Since the last entry was about Disney features, let's stay on that roll for one more post.
The New York Review of Books takes a long look at the story that will be Disney animator Glen Keane's first directorial effort:
... Individual fairy tales change in popularity over time. "Rapunzel," for instance, was once much less widely known than "Hansel and Gretel," "Cinderella," "Beauty and the Beast," or "Snow White." Currently, however, it is becoming more popular, with nearly three thousand entries on Amazon alone ... It is a complex story, which includes many classic themes, including a witch who is serially both kinds of bad parent: first imprisoning and then rejecting her daughter ...
... Already a full-length animated Disney film is in production and scheduled to be released in 2009. The director, Glen Keane, has declared that it will be "a story of the need for each person to become who they are supposed to be and for a parent to set them free so they can become that." Clearly, there are parallels here to recent young-adult versions. But Keane has also said that the movie's visual style will be based on the painting The Swing, by the French Rococo artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Since the point of this painting, also known as Les hasards heureux de l'escarpolette, is that the young man standing below the swinging girl (though not the viewer) can see up her foaming skirts, Disney's new "Rapunzel" may turn out to have an unexpectedly erotic undertone.
Uh, I tend to doubt it, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
I do know that the feature's story development has gone through stages: Glen's original, more straight-forward rendering of the Rapunzel fairy tale became -- under Michael Eisner's influence -- the more Shrek-like Rapunzel Unbraided. Now, under John Lasseter's leadership, I'm informed that it's closer to the flavor of the original tale again.
Those who claim to know say the current incarnation of Rapunzel is in solid shape. Doubtless we will discover how true that is when the Girl with Long Hair is released.