Disney Gets “Tangled”

Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

If you enjoy watching the old-school Disney princess movies, “Tangled” is the right movie to watch.

Coming out the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, the movie will be shown in 3-D. “Tangled” is a special movie to Disney in that it is the 50th animated feature of the classics. It is based on the fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grim, with the usual Disney spin.

The film is about Princess Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi). Both actors certainly do the characters justice in bringing them to life with the energy in their voices.

Rapunzel and Rider cross paths when Rider climbs up her tower as a place of refuge. They make a compromise that requires them to adventure outside the tower. As they journey the city, they face many challenges like avoiding the people who want to kill Rider.

Artistically, this movie is very interesting to watch in that it has somewhat of a Disney classic hand-drawn feel from the way the characters looked. However, it also has a blend of CGI. Due to the movie combining the two artistic worlds, “Tangled” is definitely given a modern spin compared to all of the other Disney princess movies.

Like many of the classic princess movies, Rapunzel has a sidekick that is an animal. A chameleon adds humor and laughter to the storyline. Although the chameleon does not have any speaking roles, his interactions with the other characters are very funny to watch.

Another thing that made “Tangled” similar to the oldies but goodies is that the characters broke out into song every now and then throughout the movie. Moore and Levi demonstrate their vocal talents through the characters they play. Composer Alan Menken did a great job with the songs because most of them are very catchy. A couple of the scores that he did for Disney include “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas.”

Another classic touch was added to the movie that makes it a typical Disney princess movie: an evil stepmother figure. Gothel, in this case, is the evil stepmother figure who raises Rapunzel.

It is very interesting to see the development of Rapunzel and Gothel’s relationship as mother and daughter. As selfish as Gothel is, people can see that Rapunzel and Gothel have a loving relationship. Gothel can be ignorant at times, but there are many situations where Gothel takes care of Rapunzel.

Occasionally, Gothel tells Rapunzel, “I love you.” Rapunzel says to Gothel “I love you more” and Gothel replies by saying, “I love you most.” As much as people want to dislike Gothel, there are a couple moments where it is hard to dislike her.

The movie is very enjoyable since the characters are developed very well. Although Rapunzel’s actual parents are not shown much throughout the movie, it is hard not to feel bad for them to see them missing their daughter. Ryder is disliked by many characters around him. However, it is hard to dislike him because he is portrayed with such a carefree heart who wants the best for Rapunzel.

As enjoyable as the movie is, there are some situations that are very predictable. The love interest between Rapunzel and Ryder is definitely noticeable, even after their first encounter in the tower. There were a couple times where it was easy to determine when and where characters were going to sing.

Prior to the previews airing, the film was titled “Rapunzel Unbraided,” which later became “Rapunzel.” Since “The Princess and the Frog” was not as successful as Disney had hoped, “Rapunzel” was later changed to “Tangled.” By changing the name for the third time, Disney hopes to capture the attention of its male audience. To target the male audience, Ryder is the first character seen in many of the “Tangled” previews.

Disney does a great job creating another princess story with a modern spin. Seeing the characters break out into song is very nostalgic and gives this movie a homey feeling.

If you are a Disney fan and weren’t planning on watching it because the previews made “Tangled” look silly, it is definitely something to reconsider.

Rating: 4 out of 5