- Reviewed by: 00Dylan
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Tangled is Disney's latest attempt at prettying up a Brothers Grimm fairytale. They've taken on Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and even the recent The Princess and The Frog was a Grimm adaptation, although the story was flipped around. This time, it's the story of Rapunzel, the damsel in distress who was locked away in a tower, with only her freakishly long golden hair to keep her company.
I've never read the original story of Rapunzel, so I can't tell you how this one differs. What I can tell you is that it all started because of a magical flower. An old hag named Gothel uses the flower to keep herself young and beautiful, and yet she retains her hag-like qualities. She must sing to the flower to unleash its magic, because this is a musical, and they have to sing.
Years later, Gothel is still a young old hag. Meanwhile, the pregnant queen of a nearby kingdom falls ill, and the king sends all of his men out to retrieve the golden flower. The flower heals the queen and its powers are passed on to her daughter, Rapunzel, where they're manifested in her hair. Yes, her hair is magic and powerful, making it much more than just a rope ladder. Gothel, growing ever older, snatches baby Rapunzel and locks her away in the tower. As the story unfolds, Rapunzel learns of the outside world that she's never known and strives to experience it.
It's been quite a while since I've seen a Disney animated feature, or a musical, for that matter. While I was hoping for a number or two as memorable as Kiss the Girl or Under the Sea, the soundtrack for the most part was disappointing, with Gothel's ominous Mother Knows Best and the ensemble piece I've Got a Dream being the only two to stand out. Even then, the only memorable lines in both songs are probably "mother knows best" and "I've got a dream."
When casting for an animated feature that involves singing, casting directors seem to lean more towards those with singing talent, which is why we get pop stars like Mandy Moore voicing the female lead. I mean no disrespect. Moore did an adequate job and her singing voice is beautiful, but compared to Zachary Levi's Flynn and Donna Murphy's Gothel, she's easily the least memorable part of the cast. Levi, who's best known as the lead character on the NBC action/comedy Chuck, does a better job than I expected, turning Flynn into a truly charming and likable character. Though they're all outdone by Maximus the horse, who steals every scene that he's in. Maximus doesn't talk of course, he simply neighs and snorts and sometimes grips a sword between his teeth and engages in combat.
Tangled is not Disney's best or most memorable film, not by a longshot, but it's a lot more fun than anyone expected. And it looks fantastic, as it should, costing an estimated $260 million, possibly making it the second most expensive film ever made, being the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. And while Tangled may not be $260 million good, it's certainly theater-price good, and this 26-year-old male was satisfied, girly songs and all.
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