Tangled - Disney Girl Finds Adventure in Animation

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tangled (2010) Disney Review

Gosh but this movie really gets around in the blogging scene. I cannot count the number of times I have seen it featured on someone’s blog. So, I decided I might as well post my thoughts... plus it's the most perfect movie to watch with the family during this holiday season. Fairy-tales have given us generations of stories and fables - some good and some bad. They are not only found as told in Little Golden Books, but also have been fodder for many a filmmaker. Perhaps there is no production company with any bigger name (or budget) than Disney, who has in essence become the leading name when one thinks of happily-ever-afters. 


A single drop of sun falling into the soil results in a beautiful flower; a magical flower that has a special healing power. If found, it can give the holder eternal youth and beauty. The Witch, Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) is in search of such a plant. Her goal is to be forever young, but when the kingdom’s queen suddenly falls ill while carrying a child, desperation sends the King’s soldiers on a mission to find the healing balm. Much to the kingdom’s delight, the queen recovers and survives to give birth to a healthy baby girl. Gothel sees that the child possesses a familiar glow and instead of living out her days as a haggard witch, she steals away with the baby in the dark of night and locks her away in a tower.

18 years later, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is a grown, attractive young woman who is no longer satisfied with the occasional visits from Mother. But these visits do nothing to satisfy her curiosity. What is beyond the one window of her tower? Why has she never ventured beyond this, what is beginning to feel a prison? Despite the scary tales Mother shares, Rapunzel cannot help but be restless. Running through the kingdom which surrounds Rapunzel’s tower is the most-wanted, notorious – and charming thief, Flynn (voiced by Zachery Levi) who is about to get a rude welcome when he picks her tower for escaping his pursuers. Wanting to get an adventure of her own, Rupunzel convinces Flynn to let her tag-along and gets the journey of a lifetime – after she manages to capture him… and his prized possession.

This is only the most recent in a string of animated flicks I’ve seen in recent times. Some were unintentional, others were on my radar, but all led up to this blockbuster, which I most definitely did want to indulge in. Ever since first seeing the trailer for this, I was tickled about Tangled. The promotional spots and later full-length trailers had me tangled in fits of pure joy, only for those who sometimes feel like the trailer shows too much of the movie, the good news is, many of those scenes did not make it on the cutting room floor. It went through more than one revision and voice talents, and a lot of fans were disappointed in the direction production finally decided on.

In some sense, I sympathize with this school of thought. This re-boot isn’t a traditional version but rather features a roguish thieving hero named Flynn (in homage to Earl Flynn’s Robin Hood) and a heroine that while naïve is far from a wilting flower. Her zest for life is something we all could learn a little something from, since it can bog us down with its cruelty. This marked a couple of “firsts” for Disney. One it was entering new territory for them by being their first feature of CGI animation and their only Disney “princess” film to have been given a PG rating.

Much of the script is different from the classic story of Rapunzel. But Disney re-tooled the entire story for a larger audience, which is something that really works. Despite the overture of romantics, this isn't a romance, at least in earnest. It retains its own unique voice, which is grand. The Oscar nominated score is beautiful and therefore very deserving of its two nods at the Academy Awards. The music doesn’t completely take over the whole movie, which is nice because no matter how lovely it is, if so much of the movie has characters breaking into song, it can wear thin. Animation is really good, even in its less impressive times. Naturally Rapunzel’s tower is a lovely piece of paradise and her adventure is priceless. Her emotions at finally touching the ground and being torn at leaving the only place she has ever known is believable no matter the “pretend” status of the movie.

See this with your sisters or girlfriends. It's really sweet and I’m not sorry to have bought it. Its view of beauty is much downplayed, considering it doesn’t rely on Gothel’s obsession with it, because the heroine is not one who needs a firm grip on physical beauty. Nevertheless it is a lesson to learn that even though she raised a child not her own, Rapunzel never could get through her hardened heart and her quest for beauty did nothing to fully satisfy her. It is a lesson many young girls need to learn. We all have self-doubt and have something we do not like about ourselves, but the sooner we realize beauty fades, the quicker we’ll become a more beautiful person on the inside – where it counts.

(Gothel is quite evil in her own way, although not maybe as much as other villains, hers is more of a physiological evil. She murders a man and despite repeated assurances that she loves Rapunzel, she is merely using her. A woman falls out of a window. Rapunzel is nearly kidnapped [and is as a baby!] and believes she sees Flynn betraying her. There is a cherub guy that is kind of “creepy” and Rapunzel wins over a group of beer-guzzling ruffians. [Flynn is a thief.])


  1. I loved this movie. I know some are disappointed that Disney is moving away from the classic style of animation to 3D animation, but I think it adds a special "grown up" quality to the story. (I would die with happiness if they decided to do "Wicked!" with this kind of animation.) I think it's the best thing Disney has done in a long time.

  2. I love this movie so much!! I laughed so hard when I saw it - great review of it, Rissi!! :)

  3. Oh, I loved this movie!! Rapunzel has now become my favorite Disney princes. :) Though, at the end, my mom and I were kind of wondering what her "real" name was.

  4. I love Tangled :) :) I thought Gothel was a little...oh what is the word. The way she was always kinda swinging her hips and stuff. I didn't like that. But Flynn/Eugene is such a rogue and a honorable, funny guy :) I think he kinda reminds me of Han Solo. Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  5. I love this movie!
    It's a feel goo knind of movie.

  6. I cannot get enough of this movie! I love it so much! It has become my favorite Disney fairy tale. I wasn't exactly fond of the original story--it seemed quite dull. But Disney added a really interesting twist to it, and that's why I like Tangled. It is a "tangled" story after all.

  7. Charity - oooh! You finally saw this one?? I am so glad you enjoyed it; I think it is super cute, and almost had an "excuse" to watch it a while back when I was sure the kids I was babysitting would want to watch it - unfortunately for me, they did not. ;D I thought the animation was pretty cool - but then I don't know any of the "technical stuff" about animation...

    There are rumors that Wicked! is being made into a major motion picture, but I think it will have live-action in addition to maybe some animation. Hopefully it will get its due since I'd enjoy seeing it.

    Rachel - me, too! I thought it was adorable. Thank you for your sweet words - it means a lot to me to know people are enjoying what I've written. =)

    Trinka - writers changed the film's name to Tangled in order to reach a wider audience (i.e., boys and girls), but I think the character still had the name Rapunzel.

    Glad to know you liked the movie, too - I am thinking I'll take my own advice and re-watch it again this upcoming week. =D

    Sierra - so do I! Gothel was a little bit flirty... and wicked... and annoying! But then, every movie needs a detestable villain, right!? LOL!

    Flynn was definitely the comical relief in the movie - and it was great. =)

    Ella - my thoughts exactly! =)

    Jemimah - I know, right!? I am thinking that I should see it again this week (I've only watched it once). I think next to a couple of their live-action movies, this is my fav "princess movie" from Disney also. I always liked the original storybook but this movie is just... way fun! =)

    Glad to know so many of you are Tangled fans - that is awesome, girls!

  8. Disney's recent attempt at a princess film (Princess and the Frog) had majorly disappointed me....so I was curious about Tangled. Now, I ADORE it!! I thought it was so sweet and reminded me of Disney in its good ol'days

    Flynn Rider for me, though, is hilarious to watch because in my head, I cannot think of Zachary Levi in a role other than the one he is more known for (as CHUCK =)

    "I See The Light"....yep. Have it on my MP3 and was as giddy as a school girl when they sang it at the Oscars

  9. Hey, thanks so much for the comment on my blog! ;) I've watched a little bit of Tangled and it looks awesome !:)

  10. Ella - I never saw Princess and the Frog. I don't know why because usually I do not care if I am the "targeted" audience or not. Guess that one just didn't appeal to me - perhaps it was the setting (I am not all that fond of New Orleans as a backdrop). Tangled is super sweet and definitely one of my faves; Flynn is HILARIOUS, and I have often been tempted by your reviews to rent Chuck. ;D

    Mandy and Zach did a nice job at the Oscars - and that song it pretty. I should buy the download sometime.

    Serenity - oh! You are welcome; thank you bunches for checking out my blog. =) I always love comments.

    Tangled is one of the sweetest fairy-tale flicks there is - hope you get to finish it some time. =)

  11. It is great animation characters, and more lively moving character animations. Especially Rapunzel name is different, and character is cute, all of family members must be see and enjoy.

  12. It had great character animations and movements, especially Rapunzel character is so innocent cute, and also name is different. Family members are must see that film and enjoy. The animators are great work, story also well.

    1. Indeed. This is possibly my favorite animated Disney film yet. It's so magical. :)


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