Film Review: Tangled
03/31/2011 04:26AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple
Nobody does princess movies like Disney, and Tangled is one of the best animated Disney films without a Pixar logo to be released in years. Somehow the film makers here were able to hit all the right notes while navigating through a story that could have easily been too heavy handed or just too predictable.
The story is a re-imagining of the Rapunzel storyline. In this version the Rapunzel is kidnapped by an old woman who traps Rapunzel for the magical element of her hair, which acts like a fountain of youth. Of course as Rapunzel grows older she becomes curious about the outside world, and most specifically about a celebration in the far off kingdom that sends floating lanterns in the air. Her captor, who masquerades as her mother, refuses to let Rapunzel set foot outside her tower and uses fear of the outside world to keep her there.
Enter Flynn, a charming thief who has stolen a royal crown, and while escaping from the royal guard hides in Rapunzel’s tower. She apprehends Flynn and hides his loot. The two strike a deal, the crown in exchange for him leading her to the town’s celebration. The adventure begins.
The writers have added a few twists in the fairy tale including the magic in Rapunzel’s hair, and all the twists work marvelously. They also made the decision to include two animal sidekicks, a lizard and a horse. Usually these sidekicks are an annoyance to the adults but fun for the kids. In Tangled they remove these sidekick’s voices and the results are great. Both are great elements of the film and perhaps have the biggest laughs.
I really enjoyed the character designs and look of the film. The way they animated Rapunzel’s hair, it was almost like its own character in the movie. The details they put in the face, like Rapunzel’s front teeth being slightly large, really sets Disney movies apart in production quality. No animation production team puts the energy into the details like the house of Disney.
One of the biggest factors of Disney’s recent run of successful “princess” movies dating back to the Little Mermaid is their uncanny knack of creating such lovably flawed and interesting princesses. Rapunzel is no exception. Make no mistake, Rapunzel has issues, but they use those issues to make Rapunzel relatable to an audience. Everyone can understand Rapunzel’s anxiety about disappointing her mother and disobeying her orders. It’s a process everyone goes through with their parents, granted on a smaller scale. But the audience all roots for her escape and to take on the adventure. All of the main characters are very relatable in this movie which makes the audience care about their plight.
The action and danger in Tangled earned a Disney princess movie its first “PG” rating. Although the action is more intense than other Disney movies parents will be glad to know that it is perfectly acceptable for children to watch. Tangled is a thrilling adventure and definitely one of the most fun films of 2010. In fact Tangled was one of my favorite films of last year regardless of genre. Adults and children alike will thoroughly enjoy Tangled and it’s definitely worthy of the multiple viewings my young daughters and I will partake in.
FILMS LIKE TANGLED: The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.