Kidnapped as an infant, Rapunzel has been locked in a tower all her life. When a thief stumbles upon her, she goes on a journey outside of the tower and find out who she really is.
Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, Brad Garrett, M.C. Gainey
MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild violence
Fun Fact: At $260 million, this is the most expensive Disney animated film ever made.
Tangled is one of those films that I did not really expect myself to review soon. Then again it is always fun to go outside of the box and work on something you have not seen or is in the plans for a review. My wife and I usually have dinner and a movie night, and she picked this one via Disney+. I do have a great admiration for animation, and I am a big fan of old hand drawn cartoons. To me if something is hand drawn, I can see the passion coming from the animator on what they had been working on. While I do have admiration for computer animation, it really is not on my radar on animated movies. Sometimes I really need to be impressed to go see the latest animated film via computer animation.
The biggest thing about Tangled is how beautiful it looks. This was the 53rd Disney animated production and the first to kick off the 2010’s. Talk about starting with a bang and keeping up with the times. The first shot of the film left me in awe as everything looked like it had passion to it. Considering the film’s budget, you can tell that Disney hired some high-quality animators to work on the production. The animation is crisp, clean, and has a beautiful color pallet to it. As this is an animated film there really is not a cinematographer working a camera and instead everything is edited through a computer. The editing really shines as well because everything flows nicely. There are unique angles to the film and having great editing in crucial to making the film work. If there was choppy editing, the film would fall flat. That does not happen with this film.
For an animated feature, a solid voice cast is needed. Mandy Moore seems to get beat up by critics quite a bit, but her talent shines here. She delivers the lines nicely and since she is a singer, she can hit the notes in the songs. Moore has great chemistry with Zachary Levi voice talent wise. They bring their characters to life through the dialogue. The animation work does a great job showing the characters emotions as well. Hearing Ron Perlman as a henchman could not be more perfect. Perlman has that right voice to be a tough character as you all know, and it was simply perfect casting. Donna Murphy was also great as Mother Gothel. Murphy just like the rest of main cast delivers her lines right and has a nice singing voice as well.
Like most Disney films, the source material has come from fairy tales. While these fairy tales have dark elements to them, Disney obviously has to make it family friendly peppered in with some musical numbers. The songs written for the film fit right in and they are nicely spaced out. It is not overloaded with musical numbers and has a nice balance of comedy. It is lighthearted and has a great message for kids and families. Sometimes one needs to go on a journey and face elements that they have never faced before. It also teaches kids that sometimes people need to find out who they really are, and it allows people to have discussions with their kids about the source material. While it is obviously different then the original fairytale, what we get is right for the film.
Overall, Tangled is a well crafted film and for fans of animation, I would recommend people see it. Like I stated before I am more of a hand drawn old school animation fan, but this film got me hooked from the first shot. It is beautifully crafted, and it flows. It has fantastic editing and we clearly see what is going on with the characters. We get a story about courage and finding who you really are that teaches kids a great lesson. The film also offers nice musical numbers and comedy delivered by a great voice cast. Tangled might not be my favorite Disney film, but it got me interested in seeing more computer animated films.
Wife’s Verdict: Hit as it is one of her favorite’s.