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Tangled (2010)

Walt Disney's 2010 animated film based on the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel.

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Just A Few Strands Of Magic Weaved Into "Tangled"

  • Jan 4, 2011
Tangled hit screens in 2010 with much hullabaloo.  It is the fiftieth animated film produced by Disney Studios.  It is also at the center of a title controversy spinning around in Mickey land.  The film was originally entitled Rapunzel Unbraided and then just plain old Rapunzel, but that was changed once more to Tangled for reasons that differ depending on whom you ask.  Personally, I believe the change was made in an effort to expand the film's demographic outreach, but what do I know?

What I do know is that the film, based on the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel, is a very funy film that looks great on the surface but lacks the magic of older Disney princess flicks such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

The story follows the life of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) as she is born with magical hair that restores youth and health to any that come into contact with it while she sings an encantation.  As usual, a wicked old hag, Gothel (Donna Murphy), wants to remain forever young and beautiful, and kidnaps Rapunzel when she is a baby and hides her away from the rest of the world in a secret tower.

Each year, Rapunzel's biological parents release thousands of floating lanterns into the sky hoping that their daughter will follow their light back home.  Rapunzel, feeling drawn to these lights, is determined to see them up close and personal instead of from the tower on her eighteenth birthday.  Her only problem?  She is afraid of the outside world and needs a guide.

Meanwhile, a common thief named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) and the crooked Stabbington brothers (both voiced by Ron Perlman) have managed to steal the crown of the lost princess and a huge price is tacked onto their skulls.  While being chased, the group is separated and Rider stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower. 

Rapunzel knocks out Rider with a frying pan, manages to retrieve his satchel containing the crown,  and hides him in her closet fearing that Gothel will be angry with her.  She is very proud of herself for actually facing one of the many "dangers" that Gothel warned her about and handling the situation. 

When Gothel does return, she flatly refuses Rapunzel the opportunity to see the lanterns in person.  Rapunzel then tricks Gothel into leaving on a three day trip to find a specific paint for her in order to buy herself enough time to see the lanterns and return home before Gothel knows anything has happened. 

When Gothel leaves, Rapunzel drags Rider out of the closet and makes a deal with him.  She'll return his crown if he agrees to take her to see the lanterns.  They make an unsteady agreement on the matter but Rider repeatedly tries to convince her to get out of the deal.  This serves as one of the funniest parts of the film as Rapunzel goes from being ecstatic about being free of the tower and then guilt-ridden over the heartache she might put Gothel through if she ever finds out the truth.

From here, the story goes into standard fairy tale mode.  The Stabbington brothers and the king's army (specifically Maximus, one of the king's horses)  are after Rider now, and he must maneuver around both while also trying to get out of his deal with Rapunzel.  Gothel realizes what is going on as well and utilizes a sinister scheme to get Rapunzel back and eliminate Rider. 

As expected, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider grow close to one another and a light romance develops.  Rider exposes Rapunzel to a whole new world (sorry for the Aladdin reference) and she teaches him to be proud of who he really is.  Heck, even Maximus develops a bond with Rider.

Does Rapunzel manage to find her true place as a princess?  Will Gothel succeed in her scheme?  Will you laugh at the antics of a chameleon named Pascal?  You'll have to watch Tangled in order to find out.

Like I've already said, Tangled is a very funny film.  However, there's something missing in it that keeps me from wanting to give it more than three out of five stars.  The vocal performances (both dialogue and singing) were excellent, but the film's songs never did quite grab me.  The music was also very standard and lacked the whimsy and majesty of most of the other memorable Disney musicals.

Gothel is a decent villain, but there was never any doubt in my mind about the outcome of the film.  Granted, pretty much every Disney princess film has a happy ending, but there is always that one moment in the film where you begin to doubt the outcome.  That doesn't happen with Tangled.  Not once did I fear for Rapunzel's life.  Not at all!

The animation was beautiful, and it oftened reminded me of Disney's Hercules.  That particular film combined both traditional and digital animation, but it's the style of animation that I see hints of in Tangled.

Young children will definitely enjoy this film.  It's got plenty of laughs, a few scares, and one moment that actually made my nine-year-old daughter cry a bit.  My son, aged three, said he was a bit scared by Gothel at certain points in the film, but seemed to have made it through the film fairly unscathed.

As an adult who has loved Disney films since he first watched them as a child, I can say that i enjoyed Tangled but have no desire to watch it multiple times as I do films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood, and The Jungle Book.

In summary, Tangled is definitely entertaining, but don't go into it expecting Beauty and the Beast or Peter Pan.  Taken for what it is, it's worth at least one look.
Just A Few Strands Of Magic Weaved Into Just A Few Strands Of Magic Weaved Into Just A Few Strands Of Magic Weaved Into

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May 24, 2011
Great review, K! I actually watched this twice. Loved it :)
May 26, 2011
Thanks, D!
January 04, 2011
Heh. In some ways, we have similar headlines. You said " a few strands of magic" while I said "short on hair conditioner"...This was a tad disappointing, it was alright but it just didn't grab me. Nice review.
January 04, 2011
Yep, I couldn't resist the urge to get a hair reference in the title.
More Tangled reviews
review by . November 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
An Intended
It has been quite a long time since I’ve seen a Disney movie in theaters. As far as I remember the last great Disney movie I’ve seen in cinemas was “The Lion King” and the rest of Disney’s outings such as “Mulan” and “Pocahantas” I’ve only seen on video. Well, seeing as I was convinced by a friend to see a more light-hearted fare this week, I agreed to see “TANGLED”. It is the 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated …
review by . April 12, 2011
posted in Awesomeness
Much like a Disney bluebird, another $10 flutters away from my wallet, serial numbers flapping while Alexander Hilton stares out at me coldly. Tangled is a triple-threat to my attention span, simultaneously making me sleepy, itchy and a little hungry during the middle. The tap-tap-tap sound you can hear is another nail being driven in the coffin containing my terminally ill love for the movie industry.      On the positive side, nobody can accuse Mandy Moore of mumbling. Cranking …
review by . March 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Summer is around the corner, let's get those hair out of the way!
It's a typical Disney film and you can expect all that you can expect out of a Disney film.    Tangled is the 21st century Rapunzel and if you've not read the outline of the story, then it's a highly enjoyable film. I watched this on my 2nd half of my 5 hour flight from Singapore to Shanghai last night, after spending an enjoyable first half on Love and Other Drugs. Despite the harsh reality of the first half of my journey, the 2nd half was a lot lighter and still pretty …
review by . January 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
After a stint of about two decades, wherein fans of the old Disney movies nostalgically lamented the gradual decline of Disney, the studio which once brought us such classics as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast appears to have kicked its mojo back into gear with its latest feature, Tangled. The computer-animated film, based on the well-known German fairy tale “Rapunzel,” follows Disney’s tried and true formula -- and lo’ and behold, the recipe still produces magic. Tangled …
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In the late 80's Disney put out The Little Mermaid.  The film more or less established a formula for Disney that they pretty much kept running with through the 90's.  You take a simple existing story or fairy tale or myth... you make it kid friendly (none of these Disney classics really followed the original tales that particularly well) and then you add in a few songs and a love story of some sort.  This made Disney films like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast …
review by . May 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     Disney has always had a reputation, which is the same for me or anyone else really, that has me wondering what they'll cook up next. They always have something on the stove; something good, and sometimes even great. Now, you can't have a good animated film just by having good animation; you need something more. "Tangled" is an animated feature that adds a clever little ingredient, giving it a nice taste, thus bringing it from the potential "animated, goofy …
review by . January 07, 2011
I was not terribly enthusiastic about seeing TANGLED, and in fact, I didn't see it for several weeks. But a slow Sunday afternoon came around, and having seen pretty much everything elseā€¦I was coaxed into attending. And now the film is on my Top 10 for 2010 list!    This is a Disney picture, with the graphic sensibilities of a Pixar film. I know the two companies are allied, but what I mean is this: Pixar has had the corner on smart, modern looking, genre-twisting films. Nary …
review by . January 22, 2011
Tangled is another attempt to get back to the classic disney formula of stunning visuals accompanied by sweeping snarky coming-of-age romances and great musical numbers, and may I say they definitely succeeded. This is far from Disney's best movie, but definitely not their worst. Plus, for me its currently tied with Meet the Robinsons for best non-pixar disney CGI movie. This is also quite a different type of princess movie, it being sort of an adventure movie as well. Despite princessdom being …
review by . May 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
PG - 100mins - Animation/Comedy/Family - 28th January 2011 It has been well over 10 years since the Walt Disney Animation Studios branch of Disney has had anything to shout home about as they have struggled to live up to their past successes (Lion King, Aladdin all the way back to Snow White in 1937) and compete with the modern animations of it’s sister company Disney Pixar. Tangled is based on the Brothers Grimm story of Rapunzel (the film’s title was only changed from Rapunzel shortly …
review by . November 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the pleasures of watching "The Princess and the Frog" a year ago was in knowing that Disney was getting back in touch with their roots. They gave us a traditional hand-drawn animated film, a process they had abandoned after the 2004 release of "Home on the Range." It was like witnessing a glorious rebirth, the resurrection of a seemingly lost art form. My hope what that it would once again become custom for animated films to be done by hand. It may be painstaking, but …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #5
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


is an upcoming 2010 American 3D animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and starring the voices of Mandy Mooreand Zachary Levi. It will be the 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, planned for release on November 24, 2010, the day before Thanksgiving. The story is largely based on the classic German fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm.
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Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: November 24, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Dan Fogelman
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
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