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Tangled (2010)

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

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Nearly Back to Form

  • Feb 5, 2011
Rating:
+4
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 and the Lion King (among others) really stand out.  With Tangled, Disney is trying to get back to that form.  By reinventing the story of Rapunzel with Tangled.  But it does just about everything that worked for Disney in those classic films of the early 90's.  It has simple characters, a simple story and the same formula that Disney has always relied on.  It works well with Tangled.  In spite of a few glaring problems it's the closest to getting in touch with their animation renaissance of the 90's. 

Tangled is no Pixar animated film, however.  For the most part the animation isn't as refiningly fresh as anything Pixar puts out.  But I'm not much to care about such things.  The animation still has character and provides Tangled with a sense of cartoon wonder.  If anything it's actually rather nice.

The story is where Tangled might throw some people off.  Like so much of what Disney crafted in the past, it takes a basic story seen in myths and fairy tales and sort of changes things around.  Tangled, of course, centers on Rapunzel.  She is the lost princess, stolen from her parents when she was just a baby by a woman who wanted to stay young.  This is because Rapunzel's hair glows when she sings and has the ability to heal wounds, make people younger etc.  But she can't cut it.  If she cuts it the hair loses it's power.  This is a different twist on the typical Rapunzel story.  I'd expect no less from Disney here.  In the first place the original tale of Rapunzel would make... a terrible family film.  In fact, it would make a terrible film in general.  The story itself is extremely dark.  This wouldn't be the first time Disney has done this.  Nearly every animated film Disney touched in the 90's were films based off extremely dark stories that were given a lighter (and overall different) story.  In short, Tangled uses the same formula Disney has always used.  And here the story works out. 

Rapuzel has been placed in a tower by an evil woman who wants to stay  young.  Flynn Rider is our other protagonist who is a thief.  The movie begins by showing him steal a crown from a castle.  While outrunning (and outsmarting) the guards of the castle he accidentally stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower, climbs in to hide.  She sneaks up on him and knocks him out.

It is here where Tangled seems to actually really start to pick up.  Rapunzel has grown accustomed to seeing the Kingdom release these lanterns in the distance and she wants to go and see them up close instead of watching from the tower.  Her evil stepmother, of course, does not want her leaving the tower, but with Flynn to guide her, she feels she can step out into the world.  So Flynn agrees to take her to the lanterns.  But along the way he still has to outrun the guards.  Including a pesky horse named Maximus.

The story has it's fun moments.  In particular the character of Flynn Rider is a charming guy.  There are also a lot of laugh out loud funny moments and a lighthearted humor.  If there was anything  wrong with Tangled's storytelling, it would be that it overdoes things come the end.  I won't spoil it, but the ending sort of has a way of throwing a little too much too fast.  I'm talking about AFTER it's big twist at the end (which I kind of can't spoil).  It goes for a Beauty and the Beast/Little Mermaid mirrored ending, but it overdoes it.  Everything before this, however, including the downfall of Rapunzel's evil stepmother is pretty good.  The other part that might feel awkward, however, is how Rapunzel discovers that she is, indeed, the lost princess.  It's actually the one part that made me scratch my head.  It doesn't come together in any logical way whatsoever.

On the other hand, Tangled relies quite heavily on Disney tricks of the past that made some of their traditional animated films fun.  There are a few musical numbers.  Not all of them as catchy as say... "A Part of Your World," in The Little Mermaid or ANY song in Beauty and the Beast, but at least it shows that Disney is trying to get back to form in some way.  The movie isn't overtly drowned out in this sort of thing either and that helps things a great deal. 

But there are even parts in Tangled that are quite emotionally lifting.  Not just it's two main characters who are fun to be around, but even genuine moments.  The romance that blossoms between Flynn and Rapunzel, for example, actually develops over a period of time rather than being instantaneous.  We already know that they will fall in love.  As I said, Disney has a formula and they've never really had much desire to go beyond it.  Thus, Tangled is going to be a predictable film.  As most children's movies are.  But I can sit down and enjoy the ride.

Tangled is also a good example of how to do 3D well in a film.  I never thought I'd actually say that.  But when I saw Tangled I pretty much had to do 3D.  I can tell the 3D was done well because I had an extremely bad headache upon seeing it.  I know how that sounds, but bear with me.  When it's bad 3D and I can't tell it's 3D (like say... Clash of the Titans or Tron Legacy) the stimulation doesn't bother me.  It's how  I know the 3D is terrible.  Tangled actually uses 3D in a way you'd like for 3D to be used.  Not to make things pop out or anything like that... but to draw us in.  To bring us into the world we're in.  Sort of the way How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 managed to do the same thing.  Filming these animated films in 3D has so far proven to be good.  It doesn't make me care for 3D (how can I when GOOD 3D gives me a headache and bad 3D steals from my wallet?) and it doesn't really make it seem like anything beyond a gimmick, but it shows that 3D CAN work in a film when utilized right.  Tangled is one of those films that utilizes it well.

Tangled is a fun movie.  For kids in particular they might like it.  It has a quality about it that can remind you of films like The Little Mermaid.  Although it dumps the whole making Flynn a prince thing, which is very nice.  It's a fun movie that has some good humor and that also has a bit of heartwarming moments.  For those who grew up with Disney films in the 90's, this is the closest you'll get to reliving that.  It doesn't quite reach to that level, but it DOES reach a little at least.

By themselves, Disney has had a rough time with some of their computer animated films.  Even some of the better ones like Bolt.  Tangled is worthwhile.  It isn't as fantastic as what Disney used to do, but it's the closest they've come to that in a very long time. 

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February 09, 2011
This is one that I've been meaning to view. Nice review!
 
February 08, 2011
I still need to see this. My problem with Disney since the early '90s has been that they seem to target a more immature audience by placing the focus of their films on frenetic action, slapstick humor and fart jokes, and pop culture references. I'd really like to see them move back into classic fairy tale and fantasy stories like "Beauty and the Beast".
 
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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 . 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 . April 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Tale About Long Hair Helps Disney Find Its Roots
   Long-time readers (sufferers as the case may be) of my critical efforts may have noticed a certain pattern whereby I locate, for purpose of review, animated feature films so obscure that even the individuals responsible for their creation have long forgotten about them.  Usually (but not always), it isn’t very difficult for me to find fault in these works but alas, to insure the accuracy of my whole scale of judgment, I proudly visit the latest, greatest, high-budgeted, …
review by . January 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Just A Few Strands Of Magic Weaved Into
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, …
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 …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
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I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Tangled
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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Details

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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