Tangled, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale from Walt Disney Animation Studios, did quite well for itself this past holiday season. A hit with both critics and audiences alike, it did well at the box office (earning nearly $200 million domestically, and – in its second weekend of release – dethroning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 as box office champ). It did quite well in disc sales, too, raking in over $80 million in its first week of release. It’s ranked in the Top 20 for 2010 on Flickchart, with a healthy 58% win percentage, appearing in 48 users’ individual Top 20 lists. It’s quite charming, hearkening back to the glory days of Disney princesses, and I found it to be thoroughly entertaining.
But am I the only one who has a problem with this?
This is a bit of a companion piece to another article I wrote about movies I don’t love, despite containing some great scenes. In this case, I have movies that I do love, despite the fact that I can acknowledge them to have flaws. These are not necessarily the “Guilty Pleasures” – movies that you know are bad, but love anyway. These are films that are generally considered to be at least pretty good; they all rank in the global Top 2000 on Flickchart, and three rank in the global Top 200. They all rank in my personal Top 200, and two of them are in my Top 20. One is a Best Picture Oscar winner. Three of the other four were nominated for at least one Oscar, and the fifth made many critics’ Top 10 lists the year it came out. I love them all, but I can admit each of them has certain “issues”. Here they are, in ascending order on my Flickchart:
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Following the success of Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy (the third installment of which went on to become only the second entry in that elite “Billion Dollar Club”), it seemed like every studio wanted to jump on the fantasy-adventure bandwagon. And increasingly, the inspiration for such films has seemed to come from books targeted primarily at younger readers. The more popular franchises to arise from this trend were the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series. (The seventh and eighth Potter films are in theaters now and next summer, and the third Narnia film hits in December.)
But for those tired of the big franchises and looking for more one-off adventures, there is a pair of films that were produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies in the past decade that offer plenty of thrills and spills, and entertaining journeys into fantastical realms. They are clearly targeted at family audiences, but it is my opinion that there’s plenty to enjoy in them for adults as well, and I like them both more than the average Potter or Narnia film. So step into the Reel Rumbles ring for a battle of fantastic proportions as we take on The Spiderwick Chronicles vs. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.