So far, it’s just a rumor, but…there are rumors a-flying that Glen Keane, that beloved Disney animator who has had his hand in everything from “The Great Mouse Detective” to “Beauty and the Beast” is – horror of horrors – stepping down as director of 2010’s “Rapunzel.”

The rumor comes from this site, which states that they have “an inside source” and an “inside memo” which says that Keane is backing out as director due to non-life-threatening health reasons.

YET! This site says that Keane was kicked off of the project by Lasseter (Disney’s head honcho). Wha? Why? Because he didn’t like the latest reel? And, once again, is this going to delay the movie? Pllllllease don’t do this to me…Disney…I just can’t take it anymore…

Be Nice To Me

Disney: Be Nice To Me

Some dude over at The Disney Blog repeats the rumor, and says that it has been verified by Floyd Norman. Yeah, but…doesn’t Norman not really work for Disney anymore? I mean, the dude is ancient…I thought he was just sort of their consultant? How would he know about all this insider drama?

Is this true? Will the project be slowed? Who will take his place? Or is this just silly, fluffy buzz? Thoughts???

…since writing the above, Wikipedia itself has posted the rumor. ::sigh:: Guess you know its true once dear old Wiki steps in…

Will this halt production?? Gack!!

As a side note! The New York Times Review of Books had (back in May) a very interesting summary of the evolution of the Rapunzel tale. It’s actually a great read – just look at all those contemporary adaptations – and makes for a good review, so we can all get ready for the film! (Yes, I know that it’s two years away, but I don’t care! I’m especially attached to this tale…)

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

In the Grimms’ tale of “Rapunzel” (though not in the Pentamerone), the prince is a fairly ineffective figure. After he climbs Rapunzel’s hair into the tower and is confronted by the witch, he jumps from the window in despair and is blinded by thorns. Both he and his beloved then wander about alone in misery for several years, but at last they are reunited and when Rapunzel’s tears fall on his eyes his sight is restored. In many modern versions the hero is a stronger character. These stories usually omit his blinding, or treat it metaphorically: he gets a concussion when he falls from the tower, and cannot remember Rapunzel and his love for her; or his glasses are broken and he can’t see her; or he believes that she has abandoned him rather than been banished to the wilderness by the witch. In the end, however, the lovers are reunited, one way or another. Men may appear to desert or forget you, the moral seems to be, but not forever.

I wonder how the film will address this? My gut instinct says that Disney (in true Disney-hero-mode) will cast the Prince as “Super Shiny Action Prince,” who will duel with Mother Gothel heroically! But because Disney seems very fond of klutzy people, here’s betting that – in the midst of an especially heroic parry-and-thrust – he falls out of the window. Whooops. Whether or not they choose to blind him will be very interesting indeed…