This review was first posted on Nov. 11, 2010
during an advance movie screening for Tangled.
The theatrical version is referenced in the review,
which has been altered to remove mentions of
theaters now that the movie is on DVD.
It always amazes me that people still haven't seen Tangled, one of this generation's best Disney movies! If this is you, what are you waiting for?? It's time to check it out, especially if you're a fan of Rapunzel! And if you have seen it, I hope you re-watch it soon!
...I plan to!!!
Disney movies are always magical. I look forward to them every year. The fact that Disney is going back to both its fairytale roots and the musical is thrilling. While I'm sad that the movie is no longer called Rapunzel, Tangled was still worth its weight in gold(en hair).
First off, Alan Menken. You can't go wrong with this man. True, the songs weren't as memorable as some of his earlier Disney compositions (though that could be nostalgia talking), but they're still things worth humming after seeing the movie multiple times. I also love the fact that Broadway Vet Donna Murphy voiced the mother; I love this woman. I was also a big Mandy Moore fan back in her heyday, and she gave Rapunzel a lively, spunky spirit. One of the best characters was Maximus the horse. He doesn't speak a single word, but his actions really make the movie. Every scene he's in is hysterical. I think he wishes that he was born a dog due to some of his behavior patterns.
Story-wise, I was impressed with the way the writers came up with reasons and motivations behind everything that occurred in the traditional fairytale. There's a reason why Rapunzel has such long hair and why the movie's villain locks her in a tower. I also enjoyed the fact that the writers took one small aspect from the traditional story (which is obviously too adult in nature for a children's film) and incorporated it into the ending. It was really well-done. That isn't to say the movie was perfect. There were times when it seemed like Disney was trying too hard to go back to its roots and replicate some of its best works. There's one scene at the beginning when Flynn is on the palace rooftop that reminds me of Aladdin. There's one part where Donna Murphy's character calls someone a "lug," which reminded me strongly of a line from Hercules. One of her songs also brought images of Ursula to mind. In fact, there were a few times when The Little Mermaid sprung to mind throughout the movie, especially during the "romantic" scene. That being said, for the most part, the story remained true to itself and told a beautiful version of a classic fairytale.
If you're on the fence about whether or not to watch this, I encourage you to do so. The trailer does this movie no justice. Plus, it's a princess movie. AND a musical. Tangled and this year's Frozen have both really help revitalize Disney's return to the world of fairy tales, and I can't see which ones they choose to adapt next!