In Disney’s newest addition to their repertoire of updated classic fairy tales, not only has a new precocious princess been added to the line-up, but in that special way that is only Disney, new life has been breathed into a treasured classic. Tangled is the re-telling of the story of Rapunzel, the young girl with the extremely long hair who has been hidden away in a tower. She is about to turn eighteen years old and although she knows her special gift of her life-giving magical hair and the possibility of someone abusing this special power is the reason she is locked away from the rest of the world; Rapunzel does not know that she is also a princess, kidnapped by the woman she calls her mother who uses her hostage’s gift for her own vanity. As it is with most teenagers, Rapunzel is feeling cooped up and in need of some adventure. She begs her “mother”, Mother Gothel, to let her out of her tower and explore the world. Terrified someone will discover her crime, Mother Gothel convinces Rapunzel that she knows what is best and denies Rapunzel’s request. Soon after their disagreement Mother Gothel leaves and an ever so charming and egotistical young thief named Flynn Rider discovers Rapunzel’s hidden hideaway. Certain he is there to harm her; Rapunzel captures Flynn and finds his newest stolen treasure. In exchange for his freedom and loot, Flynn agrees to take Rapunzel into the real world and act as her guide. The impending adventure that unfolds is full of hilarious antics and heart warming moments. Not only are the duo hunted by Flynn’s former partners in crime, but Mother Gothel is also soon on their trail to retrieve her magical daughter before anyone realizes who she is.
Tangled is an animated work of art as each scene looks like it was painted by one of the great masters. The scenery was based on the painting The Swing by French artist Jean-Honore’ Fragonard resulting in a lush and romantic setting for this quaint yet contemporary story. Besides the breathtaking landscapes, Tangled is an inventive and smart movie that children will love and Mom and Dad will enjoy as well. The songs are creative and catchy and blend perfectly into the storyline. Disney expertly combines the old with the new in the update of this classic.
As with any great story, Tangled is filled with memorable characters full of life and spunk. Mandy Moore is in top form as Rapunzel. She is not just a pretty face, but a complex and likable young woman yearning to discover the world around her. Her voice is strong and pitch-perfect. Zachary Levi embodies the hilarious, egocentric, and filled with big dreams Flynn Rider (whose name is homage to Errol Flynn, the original Prince of Thieves). Only he is accompanied by a band of not-so merry men who are more interested in collecting the warrant on Flynn’s head instead of helping him. Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel is a tour-de-force raven-haired wolf in sheep’s clothing. She is a terrific tyrant full of vanity and cunning deceit. Two other memorable characters do not utter a single word. Maximus, a palace guard horse, is won over by Rapunzel’s charms and acts as a chaperone on her and Flynn’s adventure. Pascal, a charismatic chameleon, has been Rapunzel’s only friend during her imprisonment and has a way of commenting on the situation without uttering a syllable. These quaint and comedic characters are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. All together, Tangled is a dazzling edition to Disney’s collection of family friendly movies. Full of passion and not at all contrite, this movie is a superb addition to any movie lover’s library.