Summary: Rapunzel has been locked up in a tower all her life, and now that she is 18, she’s decided she is going to achieve her dream of seeing the floating lights that appear every night, but her mother has forbidden her from going. However when the their Flynn Rider turns up in her tower, she finally has a way to get out, and make her dream comes true. But what she finds beyond her tower is more then she ever expected.
I never thought I’d see a full out tribute to Monty Python and the Holy Grail in a Disney movie. Yet in Tangled, this is par for the course. When I went in, I wasn’t expecting much, just a fun warm fuzzies Disney movie. What I got was one of the best non-Pizar Disney movies they’ve produced in years, one that I feel was far superior to The Princess and the Frog that came out just last year—and I was a fan of that one too. Tangled is entertaining on a whole another level, and a more mature film, aimed for an older audience.
The writers seem to have acknowledged right off the bat that no matter what they did, the movie would be on the side of ridiculous, so they went for all out ridiculous. The result is a rather light hearted two/thirds of the movie with many moments of “Completely impractical but so awesome” and some very engaging action scenes. Yet when the movie gets serious, it becomes surprisingly dark.
I keep wondering what movie it will be when John Lasseter (executive producer of this film) finally breaks the trend that all Disney movies have a happy ending. He keeps dancing closer and closer to that line. I do not believe this man will retire without one of his movies having a tragic ending.
Part of what makes the movie works is that most of the main characters are surprisingly complex characters, which makes me for a range of things from amusing interactions and dialogues to some realistic conflict. Even the animals that never talk were given individual personalities. In the end They all felt well-developed and very individualistic What helped create characters with such impact, in my opinion, was the effort put into each on having an individual way they carried themselves, as well as expressing their emotions.
After all, in my eyes the art was one of the extreme high points of the movie. When it was first revealed the Tangled would be CGI, I, like many others, thought they’d lost their mind by going to route. One too many ugly cgi movies have been burned into mind. Yet this unbelievably beautiful, with an absolutely gorgeous of choice of colors. It really borders on the edge of mind-blowing, and I think I could watch it over and over just for that animation.
The movie does take it sweet time getting started though, and even when it does, it’s still drags in the romance scenes. The thing is, the movie isn’t about the relationship between the “prince” and the “princess” but the personal growth about the “prince” and the “princess” with more focus on the character of Rapunzel. There wasn’t enough time spent on making the relationship grow between them (although the movie didn’t have enough time for that to happen). Instead they were suddenly uncomfortable with each other to madly in love. I really felt the two had developed a bond and become close friends, but the romance never quite fit, and the scenes that focused on that were a pain. Luckily those are few and far inbetween, and for the most part the relationship between them is one epic friendship.
In the end, there’s little to complain about. Beautiful animation, genuinely funny, engaging action, and well-done characters. If one is already a fan of animated movies, there’s no reason not to at least give this movie a chance. Heck, even if you’re already completely opposed to checking this out, at least watch their take on the dance number from “Camelot” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
I’m pretty impressed when even the non-talking animals are fleshed out characters. While Flynn Rider is an expanded on cliché (but originality is rare), Rapunzel and her mother felt like original characters. Regardless, effort was put into making sure the characters were well-rounded.
Overall Storyline A
The movie enjoys subverting the typical clichés seen in the Disney Princess movies, and is an innovative take on the story of Rapunzel.
Not a whole lot of time is spent of the setting, and the viewer is left to assume it’s a typical fantasy kingdom. Yet places characters visit are given names or distinctive traits so make it feel like an actual place, so effort was still put into this part.
Final Grade: A