Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tangled and Princeton Book Signing

I love Disney.

Just the silhouette of mouse ears makes me smile. I think it's because so many of my favorite memories -- family vacations where we laughed so much our cheeks hurt -- took place in Disney World. For me, it is the happiest place on Earth.

Also, it's so very clean. You drop a straw wrapper, and Cinderella's mice pop out of the sewers and sweep it away. Little birdies assist with your personal hygiene. And woodland creatures select your wardrobe.

Combine my Disney obsession with the fact that my debut novel (Into the Wild) is about Rapunzel's daughter, and of course I had to see the movie Tangled.

Overall, I loved it. The use of her hair was magnificent (also the use of frying pans). I adored the montage of Rapunzel's torn emotions when she leaves the tower. The floating lanterns were lovely. And the horse was awesome.

But I can't help thinking that Disney missed an opportunity with the witch Gothel. If she had genuinely loved Rapunzel (rather than only using her for the regenerative properties of her hair), it would have instantly deepened and complicated the story. She could have been an overprotective parent gone wrong, which would have been interesting. Maybe it would have made the story too dark, though.

I also saw Harry Potter 7 (part 1) this weekend, which was plenty dark, both in plot and palette.

In addition to seeing movies this weekend, I also did two book signings at the Borders in Meriden, CT, and the Borders in Stony Brook, NY, and I had a great time at both. Thank you to everyone who stopped by! It was great talking with you!

If you happen to be anywhere near Princeton, NJ, this Wednesday Dec 1st..... I will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble at Princeton Market Fair starting at 6:30pm. A portion of sales will benefit The Pennington School's book fair. Since Princeton University is the setting for my latest book, Enchanted Ivy, I am hoping that numerous gargoyles and were-tigers will be in attendance. Hope to see you there too!

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11 Comments:

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Laura said...

LOVED HP 7!!

I blubbered when Dobby died. What was your, Blubbering part?

My fave part was the part at the Malfoy manner, (torture scene) i know it should'nt be the part i liked most but it SO was!! =D

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Laura: Also Dobby. And the Malfoy manor scene was great. Helena Bonham Carter is so brilliant as Bellatrix. She does crazy with such glee.

 
At 3:32 PM, OpenID shachi said...

You know, I actually *did* read Gothel as really caring for Rapunzel, though. And I definitely got that overprotective-parent-gone-wrong as an underlying vibe to the whole movie. Yes, the main motivation for Gothel is the magic, etc., but there are tons of scenes in the movie where I read her not as evil witch, but as evil mother. For example, her reaction when first discovering Rapunzel's disappearance definitely reads as "frantic mother"; her reaction and behavior doesn't switch to "evil witch" until after she finds out Rapunzel left on her own. Was the hair Gothel's *main* motivation? Probably, but I think that tangled up (hur hur) in that is a very complicated love that, perhaps in spite of itself, grew from raising this girl for 18 years. If nothing else, consider that she tried every single method she could before resorting to directly using force against Rapunzel to get her to do things her way. Certainly, a willing captive is easier to deal with than an unwilling one, but I think the core of it is more that she didn't *want* to use direct force against Rapunzel until she had absolutely no choice left.

I do kind of feel that in the last 10-15 minutes, they realized they were running out of time and ran to the default Disney denouement. I definitely think the endgame could have been written to play on the twisted-mother thing much more, and kind of wish it had. But still, throughout the whole movie, what I saw was this—Rapunzel's birth parents may have been the ones in the fancy robes and crowns, but for mostly worse, her *mother* was Gothel.

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Q said...

You know, when I read the first sentence I thought "HOLY CATS NO WAY SHE SOLD AN OPTION TO DISNEY."

But this is almost as good. Or it would be if you substituted "Chicago, IL" for "Princeton, NJ". ;)


(I know I'm a hopeless case, but I tell myself that you could bundle up all my comments and use them as proof to your publisher that you should go to Chicago. I don't think about how Enna Isilee's pleas that you come to Utah haven't worked yet. A girl can dream.)

 
At 12:04 AM, Anonymous annadee/hedgi said...

I once read a little kids book that involved Rapunzel running away each day to be with her friends( and prince) but always returning. later, when gothel was all " I'm going to cut your hair and lock you up and blind your friends", Rapunzel asked her why, she always came back and loved the witch like a mother( she really did.) Gothel realized that she wasn't a very good mom, promised to be better, and let everyone go. the rest of the series had rapunzel learning magic and getting a door. it was kinda amazing.
I still haven't gotten to read Ivy, but i'm hoping to get it at the holidays. i'm sure it's brilliant.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Shachi: I think it's the denouement that colored my impression of the character. You're right that she was genuinely frantic when she searched the tower for Rapunzel, and it didn't seem to be just about the hair.

I think Rapunzel is due for many long hours of therapy to resolve her mother issues...

Q: Someday, I'll make it to Chicago! And Utah. I hope. :)

Annadee/Hedgi: Fascinating. Do you remember the author or title? Hope you enjoy Enchanted Ivy!

 
At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So my mom asked me what books I'd like for Christmas, and I immediately thought of Enchanted Ivy.
To quote her comments when she viewed it on Amazon: "That's a beautiful cover! Um, is the girl just sitting on a statue, or is it getting ready to eat her?"
Anyways, I'm looking forward to receiving your book so I can come back and rave about it! Feel free to run while you can.

(And I'm going to see Tangled sometime soon, and you just made me more excited!)

Thank you for being plain awesome.

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Anonymous: So glad that Enchanted Ivy is on your Christmas list! Hope you enjoy it (and hope you enjoy Tangled too)! Merry Christmas, and thanks for commenting!

 
At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Salwa said...

I loved Into the Wild and Out of the Wild! Any chance that there will be a third?

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Salwa: No immediate plans for a third. But I'm so happy you liked my Wild books! My next book is called Drink, Slay, Love, and it will be out in fall 2011. I'm working on revisions now, and I'm really excited about it!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Verenda Harrt said...

i saw one of your books in the library. But the bad thing is, I didn't have my library card, I was there with a friend. And I forgot to ask them to borrow it for me :(

 

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