Thursday, February 10, 2011
Just when I go and think that Disney no longer has any gas in in animated tank, we get 'Tangled' - a modern day update of the fairy tale, Rapunzel.
First of all I was so glad to not find talking or wisecracking animals in this film. There is a loyal chameleon and possible the coolest cartoon horse ever (Maximus), but all of their human like actions are conveyed by body movement and facial expressions. It's so much more funny and entertaining to have animal characters act in that fashion. Toothless, from 'How to Train Your Dragon' is another example of this trend.
The story is a simple one. Young Flower/Rapunzel has been locked in a tower her whole life since an evil witch kidnapped her as a child. A magical flower was stolen from the witch and used to cure a young pregnant Queen of her illness. As a result, the baby that was born has magical hair that can keep the witch eternally young - as long as she has the girl. Using fear and intimidation she has kept the child from leaving her tower prison for 18 years.
Of course the movie begins on the day that all of this changes. By sheer circumstance, a handsome, young, dashing, thief (aren't they all?) enters her tower to hide from the authorities and from there the fun begins.
It's very funny to put someone who WANTS to see everything that she has been missing out on for so long together with another character who would rather hide that show his face in public.
Rapunzel is attractive, smart and curious and has no idea how to survive in the outside world, especially with all that hair of hers (which is so long and strong that she can use it to pull her witch/mother up to the tower daily). The hair is virtually a character of it's own. She can use it like a whip or a cape or rope.
Our Princess has been told that everyone outside the tower is bad so like any teen girl, she falls for the first cute boy (well after she bashes him several times with the cast iron frying pan) that comes along.
The thief, Flynn, is a charmer and it's adorable the way Flower tries to figure out exactly why she is so attracted to this strange creature. She eventually allows her curiosity to overcome her fear and all the brainwashing her witch mother has subjected her to.
The animation in this one is terrific as are the songs which are pure old school Disney. This is a rare film that adults can enjoy with their kids. The script is funny and romantic with much slap-stick humor and great adventure. The themes are old ones but timeless and the lessons are simple enough for even the youngest kids to understand. Rapunzel is one of the great Disney 'princesses'. I loved her bravery and fierceness. Even a bar full of thugs immediately fall in love with her.
Mandy Moore does terrific voice and singing work as Rapunzel. Her abilities really bring Rapunzel's joy of being free to life.
I saw this one in regular 2-D but for once I think I would have preferred the 3-D version. There is a terrific scene of our couple running from the water of a broken dam which would have been great to see coming at me as would be all the tricks that Rapunzel does with her hair.
Posted by Kal at 6:55 AM