Tag Archives: Chicken Little

Tangled (2010)

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

Tangled marks an interesting point in Disney’s evolution. For a decade, Pixar had produced more creative and more artistic films. It had produced more memorable characters and more impactful stories. With that company’s acquisition in 2006, Disney also bought the brains behind Pixar’s magic in John Lasseter.

With Lasseter in charge of all creative for both companies, though, the vision behind each set of films began to meld and slowly become indistinguishable from one another.

Tangled marks a clear beginning of that process. It is the first film that Lasseter oversaw from start to finish. The film was announced a year after Lasseter took hold of the reins and Pixar became part of the Disney family of companies.

With a budget of $250-million, Disney bet big on Tangled being a huge success. Given the box office gold that had come with Lasseter’s previous projects, it was more than likely a safe bet. But it was still $100-million more than anything Disney had spent on a film in the past decade.

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Chicken Little (2005)

Chicken Little sounds the sky-is-falling alarm.

Chicken Little sounds the sky-is-falling alarm.

Chicken Little is a familiar story: An old moral tale about the true meaning of courage and community. Walt had originally produced the story as an animated short in the 1940s, but this modern rendition is a computer-animated romp that touches on the original lessons while losing much of the magic.

The original story that became Chicken Little was actually born in Buddhist scripture. In a story called Duddubha Jataka: The Sound the Hare Heard, a hare is startled by the sound of fruit falling nearby and immediately comes to the conclusion that the world is coming to an end. Terrified, he gathers up all the animals of the forest and together they stampede for safety. A lion quickly stops them, though, and investigates the cause of the noise. Upon realizing it was just a falling fruit, and not the end of the world, the lion restores calm and order. The story is about the power and importance of deductive reasoning and evidence-based actions. It is a classic morality tale.

That story was written approximately 2,500 years ago and it has since morphed into dozens of forms. In the 20th century, it is more commonly called Henny Penny, The Sky is Falling or Chicken Little. It is a story for children. The Disney version of the story is not so far off the original tale. While it takes the traditional liberties the studio has always taken with its source material, it is still about a careless panic squelched by deductive reasoning and calm examination — sort of. This story also has aliens.

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