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A ‘Tangled’ tale—Disney reworks another fairy tale

December 6th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

Review by David Bowman

“Tangled” is everything that would be expected from Disney, with an upgrade.

Based on the Rapunzel fairy tale, one of the many compiled by the Brothers Grimm, “Tangled” tells the tale of Rapunzel, the princess with the 70 feet of blonde hair who is trapped in a room with no doors, just one window.

Tangled, Disney (PG).

The film has five new musical numbers. The music is by Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid”) and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The songs have a strong Broadway sound to them and don’t be surprised if Disney adapts “Tangled” to Broadway. They did it with “Tarzan.”

“Tangled” is just a typical Disney princess movie, it has tons of humor and plenty of action that even the boys in the audience will enjoy the film as much as the girls.

In this take of the story, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) has been kidnapped and locked away in a tower since she was a baby. Her kidnapper, Mother Goethel (voiced by Broadway star Donna Murphy), has been telling her that the outside world is dangerous and everyone is after her hair for its ability to heal injuries, sickness and aging. But Mother Goethel is keeping Rapunzel so she can use the hair to stay young herself.

Then one day, a thief, Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi), appears at the tower to hide from authorities, and Rapunzel smacks him upside the head with a frying pan. Rapunzel strikes a deal with Flynn: if he takes her to the floating lanterns that appear in the sky every night on her birthday he can have his satchel back. This satchel contains the royal crown that belongs to the princess of the nearby kingdom. That princess is, of course, Rapunzel but neither of the characters knows it.

This is when the movie picks up and becomes more of an action-adventure film. Flynn introduces Rapunzel to a tavern of leaves, and through song and dance it is found out that all of the brutes and thugs are big softies. While this is happening Mother Goethel is on their trail.

It wouldn’t be a Disney film if it didn’t have its memorable animal characters. Rapunzel has a pet Chameleon named Pascal who apparently has very good persuasive skills. He just has a way of making the characters in the film do what’s right. For instance, Flynn is being hunted down by horse named Maximus (who is probably the funniest character in the film). Pascal is able to get the two characters to stop antagonizing each other and work together to help Rapunzel achieve her dream. He does all of this with glares and had gestures.

“Tangled” is Disney’s 50th animated film and is easily among the best. Probably one of the better aspects of the film is its use of 3D technology. It’s not the “pop-up and wow the audience” style of 3D; it is more of a fully blown emersion into the world of the film. With its great humor, action and romance it will captivate audiences across the globe.


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