to get butts in theater seats.

Anonymous said...

Facebook Likes

Megamind: 20.035 likes

Tangled: 20.190 likes

Maybe you guys are bashing Disney a little bit too early.

So, dont worry, this movie will be great and a lot of people are going to see it in November(not to mention that it will be more successful than Megamind as you can see in the likes of facebook).

Anonymous said...

Gigglesock has got to STOP posting here as "anonymous". As if he is actually fooling anyone.

Anyone who hates the Muppets is a heartless creep with no soul.

Anonymous said...

^Mupp has GOT to stop stalking people whose opinions he disagrees with. Although I do admit I find it amusing, if pitiable, at times. If negative remarks about your felt and foam-rubber gods bother you, Mupp, you'd better stick to that website full of your fellow sock-worshippers, and far away from places like the Tosh.O site at Comedy Central. People there have a low opinion of your gods, but they do have a sense of humor, which means it's not your kind of place.

As for "Tangled", well, if its wrong-headed advertising harms it at the box office, that'll be a damn shame. I'm rooting for WDA to do well, especially after that excellent Christmas special it created last year. Anyway, ads or no ads, I'll be seeing Tangled, especially after reading Hunter's comments about it. He's been right about stuff before.

Anonymous said...

There are a few other things that I would like to adress here;

"It's deceptive, it's manipulative and it bares very little resemblance to the actual film they're trying to promote."

You aren't very familiar with marketers are you Honor?

My point is, that is what marketers ALWAYS do. As I said before, they are just trying to sell tickets. That's their job.

Disney Animation has gone back to making good films, but sadly the public doesn't seem to care, can you really blame them for trying to attract people? They are grasping at straws here. Even though they are making good films again, they just can't catch a break.

And thinking that they should be fired?
I've been following your blog for a few years, and I've never seen you act so arrogant with such a "They suck, I could do better" attitude.

You act as if the marketing for "The Princess and the Frog" worked like a charm.

REGARDLESS of how good of a movie that Tangled is, it will obviously get beaten by Dreamworks' Megamind...Unfortunate, but most likely true.

In 2008, you sang the praises of BOLT (A good movie to be sure, but it did not get the attention that it deserved.)

In 2009, you sang the praises of "The Princess and the Frog" (Again, a good movie that did not get the attention that it deserved)

Now in 2010, you are singing the praises of Tangled...Guess what will happen?

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Disney Animation, and I WANT to see them succeed. I enjoyed both BOLT, and Princess and the Frog.

I think that Lasseter is awesome.

But sadly, the public just doesn't care anymore (from a box office point of view)
The public would much rather spend big bucks to watch crap films like Twilight, and other movies that are light on story, but big on special effects and hype.

And speaking of how mindless the public is, most people go to see Pixar films NOT ONLY becuase they make good films, but because they have been totally brainwashed. They believe that Pixar can do no wrong.
At the D23 Expo, I spoke with a girl who was not looking forward to Tangled/Rapuzel because it was CGI, she said that she liked Pixar films better...and she didn't even know who John Lasseter was. (Although she seemed to like BOLT)

And a few weeks ago at DCA, I spoke with a girl who had a believe that Pixar films were the best.

Ever since BOLT, Disney Animation has been making good films again, but most people still assume that Pixar and Dreamworks are not equal, but better than Disney Animation.

Oh, and for the record, as long as Disney Animation makes films with strong stories and top-notch animation, then I don't care which animation method is used.

I didn't mean to write so much, but I had a lot to say. I just think that you are being way too hard on the marketers and are not seeing this from the right POV.
I just wish that you would address some of the points I've mentioned here sometime Honor.