The company’s latest film, Tangled — a modern twist on the classic story of Rapunzel — is set to open in theaters on Wednesday. But according to Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, it will be Disney’s last fairy tale-themed film for the projected future.
“Films and genres do run a course,” Catmull, who oversees Disney Animation along with director John Lasseter, told the Los Angeles Times. “They may come back later because someone has a fresh take on it … but we don’t have any other musicals or fairy tales lined up.”
Disney is known for making fairy tales popular, beginning with Snow White in 1937. Though princesses have usually packed a profitable punch for the company, the last fairy tale-themed film, 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, was “the most poorly performing of Disney’s recent fairy tales,” according to the Times.
In hopes of appealing to a broader audience, the studio is now looking to expand its horizons and come up with movies that can compete with the action films that seem to mesmerize younger moviegoers these days.
However, Disney movies sans princesses and happily ever afters sounds more like a sick joke and a complete paradox than anything else. Only time will tell how long the company can last without retreating to its traditional fairy tale-style films — but for now, it seems we are living on the brink of a redefinition of old school Disney.