Sunday, December 26, 2010


A few weeks ago, The LA Times reported Disney's announcement that they were going to pull back from princess movies for a while.  Last year, the excellent "The Princess and the Frog" didn't do nearly as well as expected, and with the onslaught of "tween" popularity (see: Disney Channel's shows featuring Demi, Selena, Jonas and so on), princesses just aren't that big a deal anymore.

Similiarly, when "Sleeping Beauty" came out in 1959, the next thirty years were movies about cats, foxes, dalmations, and Mowgli, when they finally got back on the princess trail with Ariel, and soon after, Belle, Jasmine and so on.  And now, Tiana was last year, and Rapunzel will start the princessy hiatus. 

And Rapunzel is a great way to go out. 

When The Lovely Steph Leann and I finish a movie, I always look at her as the credits roll and say, "Whaddya think?" and she tells me "I loved it!" or "It was cute" or "Eh".  Then she asks me what I thought, and my answers are a bit more varied... and this time I said, "It was pretty good."  Typically, this means to The Lovely Steph Leann that I didn't like it at all.  Not true... I said the same thing about "The Proposal", and ended up really liking that movie quite a bit. 

And like "The Proposal", the more I thought about "Tangled", the more I liked it.  As pressure to not be princessy built over the year, Disney changed the marketing strategy of this film, even cutting a new trailer that concentrated on the hero, Flynn Rider, more so than the actual subject of the film, that being Rapunzel... but when you see the movie, in the first thirty seconds of the film, Flynn Rider tells you straight up, "This story is not about me...", smashcut to a tall tower where our heroine has been kept locked away.  The story is, and has always been, about Rapunzel.

Mandy Moore does the voice, and is vibrant and enthusiastic with it, seemingly realizing that she is one of the select few that can now say she's a Disney Voice.  The Steph Leann would kill to have such a line on her own resume.  Zachary Levi, from NBC's "Chuck" (and also a Christ Follower, by the way), is energetic and fun as Flynn.

The villian of the movie, Rapunzel's guardian Mother Gothel, is done perfectly by Broadway and television actress Donna Murphy.  Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel right at the beginning of the film, as the exposition is told, and locks her away... Gothel is not straight out evil, she's secretly bad, portraying that of a loving and caring mother while preserving her own self interests at Rapunzel's expense... for 18 years. 

The music is fun, nothing that stands out like "Circle of Life" or "Strange Things" from Toy Story would be, but still, it kept my toe tapping and The Lovely Steph Leann's head bobbing, and upon another viewing, there's nothing to say that I won't learn the songs soon enough.

What I'm really raving about, however, is the animation.  Its absolutely beautiful... its a combination of computer animation and hand drawn animation, and blended together, the colors are stark and subdued, bright and pastel and glorious.  All during the movie, I found my self looking at the detailed backgrounds of the woods, the village, the awesome scene where the candles float through the air, and so on. 

Anyway, if you like Disney fairy tales, especially ones that are smart, funny, have characters that aren't annoying, and music along the lines of recent films like "Enchanted" and "Princess & the Frog", then dig this film.  I don't know that I would go the 3D route, unless you just really want the 3D effects, and in fact, 3D tends to slightly diminish color, so go 2D with it. 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked Tangled too!! Its had been a while since I've seen a Disney flick and I really enjoyed it...Scott did too actually. Parts were funny enough for adults, with just the right amount of sap, and classic Disney magic to tie it all together! :)


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