Anthony's Film Review
Though nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, Tangled still offers a fun and memorable story...
Believe it or not, Walt Disney Pictures has released its 50th feature-length animated film. That's right. After a little over seven decades, the animation studio bearing the name of one of the greatest animators ever has released 49 movies into theaters after the very first one, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Now, the reason I'm mentioning this milestone is not because the 50th film, the computer-animated feature Tangled, is among Disney's best. Rather, it's because Tangled, which still manages to be above average, continues to deliver the familiar Disney formula even after all these years.
Like several past Disney features, Tangled features a lead female character and one who is a princess. She is Rapunzel, a young lady with very (and I mean VERY) long golden hair. As the movie's prologue explains, Rapunzel's mother drank a broth made of a magical flower to cure an illness during her pregnancy. Consequently, Rapunzel is born with magical hair that could heal wounds and even reverse aging. However, an evil old woman named Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and locks her away in a tower. Gothel acts as a surrogate mother, but her real purpose is to stay young forever, using the magic in Rapunzel's hair.
Naturally, Rapunzel longs to explore the outside world, particularly when lights from a distant festival appear in the sky once a year. This is where the movie introduces the leading male character, who is not exactly a prince but certainly has the looks for one. He is Flynn Ryder, a thief who has just stolen a valuable crown from the kingdom. He and Rapunzel meet when he enters her tower to hide from his pursuers. However, the meeting is rather tense, as Rapunzel knocks Flynn out with a frying pan and ties him up with her own hair.
Thankfully, they trust each other enough to stick together. They embark on a journey so that Rapunzel can see the outside world while Flynn can recover the crown he stole. On the way, there are more elements from the Disney formula, including musical numbers, some jokes, and a perilous situation or two. Oh, and did I forget to mention animal sidekicks? I did. In this movie, the animal characters include Rapunzel's pet chameleon named Pascal and a horse named Maximus, the latter of whom has an intense dislike of Flynn. As for the villains of the Disney formula, you have, of course, Mother Gothel, plus a few thugs who might be trouble for both Rapunzel and Flynn.
At this point, I won't go further into the plot, as it's something that you can have fun discovering on your own. Much of it, especially the finale, is predictable, and even if a few twists appear, you may still be able to guess what happens after that. Additionally, the songs are not bad, though forgettable afterwards, and the jokes are mildly funny as you could probably see them coming right before they happen. That's not to say the movie is a waste of time, because one element still stands out: emotion, whether it's joy, sadness, or fear. Such feelings are the core of any good story, Disney or otherwise, and as a result, Tangled works pretty well as a moving fairy tale.
And that's why I enjoyed this movie. As much as I would love to have memorable songs and jokes, I'm glad it developed the story first and foremost. As for the style of animation, I appreciate how the film is computer-animated but still feels traditionally animated. The three-dimensional characters do their thing in front of a three-dimensional background, no different from films in two-dimensional animation. 3D is just there to give the movie a modern look. So if you enjoyed older Disney animated films like The Little Mermaid or Aladdin, you might like Tangled. It may look totally different from what you've seen before, but believe me. The magic of the old Disney is still there.
For more information about Tangled, visit the Internet Movie Database.