First things first. I’ve decided to take advantage of all the hoopla surrounding CYBER MONDAY and have marked down all regularly-priced items in the Theater Hopper store by 50%.

So, if you’re looking to pick up a copy of Theater Hopper: Year Three for $7.50 or a Spoiler I t-shirt for $5.00, now is the time to do it. Because I promise you prices will NEVER be this low at any other time during the year.

Incidentally, I should mention that I attended a local craft/art show called Market Day this weekend and both Spoiler I and Spoiler II shirts were selling like hotcakes. People clearly saw the value of these shirts as original gift ideas and these items are perfect for the movie-lover in YOUR family this holiday season.

This is the first CYBER MONDAY I’ve ever participated in, so let’s make it worth everyone’s while, shall we?

Now let’s talk about the comic…

Hey, ladies! Nothing like some dude telling you what does and what doesn’t qualify as a feminist manifesto, huh?

Yeah, I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Except, well, I saw Tangled this weekend (and by the way, it’s really good) and I couldn’t help but think about the positive message it sends to young girls in terms of confronting your fears and putting your destiny in your own hands.

Disney films – particularly Disney “princess” films – get a bad rap for delivering demoralizing messages to young girls. Both Tangled and The House of Mouse’s previous film The Princess and The Frog I think have done a good job of reversing that trend.

It’s true that Disney decided to name the film Tangled instead of Rapunzel after the box office failure of The Princess and The Frog and out of fear that they were alienating boys from the audience – which is lame. But ultimately, I think it’s the content of these two films that will win out.

Both Rapunzel and Tiana are capable and determined young women who aren’t exactly sitting on their hands waiting for a man to sweep them off their feet and create a better life for them. These are heroines who not only have a sense of their own destiny, but want direct ownership of how it is forged.

With criticisms of Disney’s history in mind, the fact that Rapunzel uses a frying pan as a weapon in the movie felt somewhat deliberate to me – especially when coupled with the “kept” woman metaphor and being locked away from society. Think about controlling husbands – the “go make me a sammich” neanderthals who dictate their wife’s social life, the friends she can see and who she’s allowed to talk to.

I know it’s a kids movie and I’m likely projecting all of this onto something completely innocent. All I’m saying is that the frying pan is kind of prominent in the film (with several callbacks) and I kind of can’t ignore it as a visual cue.

As for the movie itself, I’ll say that after reading a few reviews online that my expectations were set kind of low. A lot of people complained that the film was derivative other (better) Disney movies by referencing specific scenes from those classics.

They’re not exactly wrong. Tangled does mirror it’s predecessors at times. During the barroom sing-a-long “I’ve Got A Dream,” one can’t help but be reminded of Gaston’s illustrious ode to himself in Beauty and the Beast. Near the end of the film, Rapunzel and her romantic interest Flynn Ryder sit together on a boat while paper lanterns float around them in a scene reminiscent of The Little Mermaid. The painterly style of the film immediately places it in league visually with films like Sleeping Beauty.

But where these critics saw these references as unimaginative, I found them to be wholly deliberate.

Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated feature. That’s a significant achievement. To that end, it seems only reasonable that the animators might want to visually reference their older films. To me, it was no different than when the producers of Die Another Day (the 20th film in the James Bond) franchise decided to litter references to the previous 19 films throughout the movie.

If I were to make any complaints about Tangled, it would be that original songs by Alan Menken aren’t entirely memorable. But I wasn’t particularly bothered by that because I’m of the opinion that Disney’s adherence to the archetype of a musical narrative really doesn’t fit with contemporary audience expectations. Unless the songs are absolutely stellar, there’s not much reason to include them. Aside from selling copies of the soundtrack, of course. Menke’s songs didn’t detract from the overall experience. But I wouldn’t say they added anything, either.

If you haven’t seen Tangled yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. They film has energy, life and continues Disney’s upward trend in animation after a string of duds the last few years. You’ll definitely walk out of the film feeling a little bit of that old Disney magic.

Did anyone else here see Tangled this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget about the Cyber Monday sale going on until midnight CST tonight! Everything in the store is half-off! Tell your friends and have a great week!

↓ Transcript
Tangled is a feminist manifesto!

Using a frying pan as a weapon - a symbol of "kept" women everywhere - Rapunzel knock out her oppressors and engages with the world on her OWN terms!

Yeah, but didn't she essentially have to commit matricide to do it?


Tangled is a HOMICIDAL feminist manifesto!