Tangled

Movie review by Natalie Homer

Starring (voices of): Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman

Directors: Byron Howard, Nathan Greno

After receiving healing powers from a magical flower at birth, the baby Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from the palace by Mother Gothel, who needs the flower’s magical powers – now growing within the golden hair of Rapunzel – to stay young. Having spent her entire life within the tower with just Mother and her tiny, silent pet chameleon Pascal for company, Rapunzel is now a feisty teenager with hair that has grown to a length of 70-feet looking for her ticket out of there.

One day, the kingdom’s most wanted and most charming bandit, Flynn Rider decides to hide out in the mysterious tower after stealing a jewelled tiara meant for the lost princess, when he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel. Hiding the crown, she strikes a deal with the charming thief to act as her guide and take her to the place where the floating lights come from, that she has seen every year on her birthday. In return she will hand back the tiara. It is to this back-story, the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade that will thrill, amaze and entertain.

After escaping from the tower, Rapunzel and Flynn find themselves on the run from the Stabbington Brothers, a pair of local thugs whom Flynn has double-crossed; Mother Gothel, who needs the hair’s magic to stay young and the royal guards, who want the tiara back. During the fugue, Rapunzel and Flynn begin to grow more attracted to one another and the question turns to whether Flynn will succumb to his bad boy ways and betray Rapunzel’s trust — especially when she decides to give him the tiara before he has fulfilled with his part of the deal.

Also in pursuit is a royal guards’ horse, Maximus. This is perhaps the most interesting character in the movie. He seems to combine the characteristics of a blundering policeman, a resolute bloodhound and a soppy uncle-type. He is smart, tough and relentless, but also fair. Another utterly charming character is Pascal, Rapunzel’s loyal, witty and brave pet chameleon. There are also some great set pieces – in one scene, Rapunzel and Flynn are trapped in a cave filling with water where they use her glowing hair to escape.

TANGLED, officially Disney’s 50th animated feature, marries incredibly sleek 3D computer animation to a treatment of a fairy tale (in this case, a cheeky retelling of Brothers Grimm story “Rapunzel”) to produce a reassuring formula complete with stepmother-type villain, dashing hero and heroine, animal sidekicks, and musical numbers.

The artwork and 3D animation on this film are superb. It is filled with bright imagery and glorious colours in the grand tradition of Disney animation. This film uses computerized animation that is somehow blended with the style of hand-drawn artwork making it look like a three-dimensional painting that has come to life.

The end result is a thoroughly fun, immersive experience, full of humour, good music and the traditional happy ending that any fairy tale worth its name should deliver.

Its ending is pure Disney magic.

6 out of 6 stars

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