Tangled: My Review

After all I heard about this movie, I was afraid it would be good, but not great.

I’m happy to report, this is the best “Disney Princess” movie since “Beauty and the Beast”. Not quite as good as that one, but certainly better than “The Princess and The Frog”.

I’m not saying that TP&TF was bad, mind you- only that it didn’t quite feel the way a Disney fairy tale should. It was too modern, too self-aware. Oh sure, that’s how Disney is promoting Tangled to be too- but trust me, the only thing anachronical in this film is the characters’ modern form of speech- there are no pop culture references, or (especially) any take-thats at the fairy tale genre, the way Shrek had.

Not that THAT is bad, either- but there’s a place for everything; you expect the Shrek movies to be sarcastic, but the Disney movies? They had an actual innocent charm- once upon a time.

Now it’s back. :slight_smile:

OK, let’s do the [STRIKE]dew[/STRIKE] review. Warning: there’s a LOT of spoilers ahead. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The story: As in the original tale, a girl named Rapunzel (who has incredibly long hair) is kept inside a tower all her life by her mother, who uses Rap’s hair to climb all the way up; until some guy finds her. That’s where the resemblance ends; the rest is made up, but that’s typical of Disney (let’s not get into how they butchered historical facts in say, Pocahontas.) On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting them to include the part where Rapunzel gets pregnant anyway.

Turns out that Rapunzel’s hair has healing powers that the “mother” (actually a hag who kidnapped her as a baby) uses to keep herself young; if the hair is cut the magic goes away. She keeps her hidden because her parents (the king and queen, of course) have never stopped looking for her. The guy who finds her is not a prince, but a thief called Flynn Rider, who was just trying to hide from the authorities after stealing a crown (ironically, Rapunzel’s.) Rap hides the crown away and will only give it back if he agrees to take her to see the launching of the flying lanterns, which is done every year on the missing princess’ birthday. He agrees, despite having both the palace guards AND his two ex-partners in crime looking for him (and soon enough, Rap’s “mother” as well.) Naturally, the two of them grow closer along the way and, if you don’t know how it that ends, then you’ve never seen a romantic Disney movie in your life. :wink:

The plot isn’t really that original; for the most part, nothing really unexpected happens, and when it does, it’s usually because of some character who wasn’t in the original story, like the tavern full of hoods. In fact, there’s a couple of plot holes toward the end that had me wondering “what happened there?”

So what makes this story so good?

The characters.

The interplay between the characters -ALL of them- is great, to the point that even those we see only for a few moments - like the King and the Queen- linger in the memory. There’s the way Flynn and Rap try to out-sass the other all the time; speaking of sass, Mother Gothel has to be hottest, most sassy Disney Villainess EVER; half of me wants to strangle her, the other [STRIKE]wants to sleep with her[/STRIKE] feels sorry for her. Hey, her very life was at stake here (she’s too old to survive without the magic); still, that doesn’t excuse the way she treats Rapunzel, mocking her to her face while pretending to be just teasing. I must admit I was disappointed that she didn’t have any magical powers of her own, but then again, she was SO wily she could get almost anybody to do what she wanted with just words! Fearsome bitch.

The other characters are memorable too. I just loved Maximus the horse, how obsessed it was with justice (being the horse of the Palace Guard’s Captain) to the point it would not eat apples if he knew they were stolen. Strangely, neither he nor Rap’s pet chameleon Pascal ever say a word in the movie, despite obviously being as smart as humans. That’s unusual for a Disney fairy tale, but it works, as their facial expressions were better than words.

But the REAL surprise were the Snuggly Duck Tavern Thugs. Since the trailers have already spoiled the fact, I will mention it: they’re a bunch of softies (though still though) who are taken immediately by Rap’s innocence. In fact I was wonderfully surprised that BIG SPOILER!! they were the ones who rescue Flynn in the end YA-HOOO!! Really, the whole ending sequence is wonderful, it keeps you at the edge of your seat even if you can guess what’s going to happen next. Especially the scene where Rapunzel finally meets her true parents… storywise it doesn’t make much sense but I’d be lying if I say I didn’t almost cry. sniff

The Animation: As usual I didn’t see the 3D-fx version so I’ll let some else comment on how good those were. But the movie doesn’t need them; it looks magical, as a Disney movie should- with the addition that the CGI effects were VERY realistic when conveying movement and body language- I wonder if motion-capture was used? Also it has what I feel are the most realistic-looking humans of any western CGI movie I’ve seen- no “uncanny valley” here, except maybe in Rapunzel’s huge eyes, but they were adorable so I don’t care. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Music: Disney films like this need great songs, of course. However despite being written by the same guy who did The Little Mermaid’s here they were more like Chinese food- you know, tastes good but half an hour later you’re hungry again? The only two numbers that really stuck to my mind are “Rapunzel Knows Best!” (sung by Gothel to mock her “daughter’s” desire for freedom) and “I Have a Dream!” sung by the tavern thugs (because that whole sequence is just HILARIOUS, probably the funniest in the film.) Really, everybody’s voice work was spectacular, which only made the characters more enjoyable. :slight_smile:

Overall: The movie is great. It could have been even better if the plot made a little more sense and the songs were a little better, but the important thing is, it was a WONDERFUL Disney Fairy Tale movie, and I hear it’s doing pretty well despite the fact that it came out next to Harry Potter (but then again, the two movies have only magic in common- the experiences of watching them are TOTALLY different.) So if you, like me, are unashamed to admit watching a movie “for little girls” go see [STRIKE]Rapunzel[/STRIKE] Tangled!

The only DP (heh) movie after B&B and before P&F was Aladdin and it was light years behind Aladdin. Actually, if you wanna count Enchanted as a DP movie, that one was better too.

As for this one, it was amusing, it smacked too much of contemporary “grrl power,” that is the rage with hannah montana, etc. Then again, I’m not their intended audience. The songs were fucking horrible. The lyrics were were like, “this is exactly what we’re doing at this moment.” That first song made me feel uncomfortable to be there.

The best characters? The chameleon and the horse. Is it a problem when the best characters in the movie are the non speaking animals? Hmm…

I can argue it’s the best non-pixar CG disney movie since Dinosaur, but I haven’t seen bolt and from what I understand, even that one’s better.

Oh, and it was my idea to see it. I thought it looked great from the trailers. My mistake. :frowning:

Aladdin is not a “Princess” movie, the guy is the star (well actually the Genie was the real star but that was thanks to Robin F’ckin Williams :P) Anyway it was more a comedy-adventure, and Jasmine doesn’t make a good Disney Princess if you ask me.

I guess Enchanted MIGHT count except half the movie was about mocking the whole DP idea, more like Shrek. (again, fun in its own way. Just didn’t have the “Disney magic.”)

I saw Bolt. Good, not great. This is better.

And you know what? I have half a mind to go see Tangled again. To each his own. :wink:

Hey now! Don’t hate on Jasmine; I know a really rad girl who’s all about Princess Jasmine!

Enchanted definitely had magic, if you ask me.

Jasmine is a great action heroine, ala Mulan; but somehow I don’t see her hanging out with Belle or Aurora.The tiger alone would freak them out.

Re: Enchanted. …Well, I guess idealism did win in the end, but man, wasn’t it weird to see Disney mock itself? Funny, but weird.

Why can’t an action hero be a princess? Belle can handle herself, at least; she falls in love with a giant monster and is friends with hideous furniturefolk and cutlerypeople. I guess she’s bad at it if “sitting on one’s ass and waiting to be saved” is a princess requirement, but if it is, I guess I’m not the kind to go for princesses. Which isn’t to say I don’t like any story where a princess is saved, I just don’t think it’s a necessary requirement.

Exactly, Idealism winning is even more potent when it’s pitted against Realistic Problems and Concerns than against Heinous Irredeemable Evil.

Enchanted also had the single best Disney Princess song ever in That’s How You Know.

I guess I’ve never liked Jasmine that much because of her bratty attitude. There was even an episode of the Aladdin show where she was turned into a rat by a god (!!) as punishment for her attitude!

But I don’t hate her either, and no, being all Princess-like doesn’t prevent you from being heroic.

Speaking of which, anybody here seen the Princess Kilala manga? It’s like Kingdom Come but starring only the Disney Princesses. I’d love to read it.

I sometimes wonder if you’re a 10 year old girl trapped in a 40 year old man’s body. :stuck_out_tongue:

I prefer to think of myself as widely open-minded. :hahaha;

Nah. He’s a 40 year-old man wishing he were “trapped” in 10 year-old girl’s body.

Hey, I found the whole Tangled movie soundtrack on Youtube! After listening to it, I appreciate the songs more than in the film (I was probably too distracted by the story and effects.) Check it out, especially track #5!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HW31f7nRl4 (includes lyrics!)

Exactly. My metal band loved that song.

Anyhow, I don’t remember Jasmine as bratty, if anything, wasn’t she rejecting the rich spoiled life and wanting to live a simpler one?

Did you do a metal cover?

You know, I noticed I didn’t name the things that annoyed me in the movie’s story. So here they are:

  • Maximus the justice-obsessed horse, who chases Flynn so implacably over the film- stops doing so because Rapunzel- a girl he’s never known- asks him to? For all he knew, she might have been a criminal too! Now if she’d saved his life first or something, that would’ve made more sense.

  • Similarly, The Stabbington Brothers -the only characters I found boring, btw- are convinced way too easily to help Mother Goethel. Yes, it’s true that healing/immortality magic is worth a thousand crowns, but how did they even know that was true, much less agree to a convoluted plan instead of just killing Rider and taking Rapunzel? Oh and they were knocked out by Goethel WITH A TREE BRANCH?? I swear I thought at the time that it must be part of the plan, and was surprised to see them in jail later.

  • The part everybody complains about: why didn’t Flynn just allow Rapunzel to cure him and THEN cut off her hair? (as a bonus, Goethel would’ve died then anyway, not that they knew that.) In fact why assume that Rap would really fulfill her vow and stay with Goethel, instead of just saying “You lied to me, I lied to you!” Or just TELL the king and queen about them, I doubt they could’ve escaped very far. And let’s not mention how a shard of glass was able to cut a handful of hair (thick enough to hold people up with) in one trust! By that point however I told my brain to shut and just enjoy the ending (which I did!) and that I would debate it later (which I’m now.)

  • Also, how did the King and Queen know that was really their lost daughter and not an impostor? Yeah yeah The Power Of Love. :stuck_out_tongue:

Our drummer flat refused. Drummers, man. You can’t rely on them for anything, even being willing/able to play blast beats on congas.

Shoulda kicked him out of the band right then and there.

We really should have, he was a real asshole. We kept him around because he was good at drums, so we really should’ve kicked him out the second he outlived his usefulness.