I was invited to a press event late this afternoon in New York City at which Walt Disney Studios screened Tangled in its semi-current unfinished format as well as a 20+ minute compilation of various scenes from TRON: Legacy, not unlike those recently held in Burbank. The event was hosted by Studios production head Sean Bailey who opened the presentation by presenting a 30 second tv spot for Secretariat, reminding us all that the movie opens on Friday.
Bailey then went on to talk about TRON: Legacy in brief, emphasizing the father-son relationship of the film. He first showed the second trailer for the film in 3D. Sadly, this was the only 3D element of the presentation and — as I quickly learned firsthand despite having seen it premiere at San Diego Comic-Con, no less than half of it is in 2D.
We were then treated to several scenes from TRON: Legacy in non-finalized format, all in 2D. A brief scene by scene introduction is as follows between the spoiler tags (note the scene numbers shown below are purely for the sake of this article and do not accurately reflect the actual scene numbers in the film):
Although I really enjoyed seeing what I had of the film in 3D at the San Diego Comic-Con, it’s still visually beautiful even in 2D. Still, after seeing the effect of the translucent floor of the Recognizer in 3D, I don’t have any intentions of seeing this film in 2D.
After the TRON: Legacy preview, Bailey brings Tangled co-directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno to the stage to introduce their film. They talk basically about their experiences at Disney, which included both working on Bolt in various capacities. They then open the film with a preface which explains that the film is in unfinished form and contains scenes in various stages of production, ranging from storyboarding to rough animation to layout to color to final color. In truth, very little of the film as shown was in storyboard format, although the scenes that were are the scenes you’d probably want to see in finished form the most. So it goes.
Below are some of my reactions to the film between spoiler tags. Having read the book and also reporting on some major plot points already in this article, I’m going to skip a lot of them. I will take the opportunity, however, to address some things I have been reading around the web. I will also gladly respond to comments (responses will appear in the article as spoiler tags) should anyone have any additional questions. I will do so to the best of my ability, also keeping in mind that the film is unfinished and subject to change in any respect prior to its release.
Without getting into too many details, which I will delve into further below, I will just say that I was impressed with the quality of the animation (something CG is very capable of if not for the fact that production values are just so low elsewhere), story was strong and essentially true to the Disney Princess experience (although does get a bit heavy with Flynn admittedly, but it almost has to be done), but the songs are definitely a very weak link. And away we go with the spoilerific review:
After the screening, the event ended with a reception which was attended not only by the talent mentioned above, but by film talent Donna Murphy and Disney Theatrical President Thomas Schumacher.