I might add that Tangled (as directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard) tells its classic tale with all of the look of one of the great old Disney Fairy Tales... and with all of the latest technology, like Disney Digital 3-D, pure computerized CGI and a collective budget of Two Hundred Sixty MILLION Dollars!
That's a whole lot of Mousse to tell the classic Brothers Grimm story of Rapunzel! But, hey... as the title might suggest Tangled is just that story! Bug Budget or no... slick CGI or no... this one has it where it counts... with no split ends... and it has so much body... and it FEELS good, too!
Observe... Just as in any classic Disney Fairy Tale, Tangled starts with a memorable villain, this time in the form of a witch named Gothel (Donna Murphy). She's found a really excellent cure for spanking her free-radicals and a radically free method of remaining young for hundreds of years. It's a golden flower that heals her when she sings to it. But when the King and Queen of the Kingdom require it to save the pregnant queen's life, Old Lady Gothel isn't looking so good anymore... that is until she discovers that the infant Princess has inherited her mother's eyes, her father's fortitude and the magic flower's mystical abilities... localized to her golden, oft-glowing coiff that... heals Mother Gothel when she sings to it. That is unless someone makes the mistake of cutting it.
18 years later, the young princess has grown up to become Rapunzel (Mandy Moore)... she's beautiful, has a charming singing voice, one heck of a view and hair longer than the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is tall! Whew! Oh, and about that view? It's because the forward thinking, yet remarkably selfish Gothel has kept poor Rapunzel locked up in her tower, just like in the Grimm's Fairy Tale! Yeah, we've all heard it, from the "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your Hair!" to the bitter ending. Not like this, however.
You see, just before that wacky 18th Birthday (which isn't going to be covered by MTV, but just might feature a temper-tantrum or two) a bumbling thief named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) stumbles across Rapunzel's hiding place and soon... regrets it. Soon, home-dude has to face a deal in which he takes Rapunzel on an outing for her 18th Birthday to watch the floating lanterns that the royal family launch each year on that super-special day (coincidence? I THINK NOT!) in return for the spoils of his latest burglary... which (coincidence AGAIN???) just might be rightfully hers!
And so the adventure begins! Of course, it's hardly this simple. Along the way, they have to face off with various mega-tough guys voiced by such wild men like Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett, Paul F. Tompkins and even Richard "Jaws" Kiel, man! Whoa! Of course, at every turn, our wicked witch might be springing one of her stingy traps!
And that's not even to mention the super-cool nonspeaking roles like the Heroic Horsey Maximus and the Colorful Chameleon Pascal!
And that's part of the coolness of Tangled.... the directors make great work of Dan Fogelman's script (in turn, obviously, based on the tale recorded by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) and its fun, witty dialogue (Rapunzel and Flynn, if that IS his REAL NAME, bounce off of each other hilariously), but some of the best moments are portrayed in complete silence, with just the facial expressions of the characters!
This is, of course, a credit to the animators who do manage to maintain that amazing classic Disney Movie Musical look, but with cutting edge CGI! Obviously the film looks incredible, but it looks incredible in all the right ways. Emotion is captured, both Slapstick and more complex visual humor manages to be handled perfectly. Luckily this is never at the expense of character development. These things go hand in hand, as they should. Rapunzel is believable in her evolution and Flynn, the scoundrel, makes perfect sense as he slowly becomes much more... well, Disney Princely!
The songs and score by Alan Menken are used sparingly, and never to the point of overpowering or diluting the story itself. This isn't one of those song-a-minute Disney Operatic librettos. The songs that are there are beautifully sung and usually very funny. Best of all the whole shebang ends up being quite touching, like the best of the forty-nine films that came before it (yeppers, this happens to be Disney Numero Fifty... the big Five-Oh... Fiver Times Tenner... Officially able to subscribe to the AARP newsletter... okay, I'll stop)!
Okay, okay, okay, while Tanlged never needs to hide its roots, this is also not quite a perfect film. There are a few plot contrivances and areas of limit-pushing when it comes to the old suspension of disbelief bone. There is the occasional moment when Howard, Greno and Fogelman seem to be throwing in whatever obstacles they can to pad this fifteen-page story into a full-on one hour and forty minute long feature film worthy of being Disney's fiftieth (and worthy of having a multi-year budget of two hundred sixty MILLION smackeroos, kiddos! Think TOO terribly much about certain parts of the film and you're ONLY going to start asking "Why didn't she-" and "How did they-" or "Why would it make any sense to-" when you could just kick back and have fun.
Luckily the gang at Disney keep the film going in a wonderfully action packed and hilarious way to distract from the occasional Frayed Knot in the story. Further, this is a LEGITIMATE distraction, as it is all VERY well done and all of those frizzy parts are luckily few and far, far between! It's not quite Toy Story 3, but Tangled is really, really quite good! And it's really, really worth at least Four Stars out of Five! Yes, it's going to be another big, money-making marketing Bonanza for Disney and its theme parks, cruise lines, outlet stores, plumbing supply shops, steak houses and skating rinks. Still... when the films are really good and the stories are this well-done (and rare... but never medium) it's okay to sit back, relax and brush those locks out, man! See you all in the next reel... or... Braid, as the case may be!
|What's New?||Alphabetical Listing of Reviews!||SearchThisSite:||Advertise With Us!||About...||Lynx Links:||F*A*Q|