PLOT: Young Princess Rapunzels (Mandy Moore) hair holds the secret to eternal youth, provided it never gets cut. In order to stay young, an old woman named Gothel (Donna Murphy) kidnaps the princess, raising her as her own child. Not knowing the truth about her royal roots, Rapunzel has spent her eighteen years as Gothels prisoner. When a young thief, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) stumbles upon Rapunzels tower, she blackmails him into springing her from her prison- but Gothels on their trail.
REVIEW: TANGLED is essentially a CGI update of Disneys late-eighties/nineties era cartoons- like THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, and BEAUTY & THE BEAST. Its a fairy-tale that, unlike the SHREK films, isnt updated with a lot of current pop-culture references, but rather maintains the old-school Disney vibe. Like those earlier Disney classics, its a full-fledged musical, with tunes by Alan Menken (ALADDIN).
But how does it compare to current Disney classics, such as the long-line of modern masterpieces produced by Pixar? Well, it doesnt. Despite John Lasseter being listed as a producer, TANGLED is missing the Pixar magic. Still, thats not to say it isnt quite entertaining in its own right, as theres something charming about TANGLEDs old-school vibe. I couldnt help but think that it probably would have worked better as a traditional, 2-D animated film, rather than CGI, but I suppose thats no longer in vogue (sadly).
TANGLED follows the old-school Disney formula to a T, with it being your typical boy meets/loses/wins girl story, with a bit of swashbuckling mixed in to keep the lads interested. Princess Rapunzel, as voiced by Moore, makes a fine addition to the long line of Disney heroines. Shes cute, and sassy, and intensely likable. As for her numerous songs, well Thing is, theyre very cute, and obviously something that the kiddie audience will go for in a big way, but as for grown-ups, I could have done with a song or two less, although a long number sung by a bunch of ruffians encounter by our heroes (being led by Brad Garrett, and JAWS- Richard Kiel, of all people) is quite clever.
Flynn Rider, voiced by Levi, of the cult fave TV series, CHUCK, makes a likable, swashbuckling hero- with him borrowing his name from the greatest swashbuckler of them all, Errol Flynn. As per the genre, hes a likable rogue, and hes a fun character. Levis great, but oddly, the character also seems heavily patterned on Chris Evans, from the look, right down to the cocky, wisecracking personality (he even rocks a soul patch, which is a Disney first I think).
Probably the most important thing to remember about TANGLED is that its a REAL kids film, as opposed to the Pixar films, which are truly for everyone. This ones strictly for the youngsters, but that doesnt change the fact that its a very well-made kids film. Its the type of film that will likely be something your kids will watch over and over and over again on DVD, but its enough fun that even if you have to watch it a few times, its not that oppressive. As for older kids, Im not sure theyll take to it like they do to the Pixar films, so if you have kids over 10, youre probably better off taking them to HARRY POTTER if you havent already. But for the youngsters- this is a slam-dunk!
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