Home > Movie Reviews > Tangle-free and shiny: Disney’s “Tangled”

Tangle-free and shiny: Disney’s “Tangled”

For a movie named “Tangled,” Disney’s new animation feature is surprisingly smooth.  The characters are beautifully rendered, as are several very moving scenes, which I’m sure Orion has emphasized enough.  Princess Rapunzel has been kidnapped for the healing powers of her luscious blond hair, which may not be cut, and thus has lived her whole life in isolation, with only her ‘mother’ Gothel as a company.  Of course, she has an adorable chameleon named Pascal as a sidekick, but she spends most of her time struggling to fill it up.  Boredom is certainly a familiar feeling for the age-group this movie is targeted at, and this movie surely succeeds at curing it.

Going in, I didn’t realize “Tangled” was going to have singing; it’s been a long time since I saw a musical picture.  However, the singing felt right at place; Mandy Moore did a surprisingly nice job of giving our princess her voice, as did all the other members of the cast.  It’s actually very refreshing to get a song in the middle of a movie, to give it texture and a break from plain old speech.  Gothel’s voice actress especially – Donna Murphy – gives an excellent performance of the line, “Mother knows best.”  Even from the bright beginnings of the movie, there is a hint of menace in her voice; by the end, it has fully emerged as a beast, rasping its way to dominance.

The movie overall was adorable, pulling in an expressive horse, plenty of ragamuffins, and of course a dose of true love.  Flynn Rider, a daring thief whose real name turns out to be Eugene Fitzherbert, stumbles upon Rapunzel and the two are whisked off through the forest in a quid pro quo relationship, alone together in a “Shrek”-like recipe for interaction.  It’s cute stuff, and well set up.

At one point – to me, the climax of the movie – Rapunzel and Eugene sit on a rowboat, watching the sky fill up with paper lanterns (kong ming deng, if you’re familiar with them).  Eugene surprises Rapunzel with their own set of paper lanterns, and this simple gesture is unbelievably touching.  The entire scene (the same one Orion has gone on and on about) is so realistically rendered; the timing is carefully considered, so that it is perfect.  In what could be a scene on scale of the hundreds of plants from “Curse of the Golden Flower,” lanterns outshine the stars with their fiery magnificence.

Overall – beautiful, wholesome, sweet; it’s no “Beauty and the Beast,” but it’s a hell of a lot better than some of the other stuff Disney has been putting out lately.  See it to get a lift from the grind of finals week!

Best regards,

Apple

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