Tangled – 2010

“Tangled” is the latest offering from Walt Disney Studios. It is a CGI animation and retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, written by The Brothers Grimm. Interestingly it only changed its name from Rapunzel to Tangled very shortly before its actual release. It stars Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy as the main voices for the film. Squarely marketed at younger children this family comedy is bright, vibrant and deeply colourful.

The story follows our heroine character Rapunzel. Her mother, the Queen, became extremely sick whilst pregnant and was given a broth made from a special, magical  flower. The Broth healed the queen and also passed on its magical healing power to the beautiful baby princess. An evil elderly woman named Gothel learned that the magic had been retained by  the Princess, in her golden hair in fact, so she plotted to kidnap her and use the powers for her own selfish needs.

We are then transported 18 years later. Princess Rapunzel is a beautiful young lady, with hair that has a life of its own. She has dreams of the outside world but Gothel has raised her as her own and is determined to keep her hidden in her tower to keep her young and beautiful.

What we have here is not only a beautifully crafted animation in true Disney fashion. But, also a teen coming of age movie. Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, is desperate to see the outside world. All she can think about is making her own personal stamp on it, but she also wants to be with her “mother” Gothel, voiced by Donna Murphy. She is oblivious to her true identity and has been raised solely by Mother Gothel. Her only friend is a Chameleon, Pascal. But she is 18, and she is going to ask her Mother whether she likes it or not.

Meanwhile our hero, the dashing rogue Flynn Rider has stolen from the King and Queen and is being chased by one of the Guards’ Horse Maximus. In his eagerness not to be captured he stumbles upon the secret tower of Rapunzel and decides to hide there until the heat passes. Could this be the way out our Princess has been waiting for? Queue Frying pan hilarity!! We then follow our main characters in there quest to get Rapunzel out in the world and for Flynn’s greed of all things shiny.

It is a really great story. It is very fluffy and primary. But there is enough humour to keep parents going throughout. The standout performances come interestingly enough from and animal and a cooking utensil. Maximus, and The Frying Pan respectively. Maximus is a trusty steed from the Kings Guards. He has Guard Dog qualities that are hilarious when transferred into a large muscle heavy steed. His battles with Flynn are so funny and the unwilling friendship that follows will have you splitting at the sides. The other is the Frying Pan. What can I say. Its a frying pan. But there is something about the sound of a heavy dull metal object hitting people that makes everyone smile.

Don’t get me wrong though. It is not all slapstick humour. There are some truly amazing set pieces that are very exciting. The chase from The Snuggly Duckling that ends up with a damn being burst is amazingly crafted. It would have been right at home in any major action blockbuster. You very often forget you are watching a CGI animation. The processing power needed to render the water in that scene must have been immense. My hat comes off to Disney for that.Talking of CGI power, Rapunzels hair is something to behold too. You can watch it for hours. Every strand is beautiful and life like, even though it must be a killer for split ends ;).

We also have a really nice love story underneath. Both the selfish love of Mother and Daughter, and the naive teenage love of Rapunzel and Flynn. Will he ever see her for what she is and not just a meal ticket?

Overall I truly enjoyed the film. Its very well done and I would definitely see it again. I may not go to cinema again. But I will definitely be buying it when it is released.

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