Hello, Spongey here.
I’ve talked on here about how Disney’s been on kind of a role. They’ve hit sort of a new renaissance with every film being a hit and quite good to boot. You already know this and i don’t need to explain it further.
Plenty, including I, have talked about their recent string of hits. I even went into Meet the Robinsons, which kind of headstarted this new renaissance. But of course, that didn’t officially launch it in the eyes of most.
Two other films worked together to do that, as they proved they could still honor their roots while still giving audiences something new. The first one came in 2009 with The Princess and the Frog.
This brought back 2D animation that captured the feeling of their 90’s renaissance films while still updating things rather nicely. It was very well received but the box office…well, it did pretty well but they expected a HUUUUGE hit.
As such, they went forward with more CG films and when they tried 2D again with Winnie the Pooh it bombed hard enough for them to stop 2D films all together. But hey, at least it didn’t end on Home on the Range this time.
The following year in 2010, they had their first CGI Princess film with Tangled. This had some odd advertising making it look a lot goofier but it turned to be actually good, doing what Princess and the Frog did just in CG and differently enough for this one to be a big hit.
It worked out so well with Tangled they used what they learned on that to create Frozen a few years later. The rest as they say, is history. You know all this stuff already but i needed to set the stage.
For some reason, there’s been a debate on if Tangled or Frozen or better. They only compare them because they happen to be CG Princess Films, really. Now it’s all repeating itself with Moana but i digress.
I don’t have much to say about that debate, at least without pissing off the Tangled side . I’ll just say that I’m surprised there aren’t more debates about if PATF and Tangled are better. I mean, they are more similar in terms of what they are.
Sure, Tangled ended up winning the battle in term of success and memorability, which i suppose might be why there’s no debate. But I think they are close in quality and critical reception was roughly the same.
Honestly, I’ve gone back and forth on which i like more, while i can pick my winner on Tangle Vs Frozen very easily. Which is why i think i want to analyze this. I’ve been thinking of doing this for awhile now, but i think now’s the time to do that.
And I’m not just saying that because Tangled has an animated series debuting soon. …Well, maybe but i still had this idea for while. I really like both these movies a lot but which one is better?
I’m not even sure at the moment, but it’s time to figure it out. Which does the better job of staying true to the Classic Disney Tropes while still keeping itself relevant? Which had the best characters, best story, and best songs?
It’s time to find out.This is a bit different for me so bear with me.
This, is The Princess and the Frog Vs Tangled
(We won’t compare animation since it’s a bit unfair due to the different mediums)
I figured we’d start with a simpler one before getting into the bigger elements. Well, okay, music is kind of important in a Disney Musical but you know what i mean. Both films have a pretty good, but mostly not great soundtrack so picking one is a tad hard.
Neither one has a bad song in it though, so there’s that. Princess and the Frog certainly has more of a concrete style to it, with there being a certain jazzy sound to most of the songs, taking full advtange of the setting.
But each song still stands on it’s own, and is a good example of each type, from the I Want Song to the villain song. In contrast, Tangled doesn’t have as quite as strong as a style. There’s some debate on if it is a good musical and I’m kinda torn.
All the songs are pretty good and memorable enough, but it’s really more of a movie with a few songs in it than a real musical. There’s like 4 orginal songs the rest of the soundtrack is made of reprises of those songs. Good reprises, mind you, but still.
Again, neither soundtrack is amazing because they do kind of blend in with the kind of songs we expect from Disney and not many will make a best disney songs list…for the most part. Friends on the Other side is one of my favorite Disney Villain Songs and is just awesome general.
The other songs in PATF i like are just pretty good. Tangled doesn’t quite have songs that are among my favorites from the Disney Canon. Just songs i really enjoy. So Princess and the Frog has one really strong standout while Tangled doesn’t quite have that, and PATF is a stronger musical with a better style.
I think the winner is clear. Tangled’s songs are good but the songs service then story in PATF better and it’s just better as a musical. Point goes to Princess and the Frog.
WINNER: Princess and the Frog
But we need people to sing those songs, and our next category is character based so let’s move on to them.
Okay,,Flynn Rider isn’t really a prince until the end but he does become one thanks the King and Queen still being alive (Well, there’s one point Tangled gets), so he counts. Both romantic dynamics are kidna typical in the movies, but the execution makes us like both couples fine.
Naveen has been cut off which gives him a little something extra instead of just being Prince, and he does develop nicely. His drawback though,is that he mostly kind of typical. He’s a loveable jerk who learns not be a jerk and all that good stuff. He’s made enjoyable enough but he doesn’t stick out among the Princes/Heroes of the Disney Canon.
Flynn Rider is similarly typical but stands out a lot more. His general attitude and way he interacts with Rapunzel makes him charming in how much of jerk he is, in a likable way. Everything he says is pretty funny, and he grows into a better person somewhat naturally.
And they do attempt to avoid the liar revealed sort of thing with Rapunzel knowing he wants the satchel, just not exactly why. And when he briefly leaves her at one point, it’s resolved better than most movies that do it. Perhaps it didn’t need to be there to begin with but ah well.
Naveen is fine but compared to Flynn Rider he’s just a bit forgettable. I suppose this is close because the romance in PATF gets slightly more focus so thus it does do it better but the male love interest himself is just better in Tangled, so it kinda balance it out.
I think we have a clear winner here. Yeah, i didn’t really have much to say about this one because I’m far more interested in these other categories. I don’t think either charecter is amazing or anything but Flynn Rider is just more interesting and enjoyable when it comes to this kind of character.
Point goes to Tangled.
Oh, now we’re talking. Both films are blessed with some of the better Modern Disney Villains in my opinion. Dr. Faciler is voiced by Keith David, so he wins, moving on!
…Okay, there’s a bit more to say. Dr. Faciler has some very cool shadow powers that are fun to witness and he just a really cool nature to him. He presents himself to Naveen as an honest man, but even here it’s clear he’s not totally honest but he’s so damn charming that I wouldn’t care if i was Naveen.
But what else is interesting about him is that he’s a bit afraid of his “friends on the other side”. We see this at certain points, and it comes to a head in on the most awesome Disney Villain “Deaths” ever. It’s kinda small but it shows he’s not totally ontop of things and it adds more to him as a character.
Mother Gothel has an interesting set up, with how she stole Rapunzel to have access to her magic fountain of Youth Hair, and pretends to be her mother. Her scenes with Rapunzel early on actually make her out to be rather motherly, and their interactions are almost sweet. But certain quirks and you know, already knowing her backstory, make it clear she’s no good.
However, i will admit when she goes full on villain, she’s less interesting. Decently fun, but nothing too special. I prefer the earlier scenes where she’s balancing both sides, other later when she’s simply evil.
Meanwhile, Faciler is great in the entire movie, not just half of it. Plus, he’s just better in general. Gothel has a good angle sure, but Faciler stands out as more enjoyable as a villain and as a character as ends on an interesting note, while Gothel just kinda falls out of the tower…and i guess dies, it’s not really explained.
I like Gothel fine but Faciler is just the more interesting and enjoyable baddie when all is said and done. Plus, he has the better villain song. So yeah, Princess and the Frog wins this round.
WINNER: Princess and the Frog
This was easily the hardest category. I honestly think films have some of the best Disney Princesses in the lineup, which isn’t too hard since I’m not attached a ton a ton of them. At least the moment.
When I first got this idea, I had a clear winner in mind but once i Re-watched the films to do this, it became more complicated. Both are very good characters in different ways, sort of.
Tiana is very unique in that she doesn’t start a princess as at all. She’s just a simple hardworking woman who wants to save up money to start a restaurant. She values hard work which of course clashes with Naveen’s carefree attitude.
This creates an interesting dynamic and it’s really fascinating to have a Disney Princess like this. Most of the others do work and can be strong, but Tiana is particularity different and relatable, for a lack of a less cliche word.
She’s up there with Belle when it comes to more interesting Disney Princesses. The one downside to her is that she doesn’t learn as much as some of the others. She does learn to be a bit more carefree I guess, but Naveen gets the bulk of the development compared to her.
It’s not a big deal as she stays interesting but it is a minor drawback. Rapunzel seems like she would be less interesting due to her own limitations but she had a lot more to her to I expected. She has a pretty good reason to want more since she’s been in a tower her whole life and her dynamic with Mother Gothel is interesting.
I talked about this in regard to Gothel herself and Rapunzel’s side is interesting. After she leaves the tower, she has moments of regret. And by that mean, we have that hilarious bit where she switches between being overjoyed, and feeling guilty.
She also proves to be a strong character from the start, with how she takes out Flynn Rider. Granted, I’m not sure how to feel about the use of a frying pan but ah well. Seeing her deal with situation and her “Mother” is really interesting and there’s just a lot more to her than I expected.
She’s also just lovable with her personality and such. This is a surprisingly lovable. I honestly thought Tiana was the easy winner, but after examining both, I’m not too sure. We could pick Tiana because of her interesting background or Rapunzel for her personalty and how she deals with these situations.
I can see some go either way, and some have. They both have one minor drawback each, with Tiana not learning as much and Rapunzel being ever so slightly typical to some other Disney Princesses they did different things with.
This one is tough. Both are very good in their own way but we must pick a winner. Tiana’s drawback isn’t too big a deal but it is slightly more of a drawback than Rapunzel’s problem. Tiana is very interesting in the first half, but less interesting in the 2nd half since they focus more on the other elements around then.
Rapunzel is interesting throughout the whole movie. The movie arguably focuses more on her than a bigger story, which does give her more an advantage. So do you want a different kind of Princess who is less interesting in the 2nd half, or a more typical one with unexpected nuance that is interesting the whole time?
It’s another thing that’s completely up to personal preference. But after watching both movies and really analyzing both characters….I pick….Rapunzel. This was a hard choice as i could have gone with either.
But in the end I picked her because as much as I like Tiana, I do find myself enjoying Rapunzel more. Her situation gives her some interesting things to deal with and she stays equal interesting through the whole movie, while Tiana deeps a bit as we’ve discussed..
I don’t know, I just find watching Rapunzel to be more interesting even though Tiana is a bit more refreshing. As i said, I could go either way, but if i had to pick, I’d go with that oddly has more going for her as a character is and more interesting the whole time.
It’ll be interesting to see people’s reaction to this descion, and what others think is the better Princess. But for me, just barely, Tangled gets this point again. Sorry Tiana, we still like you.
We’re tied at the moment, so it’s on to our final category which shall break the tie…
This it, the big one. Like the previous category, this is somewhat close as they have their ups and downs in terms of writing. Mostly due to their approaches to the story. Princess and the Frog more focused on the story itself.
There’s more plot elements going on, as well as some subplots like with Laurence working with Faciler. I think this mostly works because it is an engaging story due to some of the stuff going on. The writers mostly do a good job of balancing the plot elements and making the story seem simpler than it is, in a good way.
They also do a good job at combing the elements you expect from a Disney movie, like the wacky sidekicks and love story, with new things like Tina’s upbringing that we went into. Even said sidekicks work, with one giving us a fairly unexpected sad death scene.
The downside is that some plot elements can be rushed or pointless, like that whole thing with Laurence. The idea is interesting and has a small purpose, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and the transition to him working for him is non existent.
The pacing can also be off in the midsection. There’s nothing wrong with the movie until about after their journey really begins, where things slow down a bit but it does pick back up soon after.
Tangled takes a simpler approach to it’s story. Sure, there’s the backstory but it mostly amounts to a journey to see the lights, with Gothel on their trail. The drawbacks are fairly obvious, it does make it blend in with the crowd a tad more and there’s nothing too complicated.
But it is still well told story. The backstory and Rapunzel are well written enough to get you invested. Tangled is slightly more character driven. Not saying PATF isn’t at least a little bit, but there is slightly more focus on the story at least in the first half.
Again,not a hard and fast rule, both have story driven moments and character driven moments, but there is a reason Rapunzel won the Princess round, they clearly put effort in crafting her than the story itself.
And like PATF, the pacing can be off, but this time it’s near the end of Act 1. It feels like it takes too long for them to start their journey after the meet, but once they do, it gets going and never gets dull.
Tangled also puts a slight more focus on comedy and fun, especially with Flynn Rider which works most of the time. Although there are some off moments like in the opening narration when he tells us Gothel will be important later…and by that means like only a minute later, which kind of ruins that joke.
I think both equals are equal in terms of humor, with some side characters providing good laughs like Charlotte in PATF and the horse in Tangled. Yeah, I agree with everyone else, Maximus is amazing. I didn’t compare supporting characters since Princess and the Frog has way more than Tangled, which gives it an unfair advantage.
Both films do feature good writing, executing their story pretty well. They do both have flaws keeping them from being among my all time favorite Disney films, as great as they are. So which is better?
It’s another thing that depends on your preference. Some may like Princess and the Frog more for capturing the Classic Disney feeling slightly better and doing a better update, and some may like Tangled more for it’s humor and keeping things simple.
This is hard one, i like both a lot even with their flaws. However, I do think Tangled’s simple story does hurt it a bit and it makes other minor flaws stick out more. Princess and the Frog’s flaws are a bit more understandable and what it managed to accomplish does impress me a bit more.
Again,PATF has an unfair advantage with a slight focus on story but this is more about the execution of the story itself and other elements. It’s a bit more ambitious and while I can some liking Tangled’s approach more, I get more of a kick out of Princess and the Frog’s approach.
The story ends up being more engaging because of the tweaks to the formula they made, and also having a better threat and soundtrack. So in the end, the film with the better writing is…Princess and the Frog.
Again, Tangled is very good too but the various elements of PATF just make it a slightly stronger script, and a stronger viewing experience in general. If this upsets you, just know I like both close to equal but PATF just barely gets the advtange. So Princess and the Frog wins the match!
WINNER: Princess and the Frog
PATF: 3 Points
TANGLED: 2 Points
OVERALL WINNER: The Princess and the Frog.
Well, there you go. This was a lot of fun. Forgive me if it’s rushed, I made the mistake of waiting until Tuesday to start writing this.
If you want my thoughts on Frozen and Moana vs these two: Frozen has the best songs, writing, and princesses out of them, while Tangled has the better CG animation, “Prince” and villain. Comparing Moana only to the two in the better, it really only beats them in terms of animation, songs are about equal though. So yeah, Frozen beats them all, but i will say that the others can beat in certain ways, just not overall.
I’m thinking of doing more Vs posts like this, kind of like Old Vs New, just mostly not with remakes and both films should be good/decent, to avoid curb stomp battles. I have some ideas I may but we’ll see how that goes.
Let me know what you think of this idea, and these movies in general. Yell at me for being wrong If you wish. I’m interested to see how Tangled: The Series fares, it looks interesting. I even like the art style, even if they still can’t Flynn’s nose right.
And yes, it being said to be a DCOM fascinates me. If they say it is right in the ads, I guess it is. If you want my thoughts when it airs, keep an eye on my YouTube channel. #ShamelessPlug.
With that said, that’s all I got. March may be slow for the blog but i have ideas I hope to do. Should be fun. In the meantime, enjoy what I end up putting out.