Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Jason and I finally got to see the newest animated Disney film, Tangled.  From the previews I wasn't really expecting much, but it was actually much better than I anticipated.  Basically, for those of you that have yet to see it we have the story of Rapunzel, but changed and spiced up a bit.  I won't ruin the ending, but here's a general summary (Small spoiler alert) - an old witch finds a flower that can heal you and also make you younger.  She uses it to keep herself young and beautiful, but eventually the King takes her flower to save his dying wife, who is pregnant.  When the baby is born, she (Rapunzel) has the same magical properties of the flower in her hair, but if it is ever cut she loses the magic.  To keep herself young the witch steals Rapunzel away and keeps her locked up in a tower so she can use her hair whenever she wants to.  One day a bandit named Flynn Rider comes to Rapunzel's tower to hide from the palace guards, and he ends up making a deal with Rapunzel that he will take her to visit the city for a day, then bring her back to the tower.  Of course, various adventures occur, Rapunzel's "mom" plots on how to get her back, there's romance, sadness, and ultimately a happy ending - everything that a Disney movie should be!

The animation in the film was beautiful.  Rapunzel's hair was all sorts of awesome.  It was CGI, making the style look a lot closer to a Pixar movie than what we traditionally think of as Disney animation, even from recent films (such as The Princess and the Frog).  While it was wonderful I hope that isn't a sign that Disney has given up on the more traditional style of animation completely.  I just checked and Disney's 2011 animated film is a new Winnie the Pooh one, which will be done in traditional animation, so there's hope.

There are certainly some humorous parts, such as the scene in The Snuggly Duckling.  There are also some sad parts and those that are very emotionally touching.  One thing that both Jason and I were impressed with was that none of the characters felt too one-dimensional, which can be an issue with children's movies in particular.  And I absolutely loved the ending.  Obviously I won't say anything to ruin it, but it was the perfect mix of everything and it worked well, though completely unexpected (at least for me!).  There were a few rather cliche moments within the film, but I think it's to be expected at this point from a Disney film/fairy tale.

The Music
While the music was overall good, and I'm glad that they did make it a legitimate musical, none of the music was all that memorable.  That's to say, the next day I couldn't recall the tunes to any of the songs they sang.  I've refreshed myself with clips from amazon, and I will say that the opening song, "When Will My Life Begin," was a super fun one, probably my favorite in the movie.  "Mother Knows Best" was an all right villain song, and "I've Got a Dream" was extremely silly - little kids will love it.  "I See the Light" is the typical love song, pretty good, and nominated for an Academy Award.

The Villain
I thought Rapunzel's "mom" was an extremely interesting villain, and I wish there could have been a way to see more of her thoughts and motives.  She pretends to love Rapunzel and visits her every day for 18 years... even though you know it's just for the magic her hair has, you wonder if there's any chance she could truly care for Rapunzel after all of those years.  But no, though she does seem more real than many villains, she is completely malicious but puts on a caring face.  She obviously does not care what happens to Rapunzel personally, she only cares about maintaining her hair.  She ruins Rapunzel's life in multiple ways, all so she can be young and beautiful.

The Disney World Connection
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider have started making regular appearances in WDW.  They've got tons of Tangled merchandise in the parks and little girls can be "styled" as Rapunzel at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  No rides or shows yet, but since the movie seems pretty popular I wouldn't be surprised, especially since Magic Kingdom is really amping up the princess offerings with their new expansion.

My rating:  9 out of 10
Jason's rating:  8 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to seeing this one. I appreciated your comment that you hope Disney doesn't abandon the traditional animation. I think there is room for both the traditional and CGI.