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Julian’s Rating: 8/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.3/10
(4 ratings total)
Since releasing the first ever full-length animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, no animation studio could even hold a candle to Walt Disney Studios. While Tangled is no “Snow White,” it continues the Disney tradition of expertly crafting timeless tales into incredible animated films.
The wanted thief Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi) gives us some key details that take place before the film while also fleeing the castle guard since he just stole a jeweled crown. This story doesn’t stray too far from the original fairy tale penned by the Brothers Grimm: Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) maintains her youth and beauty by singing to a flower with magic powers. When the queen of the land is sick in childbirth, the flower is taken so she will become well. As it so happens, the flower bestows those powers upon her child Rapunzel. Mother Gothel then kidnaps the child and locks her in a tower, raising the child as her own so she can continue to live.
We are then introduced to our long-haired maiden (voiced by Mandy Moore), who desperately wants to see the floating lights on her upcoming eighteenth birthday but is forbidden by Mother Gothel to leave the tower. When the aforementioned marauder Flynn Rider seeks refuge in the tower, Rapunzel beats him in the head with a frying pan. The two later make a deal: if Flynn takes Rapunzel to see the floating lights, she’ll return his loot. The two then set off in a thrilling and enchanting adventure.
Anyone skeptical of the film due to the male-oriented marketing, including the title change from Rapunzel and dismissal of Broadway vets like Kristin Chenoweth and Dan Fogler from its roster of voice actors, shouldn’t worry. The film is no way a “modern” interpretation either. Aside from the shaky exposition from Flynn Rider, this film is a prime example of that classic Disney storytelling we all know and love.
Mandy Moore breathes life into Rapunzel and also lends her lovely vocals to her interpretation of the heroine throughout the film. Flynn Rider is charismatic and exciting thanks to Zachary Levi’s lively voice work. The singing voices of the two actors come together beautifully on the Alan Menken-penned ballad “I See the Light,” which will no doubt nab the film an Original Song nomination at the Oscars. Last but not least, Broadway veteran Donna Murphy brilliantly voices Mother Gothel, though the character herself ranks lowly among Disney villains, slightly higher than Queen Narissa from the otherwise terrific fantasy/comedy Enchanted.
The soundtrack isn’t quite as strong as your average Disney film. Even the tunes in The Princess and the Frog are far superior, but that still doesn’t discredit the work done by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The former has always been an expert on ingeniously crafting a great song, while the latter has certainly come a long way since his first collaboration with Menken, the ill-received 2004 film Home on the Range.
To put it simply, Tangled finds a delicate balance between modern animated comedy that gets audiences interested and the traditional Disney storytelling that still endears to this day. A bittersweet send-off to Disney’s adaptations of fairy tales, it’s a marvelous treat for both families and those looking for some classic Disney nostalgia.
Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
Written by Dan Fogelman, Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (fairy tale)
Starring: Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Max thought: “Better late than never! It’s a shame it took until Tangled for Disney to produce a quality 3-D film on their own (without Pixar’s official touch), but they look to have done it well with their most recent animated release. That doesn’t make or put Tangled on par with the best (or worst) of Pixar’s recent offerings (anyone who tries to argue Tangled is superior to Toy Story 3 can lightly be called a fool), but it does make for a more enjoyable experience than you’d expect. I have to give a shout out to the animation team responsible for bringing the white horse Maximus (what a great name!) to life; easily the most expressive and entertaining of the cast without having to speak. The voice cast is fun and well-cast (never thought I’d like Mandy Moore in anything), but the best of the bunch is definitely Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel. She’s a Broadway staple and it shows with every syllable in the best way. Save for “I See the Light” (Julian being right, expect an Oscar nom … not because it’s good but because it’s Disney), Murphy has the most memorable musical number(s) in the film. In the end, Tangled may not stay with you like the Disney films of old, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the Mouse House.” Rating: 7/10
Simon thought: “After the horrendous advertisements for this musical Disney throwback fairytale, I approached this film with trepidation even with my love for animated films at large. After a shaky opening 15 minutes I could not help but be swept away by this enchanting, funny, warm, beautifully rendered and acted adventure. With its traditional roots dug from the story of Rapunzel and catchy original songs, despite being in CG, Tangled feels more like classic Disney than did The Princess and the Frog. Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi as the imprisoned princess and the dashing Flynn Ryder respectively are perfect in the lead voice roles, both nailing the comedic scenes while lending real personality to others. Despite the obligatory inclusion of an adorable animal sidekick, Tangled has fresh ideas to offer in a familiar (and beloved) package.” Rating: 7.5/10
Dinah thought: “Tangled is harmless family fun. It is not epic in darkness, or realism, or challenging morale lessons. It is a simple princess picture for kids complete with an evil mother figure and a handsome male to save the day. It’s light on song and dance numbers (thankfully) and heavy on humor thanks to a hostile horse named Maximus. Tangled is mainly family fare better for child audiences than adults.” Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.3/10