Reviews

Tangled

4

Disney has a good hair day…

Tangled review 

Just like the heroine of its 50th animated movie, Disney is letting its hair down and moving on.

Tangled will be the studio’s last fairytale for some time and, happily, the Mouse House have pulled off their most enjoyable ’toon since 2000’s The Emperor’s New Groove.

That absurdist surprise was a real standout – looking back over Disney’s century of movies, it’s alarming how suddenly the quality drops off after The Lion King.

But Disney/Pixar creative director John Lasseter took Tangled back to the drawing board in 2008, re-emerging with a modern retooling of the Brothers Grimm fable Rapunzel that’s whisked with just the right mix of snappy smarts, touching emotions, dark shades and lively action.

Snatched from her parents as a baby, our Princess (sassily voiced by Mandy Moore) grows up in a skyscraping tower under the watchful eye of her kidnapper/surrogate mommie dearest (Donna Murphy).

The old crone uses Rapunzel’s magical, endless golden hair to stay young and beautiful, but Rapunzel’s wish to escape into the great outside world finally comes true with the help of good-hearted thief Flynn (Zachary Levi).

Now wait just a minute… A strong-willed heroine longing to see outside. A dashing hero who needs to settle down. Some so-so musical numbers penned by composer Alan Menken. Is this really a whole new world? Or is it The Little Mermaid with legs and a blonde wig?

But if it’s a clear repackaging of classic Mouse House formulas, Tangled does attempt to catapult itself clear of the throwback charm of last year’s The Princess And The Frog.

The modern motor for this girl-power saga is its remarkably sharp grasp of mother/daughter dynamics, particularly surprising given it’s from the boys behind Bolt.

Hero Flynn is cut-out-and-keep (“I don’t do backstory,” he shrugs), but Broadway star Donna Murphy's vocal performance as the vain, villainous fake-matriarch is marvellous – her belted-out rendition of ‘Mother Knows Best’ is easily the film’s top musical number.

And when it comes to the vibrant, painterly visuals, everything flows from Rapunzel’s streaming golden hair. She hurls it around – a swing, a weapon, a grappling hook – for some amusing, imaginative set-pieces.

Better still, the animal sidekicks are right on the money, too. A horse called Maximus who thinks he’s John McClane and an adorable chameleon called Pascal are tie-in toys you just pre-ordered in your head.

True, you never quite shake the feeling Tangled was born out of team brainstorming rather than true inspiration, but the movie’s magic moment arrives when Rapunzel and Flynn’s romance comes alive: a luminous sequence in which thousands of floating lanterns light up the night sky, allowing the animators to ramp up the 3D just at the right moment.

That’s the Disney we remember.
 

Verdict:

Not quite Disney at its very best, but a fast-moving, witty, heartfelt animated CG ’toon that sees the Mouse House leaping into the new era of animation with some style.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • egipt

      Jan 16th 2011, 20:47

      4

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    • mh2bul

      Jan 18th 2011, 10:24

      5

      Exceptionally funny comedy of a classic tale of a princess trapped in a tower. Tangled is the best romcom animation in brilliant 3D quality since the likes of Shrek Forever After. Watch out for the Chameleon!

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    • Kellytravers

      Jan 18th 2011, 10:33

      4

      A great family film - funny and not too sacharine (always a danger with Disney...) Great choice of voice artists too. I agree with TF's review though - the songs are not a patch on the classic Disney films of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

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    • feevee

      Jan 18th 2011, 10:36

      4

      Enchanting & Charming - just as a Disney movie should be! Enjoyed by 11-year-old male, 18-year-old female & 40+ male & female. Loved Maximus - the horse with attitude!

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    • hngraham

      Jan 18th 2011, 10:39

      5

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    • alanandwendy

      Jan 18th 2011, 19:42

      5

      Excellent family film, although 5 year old put off a tad by darker scenes. All forgotten by the end with smiles all round.

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    • wlmcdonough

      Jan 18th 2011, 19:47

      4

      The kids in the cinema loved it while the parents enjoyed it. Classic Disney, something we haven't seen in a while. Excellent telling of a familiar tale.

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    • carleymm

      Jan 18th 2011, 21:59

      Great Disney Love story, and makes a change to see it in 3D rather than the classic Animation, End scenes brought tears to my 8 year olds eyes but happy ending soon made her smile again! loved the chameleon and the Horse who thought he was a dog!

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    • AstAr

      Jan 19th 2011, 9:52

      5

      It was simply stunning. And in my books, far more enjoyable than Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast (don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest fan of these 2 movies in particular) but I really enjoyed Tangled. I'm going to watch it again but in IMAX this time :-) but wait.....WTH is this 'Total Film'? Starring * Mandy Moore, * Ewan Mcgregor, * Steve Martin, * Ron Perlman, * Dona Murphy Read more: Tangled review | TotalFilm.com GET YOUR INFORMATION RIGHT FIRST!!!!!!

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    • hulk68

      Feb 3rd 2011, 11:04

      5

      I enjoyed it very much. The 3D was fantastic and it really flet like watching a classic Disney movie. Its heartbreaking and Im not a soft guy.

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