'Tangled' Review: A Film For The Entire Family To Enjoy Over Thanksgiving Weekend
Coming off the heals of last year’s ‘THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG,’ Disney Pictures has brought forth yet another princess film, only this time around, they’ve done away with all the old-school pencil art authenticity and pretty much trademarked animation for the latest in CGI-based effects.
Question is does it work? Well, for the most part I thought it did. Although a huge fan of what was presented back when I was kid, Disney doesn’t step off much from keeping a story simple and subtle. Full of positive messages for kids to pick up on regarding disobedience and mother-knows-best, there’s a mood that sets in with the art of independence as well. I will not spoil it for anyone, but reading between the lines is something I often enjoy when watching any film – especially animated ones.
PIXAR (subsidiary to the Walt Disney Company) does an amazing job with hidden messages and always seem to carry levels of general emotions to trigger on those watching their films, and for the most part, I think the same has been presented in this latest visually upgraded version of Disney’s ‘TANGLED’ – which not only has a brand new feeling, but also less of the usual overdone musical approach which basically makes up most of their other classics. There’s music in ‘TANGLED,’ however, there’s a lot more dedicated to the art of story-telling, pacing and build-up which I actually enjoy a lot more.
When the kingdom's most wanted -- and most charming -- bandit Flynn Rider (Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel (Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and caretaker, Mother Gothel (Murphy) and a gruff gang of pub thugs. With much at stake considering both of their objectives, things don’t necessarily workout as easy as they had planned, however, in the midst of their commitments and mind-sets, the unveiling of a deep secret erupts which entices new outlook on destinations and long lost loved ones.
The levels of talent which were used in the film were pretty good. The sound of voices matched to animation and character is flawless, and for some reason or another I was able to do away with the mentality of Mandy Moore as a pop-star and focused more on a long lost princess seeking her answers.
The film’s full of innocent humor which can be enjoyed on any age level and also connects every character to each other without any kind of questions. A lot of what I felt made this film work was direction. Something which stood out I would say right in the first act is how the typical story of Rapunzel’s hair was completely set as second (2nd) or third (3rd) strings. That would have been the easy way to go to bring forth her story, instead, Directors Byron Howard, Nathan Greno centralized more on a story which set a different interest within Rapunzel herself as an individual, and by doing this, they pretty much started to lay some of the original approaches within past Disney princess films which focused on why the specific princess is special in her own way.
The start of that interest begins when right at the beginning of the film which not only narrates Rapunzel’s story, but also simultaneously presents her kidnapping at a very young age by Mother Gothel – who has her own agenda. From that moment on it strikes a different tone and sparked an interest as to what would be of her through the years while receiving all sorts of manipulating lies to keep her imprisoned in a tower which served as her home for eighteen (18) years.
The film has moments in which I felt could have been edited out and saved for their Blu-Ray DVD set, but it was still a cute film that worked and also made me miss my innocence. ‘TANGLED’ could have also been just as beautiful in 2-D. This notion of how 3-D is the way to go can sometimes make-or-break a film. During a year which provided a laundry list of garbage-based films in 3-D can be scary for some at times. My ‘THANGLED’ screening was in 3-D and all I kept thinking about was the amount of 3-D scenes which I could count on one hand that seemed to work, but a huge chuck that didn’t, and during hard economic times why would Disney want to suck more money out of parents’ pockets – especially as the holidays approach.
That’s neither here nor there, but I can’t wait for this 3-D era to just simply end. I guess that would be the only thing about ‘TANGLED’ which bugged me because this film – like most in 3-D – barely had anything that “jumped out of the screen.” There is one scene though, but I will not mention it. In the end, it’s a great film for an entire family to enjoy during Thanksgiving weekend.
GRADE: A- / GENRE: Kids/Family, Musical/Animation and Adaptation / ROARS: 4 out 5
RUN TIME: 1 Hr. 35 Min. / RATED: G
CAST: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy and Ron Perlman
DIRECTOR: Byron Howard and Nathan Greno
(Opens Wed. Nov. 24, 2010)
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