It’s pretty much a given that the opposing sides of the Atlantic have different cultures. Ask any one from either side which version of The Office they prefer and invariably, the local version is the one that is chosen. This is an obvious choice: American like blatant jokes whereas the British are much more for sly, under the radar humour.
The differences extend to pretty much all aspects of entertainment that happen to cross the pond. Take for instance Harry Potter, the first book/movie in the series was called the Philosopher’s Stone in Britain but the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US. The movie even had scenes where the stone in question is spoken filmed twice, just to be consistent.
Since films are not excepted, neither are film trailers. Take for instance the upcoming Disney feature, Tangled. The trailers for both are embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Watch them both and then continue below.
The US version:
The British version
In light of the two, which is better? Well neither really. A trailer is supposed to give you the best idea of the plot without giving away the ending or any important plot details. A classic failure is the one for The Simpsons Movie, which pretty much gave away the entire plot, minus Lisa’s love interest.
About these two, well, for starters nether one gives the entire plot away and if I had to choose which one I prefer on that front, it is the American one, which only hints at what makes Rapunzel so special. The British version on the other hand, seems to focus much less on Flynn. I suppose it’s in Americans nature to see a movie about the struggle of one, rugged individualist fighting against oppression. That’s why their trailer is cut as such. The British one focuses much more on Rapunzel and what she gets up to. In other words, it’s much more cryptic as to how the two came together.
While both trailers are good at doing their job, it is clear that in the US, there is much more of an emphasis on trying to hook the audience. The British one is more direct in what the film appears to be about. From poking my nose around the web, there seems to be plenty of assurances from those on the inside that Rapunzel does play a greater role in the film than the US version leads us to believe.
Having said that, trailers can be fantastically misleading. Don’t believe me, check out this one for the romantic comedy that is The Shining. Another example is the one for Fight Club, a film I avoided until one day, when I was shocked to learn that the film is barely about underground bare-knuckle boxing.
Overall, the differences between these two trailers do not make that much of a difference. Personally, I prefer the British one because it reveals a story and characters who are much more complex than the American one suggests. Being a guy who likes complex, strong characters, that makes it a winner.
Now I just need to figure out if there’ll be a late-night screening that I and my better half can sneak off to without having to deal with hoards of pimply teenagers.