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- Amazon Sales Rank: #12 in DVD
- Released on: 2011-03-29
- Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
- Number of discs: 1
- Formats: AC-3, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Original language: English
- Subtitled in: English, French, Spanish
- Dubbed in: French, Spanish
- Running time: 100 minutes
Disney's 50th full-length animated feature film, Tangled is a visually appealing, music-filled adventure full of romance and humor. The movie focuses on Rapunzel, a girl with long magical hair who's lived her entire life imprisoned in a tower by her greedy mother. Naturally optimistic and acquiescent, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) rarely complains about her circumstances, but for her 18th birthday she longs to leave the tower to see the floating lights that appear every year on her birthday. Her mother (Donna Murphy) refuses her request, but when thief Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) climbs the tower to escape his pursuers, Rapunzel (once she's conked him on the head with a skillet multiple times) impulsively decides to trust the young man and convinces him to help her escape to see the floating lights. Thus begins a journey that alternates quite schizophrenically between optimistic excitement and guilty remorse that will ultimately change Rapunzel's and Flynn's lives forever. Tangled is a masterful blend of humor, adventure, passion, and drama combined with a great musical score and top-notch animation. The Real 3-D effects add to the experience but probably won't really be missed in other formats. Best of all, Disney presents a princess who matures from a meek and compliant girl into a spunky young woman who's not afraid to pursue her dreams and risk it all for love--now that's a Disney princess worth emulating. (Ages 6 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
Worthy Addition to Disney's Classic Films
*contains some spoilery bits*
Tangled, Disney's version of the oft-refashioned folk tale Rapunzel, is the studio's 50th animated film and one that is destined for classic status.
This latest retelling begins with a tiny piece of sunlight falling to earth and a magical golden flower sprouting where it lands. The flower, and its ability to restore youth, is discovered, used and kept secret by Mother Gothel. When the kingdom's beloved queen falls ill, a search for the flower (apparently its existence wasn't *completely* secret) is successfully undertaken and the healing potion brewed from it restores the queen's health. The flower's magical abilities are also transferred to the hair of the queen's unborn child, Rapunzel. When Mother Gothel discovers this and learns that the magical properties are only retained as long as the hair remains uncut, she kidnaps Rapunzel and raises her as her own child. Claiming that she wants to keep Rapunzel safe from a frightening world full of danger and thugs, Mother Gothel locks her away in a remote tower. While her hair (almost a character in and of itself) grows longer and longer, Rapunzel blossoms into a surprisingly well-adjusted young woman and gifted artist who longs to see the world - particularly the mysterious lights that appear in the night sky each year on her birthday.
Enter our amusing narrator, Flynn Rider, a roguish thief who has just stolen a tiara and is on the run from palace guards when he comes across Rapunzel's tower and takes refuge there. The very competent Rapunzel restrains Flynn, hides the tiara and strikes a bargain with him - she will return the tiara to him if he will agree to take her to see those mysterious lights, which he tells her are floating lanterns. Flynn agrees and the two set off on a rollicking adventure. Pursued now, not only by Maximus - a horse from the palace guard who refuses to give up the chase - but also by a pair of thugs Flynn double-crossed AND Mother Gothel, Flynn and Rapunzel learn to trust each other as they make one narrow escape from their pursuers after another.
Tangled is a laugh-out-loud funny family film that will thoroughly entertain both children and adults. The animation is stellar, the story engaging and the pacing excellent, never dragging for a moment. Rapunzel and Flynn are both charming and likeable, making it easy for viewers to root for them. Further, they are surrounded by a terrific supporting cast including tavern thugs with secret dreams and Pascal, Rapunzel's pet chameleon. But it's Maximus who truly steals the show. The expressive horse is brave, determined, sometimes petty, and hilarious. Every scene he's in is solid gold. I would love to see some sort of sequel with Max and Flynn trading quips - particularly since Max doesn't speak at all and the two still seemed to be doing just that through much of Tangled.
I did have a couple of quibbles, neither of which significantly impacted my enjoyment of the film. First, the colors often seemed a bit too dark to me, rather grayed out. This impression may well have been exacerbated by the 3D glasses. (ETA: A couple of fellow reviewers have commented that they found the colors bright and vibrant when they viewed the film in 2D. It seems likely that my experience may have had more to do with the theater where I saw the film or with the 3D glasses - or a bit of both. This is especially important since I imagine most Amazon costumers will be purchasing this film in 2D. My thanks to Star Fire and Thomas Plotkin for their input - I really appreciate it!) Second, even though I felt they were well performed, the songs were, IMHO, largely under whelming. With the exception of the lovely "I See the Light", I felt they had neither the excitement of previous Disney showstoppers "Be Our Guest", "Under the Sea" or "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" nor the memorable melodies of "Kiss the Girl", "Beauty and the Beast" or "Circle of Life".
On the plus side, the film is rich in emotional depth and is blessed with a number of wonderful scenes. My favorite sequence begins with Rapunzel and Flynn entering the village and dancing with the villagers and continues on through their scene on the lake among the floating lanterns. Their happiness in the village, Rapunzel's sense of wonder (and ours!) while surrounded by the lanterns, the romantic song they sing as they realize they're attracted to one another and may be falling in love - it's all perfect. The lantern scene is jaw-droppingly gorgeous - well worth the price of admission on its own and the film's most effective use of 3D. Another scene that I loved for its poignancy centers on the silent communication between Rapunzel's parents as they mourn their lost daughter together just before releasing their floating lantern.
I do want to alert parents to one element. The relationship between Rapunzel and Mother Gothel is difficult and layered, dealing with emotional abuse masked with concern and declarations of love. (Mother Gothel's frequent put-downs of Rapunzel, followed by a cheery "Just kidding!" had me clenching my teeth.) Young children who are used to a more black and white portrayal of good and evil may be confused by Rapunzel's oft-declared love for the woman she believes is her mother and by Rapunzel's conflicted feelings when she first leaves the tower with Flynn. This unhealthy relationship doesn't overshadow the film, nor does it steal the humor and fun from it, but parents should be prepared for questions children might ask and concerns they might have. These questions may not come until a second or third viewing, when children have already seen the scenes where Mother Gothel more explicitly reveals her true nature and so have that knowledge when viewing the early mother/daughter scenes.
That said, I still loved the film and believe it's a great addition to Disney's animated classics. Lastly, let me just add a big "Yeah!" to the film's final moments when Flynn, back in narrator mode, reveals that it was several years before he and Rapunzel got married. A much better message for children than the more usual we-saw-each-other-twice-before-tying-the-knot which seems almost de rigueur in so many fairy tales.
Note: Author, editor and fairy tale aficionado Terri Windling has written a wonderful essay about the long history of the "Maiden in a Tower" story which, it turns out, predates the Brothers Grimm by more than 200 years. I found reading about how a story evolves over time and across cultures absolutely fascinating. (Essay is available at Windling's website. A simple google search - "Rapunzel" + "Terri Windling" - should get you there.)
The marketing for Tangled was atrocious. It was the sole reason why I originally had no interest in this movie at all, and is why the majority of my friends still have no interest in seeing it. Although Disney's former attempt to "return to the glory days", The Princess and the Frog, was moderately well-received by critics, it was considered a financial failure. They marketed it as a warm-hearted Disney musical in the vein of the classics, but apparently the potential audience still wasn't that interested. Smart ol' Disney, attempting to learn from their mistakes, decide to go the polar opposite for the Tangled marketing. Bad idea! Now they've gotten even less people interested! The marketing made Tangled (even the name gives it a cheesy, "edgy" feel) seem like this super-hip retelling of Rapunzel, full of non-essential gags and devoid of any warmth or heart. If that's what you think, you'll be pleasantly surprised if you give Tangled a chance. I bet you didn't even know it was a musical. It's a freaking Alan Menken musical! The composer from all of your favorite Disney movies, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid composed the songs for Tangled! And he's still got it! Does that get you excited? Well what if I told you that, contrary to the tone the ads create, Tangled is one of the most touching, beautiful, and joyous movies of the decade? EXCITED NOW?? You should be! Tangled is absolutely PHENOMENAL! It's easily the strongest Disney movie since Lilo and Stitch (2002). I'd even say that it's at the very least in my mental 'top three Disney movies of all time' list. It's that good. Forget The Princess and the Frog. Tangled is the true return to what made Disney classics so fantastic and magical. Apparently it didn't have as much to do with it being hand-drawn as we might have thought.
An old hag finds a magical flower that forever keeps her young. A dying queen's soldiers find the flower and use it to heal her. The queen gives birth to a daughter, Rapunzel, and the flower's magic is passed to the girl. Healing power is embedded in the girl's hair, but is lost when the hair is cut. The old hag steals the girl and locks her in a tower, acting as her protective mother. She continually uses the power of Rapunzel's hair to stay young. The king, queen and townsfolk set loose lanterns into the night sky every year on Rapunzel's birthday in honor of the missing princess. I loved everything about Tangled from the moment it started. The serene tone was immediately set and it never let go. It's just a beautiful movie; rich in emotion and lush in visual splendor. The characters are lovable, the environments are gorgeous, the comedic timing is spot-on, and all tied down into a fantastic Disney package through Alan Menken's music. This is what it's all about. Pure Disney magic. Pure joy. I was beaming the entire time. I can't remember ever having enjoyed myself at a movie this much. I'd say it's on the verge of perfection if not for one annoyance. The final scenes of the movie have no songs. Characters go into song during the story's emotional high points, and yet in the end, when everything is climaxing into an emotional finale, we get nothing. I left feeling slightly underwhelmed, because the ending seemed so lackluster in comparison to how emotionally intense Tangled's other high points felt. I've made peace with that gripe, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it just fine the second time, knowing what's coming. I just really think the end would have made much more of an impact if one of the key melodies made one last reprise...
The story falters slightly in a few minor places, but as a whole is told quite well. Some small areas include the usual "true love happens overnight" phenomenon that apparently exists in the world of Disney animation. The one area that I was rather disappointed in involved Rapunzel's relationship with her phony mother. We're set up with a really thought-provoking dynamic. We know that Mother Gothel's intentions are purely selfish. I mean she did freaking kidnap the girl and has been lying to her for eighteen years. But we're shown that there really is genuine affection between the two. Obviously more from Rapunzel's side, but we still get the impression that Gothel has become quite attached to her pseudo-daughter. I found their relationship really interesting, but as the story unfolded, the focus drew farther and farther away from it and by the time Gothel's original intentions are revealed to Rapunzel, she has become a simplified villain. An icon. And Rapunzel isn't torn in the slightest. She instantly goes from viewing her mother as loving, to as a complete witch, and never looks back. So much for all that early character development about how attached they were. I think that the story would come across much more fleshed-out and profound if that dynamic followed through and came around full-circle. I can understand that for a simple story such as Tangled, they maybe wanted to narrow the focus a bit and only tell the audience what was necessary, while only hinting at supporting plot-lines and dynamics. I just personally found their dynamic really interesting, and think the overall story would have been just a little bit better if it followed through.
Sorry to spend so much time on the negative for such a fantastic movie. I'll leave you with a list of random aspects of Tangled that I loved!
-Rapunzel, herself! She's so adorable! I can't handle it! Most adorable Disney princess, hands down. So much spunk. So much personality.
-The animation! So fluent! So lively! It's amongst the liveliest CG animation I've ever seen. The characters faces have so much personality. So much expression. And the mouths! I kept staring at their mouths. I've never seen CG mouths move so beautifully. It kind of blew my mind.
-The gags! Oh, such gags! The funniest five seconds of my year involved Tangled and a horse eating a piece of paper.
-The sidekicks! Come on, animal sidekicks make any animated movie better! Maximus and Pascal will stick with me for some time.
-The songs and music! God, I didn't realize just how much I missed Alan Menken's music. So delicious. So timeless.
-The colors! So much lavender...
-The pacing! This movie was paced PERFECTLY!
-Enough is left up to the imagination! We're given backstory, but it's not shoved in our faces. I think anyone over the age of 15 will be able to piece together some pretty deep backstory for the characters, and anyone under that age probably won't care if the characters come across a little flat.
-Glen Keane! Although it's 3D, it's incredibly obvious how much influence Disney animator Glen Keane had on the visual look of this movie. I kept seeing Glen Keane facial expressions popping up on all the characters! Especially on Maximus, the horse.
-The voice actors are also the singers! No double-casting here.
*Amazing Disney Film*
Tangled is an amazing movie! The story is very well written and the pace of the movie never gets boring. Alan Menken's score is breathtaking! Easily one of my favorite Disney movies of ALL TIME, and I grew up in the second golden age of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty And the Beast, ect.
I have seen the movie twice in the theater. I cannot recall EVER going to the see a movie a second time in the theater. I actually might see it again in 3D as it was stunning! Also One of Disney's best villains in my opinion. The psychological aspect of Mother Gothel is deep.
Don't miss this new age Disney classic. Perfect for everyone in your family. It will warm your heart, make you laugh and cry and gives you that Disney magic feeling we have been waiting for since Beauty and the Beast! Amazing!!
I cannot wait for this to come out on Blu-Ray. I even thought about getting a 3D tv..Yeah this movie was that good in 3D for me...haha