Rapunzel renamed by Disney 'because it doesn't appeal to boys'
Rapunzel, the much-loved fairytale, is to be rebranded by Disney because its name is too "gender-specific".
The studio's forthcoming version of the Brothers Grimm story will be renamed "Tangled" after market research showed that boys do not like films with girls' names in the title.
Disney bosses believe that is the reason for the disappointing box office performance of its recent offering, The Princess and the Frog.
The flaxen-haired heroine of Tangled will still bear the name Rapunzel when the 3-D film is released in November. However, Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, said of the title change: "We did not want to be put in a box. Some people might assume it's a fairytale for girls when it's not. We make movies to be appreciated and loved by everybody."
The Princess and the Frog would have fared better "if it wasn't pre-judged by its title", Mr Catmull told the Los Angeles Times.
Disney's efforts to attract boys to the film do not end there. The prince who finds Rapunzel imprisoned in her tower has become Flynn Rider, a swashbuckling character who bears more than a passing resemblance to Errol Flynn.
Roy Conli, the film's producer, said: "It's a really fresh, smart take on the Rapunzel story. In our film, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider meets his match in the girl with the 70 feet of magical golden hair. We're having a lot of fun pairing Flynn, who's seen it all, with Rapunzel, who's been locked away in a tower for 18 years."
Not everyone is impressed by the new project. Floyd Norman, a retired Disney animator, said: "The idea of changing the title of a classic like Rapunzel to Tangled is beyond stupid. I'm still hoping that Disney will eventually regain their sanity and return the title of their movie to what it should be."
Disney has also shelved another film, The Snow Queen, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, fearing it will alienate boys.