I was recently home for Thanksgiving break, so the family and I went out for our traditional Wednesday night movie showing. There wasn’t a lot of concensus on what to see this year, but we mostly agreed that Tangled would probably have a little something for everyone. Disney, computer animated, good voice casting, etc. Had the prerequisites of an enjoyable cinematic experience, so we loaded up in the car and set sail for adventure, Rapunzel style.
I will say from the get-go that “Tangled” was not what I was expecting. It may have the glossy, computer animated veneer of recent movies like “Shrek” or “Ratatouille,” but actually plays out more like an old school “Beauty and the Beast” or “Cinderella.” What do I mean by this? Well, first and foremost it’s done in classic Disney musical fashion. Going into the theater, I had no idea. It was actually a pleasant surprise seeing as how there has been a serious dearth of singing numbers in recent Pixar/Dreamworks animated features. It was a total blasty from the pasty (uh… past-ee? look, just don’t pronounce that word like “paste-ee”) seeing a Disney princess burst out into song, complete with evil step mothers, forgotten royalty, and dashing protagonist atop his mighty steed.
Tangled, at its heart, is obviously the reimagined and super charged story of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and her iconic golden locks. In this version, her hair possesses magical properties, hence the reason the villainess has absconded with the baby princess, and locks her away in a secret tower in an effort to keep those powers for herself. Fast forward 18 years or so, and we see that Rapunzel has matured into kind hearted but naive cutie with a thirst for adventure but no actual knowledge of the world outside her turret of solitude. Enter the roguish brigand Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) who stumbles onto the hidden tower and acts as Rapunzel’s unwilling guide in her quest to see the thousand floating lanterns released every year on her birthday.
The movie has a pretty slow start, but gains a lot of momentum by the end through the introduction of fun and colorful supporting characters. Personally I thought that the horse Maximus stole the scene on multiple occasions. Also entertaining were Rapunzel’s reptilian companion Pascal, and the bandit patrons of the Snuggly Duckling tavern. Rapunzel and Flynn themselves made for a pretty entertaining Disney couple, and my sister, the Disney expert, even remarked that she now has a new favorite Disney princess. Lots of good banter, and hilariously juxtaposed motivations that first clash and eventually harmonize. Also as you might expect, the songs are beautifully woven into the story with some real toe-tapping numbers (again notably in the Snuggly Duckling).
Make no mistake, “Tangled” is definitely geared more towards the kiddies. You’re gonna find it’s lighter on the subtle adult humor and sexual innuendo than other recent CG animated hits. But is IS a hit, nonetheless. The whole family found something to enjoy, and chuckled throughout. If you’ve got kids, take ’em. This is a real crowd pleaser. And if you grew up watching Disney movies like I did, you’ll get bonus nostalgic points. Oh, and from what I’ve heard, skip the 3D version. Take the money you’d save and get some popcorn and soda instead.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!