“Rapunzel (also called R.A.P.), a special girl who lives in Reformatory To Rebel Characters at the behest of a severe witch named Mrs. B, loves music and dislikes following orders. Despite her messy hair, she creates her own songs, without ever knowing that she will fall in love with a handsome prince with a guitar.”-chribren, IMDB.
Video Brinquedo, who also brought us Ratatoing, The Little Panda Fighter, and Little Cars, brings us their version of the Rapunzel story. Of the voice actors listed in this film, only Veronica Taylor, who plays the antagonist Mrs. B, has a particularly noteworthy career, having also played Sailor Pluto (Sailor Moon) and Ash Ketchum (Pokemon). Surprisingly, despite Video Brinquedo’s tendency to release copycat films to Pixar and Disney movies, Rapunzel predates the Disney film Tangled by 5 years.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
Firstly, I want to mention that I can’t seem to find any evidence that this movie was released on DVD, in any language. I stumbled upon it one day on Youtube, where it was uploaded to Video Brinquedo’s official Youtube channel. It’s a real shame, I’d actually really love to own this on DVD, it’s delightfully dreadful. If anyone has a bead on where I can get a physical copy, please leave a note in the comments.
As with a lot of these rip-off movies, the runtime of Rapunzel is approximately 45-50 minutes. What’s particularly great about Rapunzel is approximately 15 minutes of that time is spent watching two characters argue back and forth. Contrasting that, the ending is so rushed that I legitimately started to question whether the movie would actually conclusively end or if the video was broken and would cut-off mid scene. Turns out, it just has that abrupt an ending.
As with Video Brinquedo’s Frog Prince, there’s a bit of extra amusement to be found if you have any experience animating in programs like Adobe Flash or ToonBoom. It’s actually sort of inspiring in a way, if Video Brinquedo is able to put out a film with basic Flash animations, so can you!… or alternatively, it’s demotivating to see that Video Brinquedo is putting out films and you’re not. It might be a cup half full/cup half empty kinda thing!
So definitely check this one out, but be prepared to provide emotional support to your viewing audience to help get them through that 15 minute argument that happens right smack in the beginning of the film.