Tangled Review

Tangled-bannerI don’t care what it says about me, but I love Tangled. A lot. Probably more than I should. It’s a fun, clever, and inventive take on a classic fairy-tale character, and as Disney’s 50th animated movie, it smartly bridges the gap between the old and new styles of Disney’s animation.

Rapunzel is a girl who knows nothing more than the tower she was raised in. She dreams of the outside world, but her manipulative, controlling, and not-so-subtly aggressive mother has convinced her that life outside the tower is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.

While Rapunzel does as she’s told for most of her life, upon turning eighteen, something happens that turns her whole world upside down. Oh, and she has seventy-feet of flowing, magical hair that is immune to all forms of dirt, grime, and knots. But don’t freak out; it’s cool.

Rapunzel kind of has a lot of hair.

Rapunzel kind of has a lot of hair.

At its core, Tangled is classic Disney fantasy. It’s filled with cliches, most of which Disney itself invented, but uses them to produce nostalgia rather than eye-rolling, and while it follows the typical fairy-tale plot fairly closely, it feels both new and original. It’s somewhat of a marvel how unique Tangled feels, and a testament to how well Disney knows their craft.

Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, is both a strong and independent character who perfectly captures the innocence and curiosity of a girl who knows nothing of the world outside of what she sees from her window, and what  her chameleon friend Pascal, who may be one of the best animal sidekicks Disney’s come up with, teases her with. Rapunzel is quirky and sweet, and it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with her the minute she steps on screen.

Equally great is Flynn Rider, who is almost as much the protagonist as Rapunzel is. Voiced by the ever-pleasing Zachary Levi, Flynn is a common thief with grand ambitions of something bigger. He’s witty and heroic, and his charisma is off the rails. He’s quite unlike any character we’ve seen in a Disney flick before, but easily one of my favorite.

Flynn Rider: The only Disney character to ever question the random singing.

Flynn Rider: The only Disney character to ever question the random singing.

Flynn’s lines never fall flat, and his character arc, while predictable, is believable and thankfully stays away from becoming overly cutesy. And when these two characters are on-screen together, the film at its absolute best. Moore and Levi play off each spectacularly, and their witty banter and repartee is endlessly entertaining and oh-so quote worthy.

In what is probably the only realistic quality of the movie, these two’s relationship develops at a pace that is very believable, even if it is a bit rushed, and pays off in a special, Disney kind of way. There’s even a heroic horse, (who’s more of a loyal dog than a horse. Just bear with me), who helps bring these two together in a very fun and sometimes hilarious ways.

Despite being advertised as something else, Tangled is very much a Disney musical. The characters break out song throughout the movie, and while a musically-themed movie seems a little bit out of place in today’s movie world, it’s done really well here. The lyrics are catchy, witty and easy to find yourself singing along too.

While not every song delivers entirely, for the most part the actors, especially Moore and Levi, are incredibly gifted performers and imbue the musical performances with a fun, modern spin while still retaining that classic feel.

Tangled-the trio

They’re quite the trio aren’t they?

With all that said though, the movie isn’t without its flaws. For one, Rapunzel’s mother, Gothel, is perhaps the film’s weakest link. While can be especially edgy for a movie such as this, she’s much to over-the-top and comes across as having somewhat of an identity crisis.

Another minor critique I have is the film’s ending.  While this is a fairy-tale movie, and some suspension of belief is obviously expected, I feel like the climax, and it’s accompanying plot twists, could’ve been so much better if it were set up and foreshadowed better. It’s not nearly a crippling flaw, but one that does stick out somewhat, especially considering how well written the rest of the movie is.

These few flaws aside, Tangled is a fantastic movie that achieves nearly everything it sets out to do. It’s a beautiful movie in more than one way, and if it’s staggeringly gorgeous imagery isn’t enough to please you, the fresh musical numbers, fantastic protagonists, and hilarious line delivery surely will.


This scene never fails to get me misty-eyed.

There’s really a lot to love about Tangled, and I really think Disney managed to create something special here. It feels both familiar and original, and combines the best of everything Disney stands for. I’ve seen it more than I can even count, and delivers equal parts entertainment and emotion, in fact, one of the film’s most spectacular scenes makes me misty-eyed nearly every time I watch it.

It might not be Disney’s best movie, but it’s my personal favorite and I’d by lying if I said I don’t quote almost every day. It’s a film I plan to pass on to my future kids, and really hope earns itself a place among the many Disney greats.



16 responses to “Tangled Review

    • I might have to agree with you there. The only non-Pixar movie that comes close to topping it is Beauty and the Beast, but I think Tangled is a lot more fun. 🙂

  1. I’m glad you love this one William. I adore this movie and my hubby too. I even bought the Blu-ray. I’m glad Disney’s still able to make a Princess movie that entertains, plus the songs are awesome too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s