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A Tangled Review

I’m usually content to leave these movie reviews up to my friend over at The Creative Juicer. I feel like I’m not qualified to do these since I’m more or less just sharing my opinion and how that’s meant to be useful to you, I don’t know. (I obviously feel completely different about book reviews. ;))

However, this film came out in the theaters before Timotheous had his blogging quill in hand, and as it’s a Disney fairy tale I feel I have some right to be giving my opinion on it.

Tangled

or what should be known as

Rapunzel

Tangled-JapanYeah, the Japanese poster is so much better.

I want to start with the negative and move into the positive.

Let’s start with the most blatantly obvious thing; the title. I have mixed feelings about it because while it’s not called Rapunzel, there lives a little flicker of hope that someday they’ll make one in classic Disney style. However, the odds of that happening seem very slim, and as this is the only Disney animation of Rapunzel so far, they might as well call it what it is–Rapunzel. Besides, not once does her hair really get tangled in the movie. It gets caught, rolled up, tripped over, and purposefully wound on things, but never tangled. Makes the title kind of stupid.

Tresemme! Beautiful hair is easy!

My second issue; Mandy Moore. I have nothing against her voice for the role. It’s sweet and expressive and she did an excellent job. But I have a hard time separating her voice from her name and her face. As soon as I heard Rapunzel talk, I knew who was voicing her. And since A Walk To Remember was such a big part of my youth, I kept picturing scenes from that as I watched.

Oh look, it’s me! I mean… Mandy Moore.

So to that I’d just say, I wish they picked some sweet voiced unknown for the role. Maybe if I watch it enough times I’ll forget what Mandy Moore looks like. :)

*Edit* I have now watched it for the third time and am completely reconciled to the fact that it’s Mandy Moore. In fact, I forgot about it being her. :) In a good way. So yay!

Next… The animation is not like your standard Disney fairy tale. I’m not the sort of person who learns all the technical terms for things, but suffice to say the graphics are more Toy Story than Cinderella. This bothered me a great deal at first, because even though I’d seen all the posters and art and knew it wasn’t the same, I still half-expected something like this:

And instead was met with this:

…which is quite shocking, believe me. And for a while it felt all wrong, like I stepped into an alternate dimension that pretended to be the world of Disney but wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong! It’s very pretty and looks like a painting come to life, and by the end of the first scene I was okay with it being different. It just takes some getting used to.

Another negative; Flynn is kind of a jerk. Yes, it’s funny that he’s trying to get rid of this long-haired nuisance and feeds on her guilt and takes her to horrible places to try to make her give up on the deal, but despite the outward laughter, I twitched a bit inside. A Disney prince (or even thief, as we have Aladdin for proof) never put a princess (or lady) in harm’s way. He was always getting her out of it. Always. I really wish they would have been more traditional with this. It’s sweet that he has a change of heart as they progress, but even Dimitri from Anastasia (which is not a Disney film, I realize) wasn’t dragging Anya into scary places just to make her be quiet. You may argue that such a thing risks a character that’s too perfect. But duh, this is Disney. The male love interests are supposed to be perfect, even if they’re rogues. This is making sense, right? It makes sense to me.

“Why did you take me to the scary tavern, Flynn?”

Now what I liked.

I loved the little hints of things from other Disney films. There’s the dandelion that blows in the wind when Rapunzel first comes out of her tower, reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. Flynn and Rapunzel almost kiss in a boat, kind of like in The Little Mermaid, and a line in the song “I See The Light” goes “it’s crystal clear.” Aladdin, anyone? It makes you feel that despite the new designs they tried not to stray too far from their roots. (Haha! Roots, get it??)

I also thought Maximus the soldier’s horse was epic and grand. And Pascal was adorable. :) Approval on the animal sidekicks.

Now there are basically four scenes that absolutely made the movie for me. Despite all the little issues I had with the… newfangled… things, these four scenes (and one in particular) were right up there with ye ‘ole treasured Disney classics. (In my humble, unprofessional opinion.)

Firstly, when Rapunzel first leaves the tower. All that scene as well as the bit where she goes through some emotional turmoil. I think every girl can relate to that. And my dad laughed so hard he had to rewind it because he kept missing the next piece of dialogue. :P

As for the song that leads up to that bit, I’ll admit it isn’t long enough or possessing of that old fashioned charm like “Belle,” but Rapunzel’s exuberance from being free at last is catching, and since it’s a reprise the length can be forgiven. The colorful nature of the scene is breathtaking, and the flock of birds was a nice touch. Because it felt like… yes, we’re flying too. In our hearts.

Wow… what Disney films to do me. *coughs* Right… so, moving on.

The kingdom scene. When Rapunzel goes wandering through the kingdom wide-eyed, it reminds me of my favorite Little Mermaid scene, when she’s excitedly pointing everything out to the prince. And everything that follows creates a gem.

This one is so lovely that I must post the scene. :D You know all those little surveys that ask, “What’s your ideal date?” I always scoffed and said, “I couldn’t possibly pick an ideal.” Well… I lied. I picked one. It’s this scene. *happy sigh*

And it makes me feel like I’m not a crazy weirdo for dancing in the middle of Sam’s Club to a sample of Celtic music they had on the little test album button. Hey, my skirt was from Ireland and it was begging to be taken for a whirl!

I’m mixing things up chronologically now so I can save the best for last. I won’t put any spoilers, but I love how they did the end. Well… not the very end–I actually though the last scene could have been better–but the whole confrontation in the tower with the evil villainess. I was so frightened that it would be a let down, and I was thrilled to see what they did as far as the whole hair chopping and magical tears part went. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve never read the Grimm’s version. ;) But yes! It was grand! And wonderful! And I did not feel cheated.

ur haire iz lyk p1llow

Now to the best scene ever.

No matter what else bugged me, no matter what I thought the movie lacked, the lantern scene in the boat with the song made up for it all. I will admit to having grown teary-eyed. It gave me shivers. The fact that I’m not describing it well proves I feel I won’t do it justice. What I mean is, it’s too lovely for words.

Someone, someday is going to recreate this scene and live it with me
and then I will marry him in gratitude.

If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t watch this. Because it’ll all be worth it once you get to this part. If you don’t ever plan on seeing the movie, maybe do watch this and you might change your mind. But still probably don’t because it won’t be as meaningful without the build up… and I don’t want dislikers watching my new favorite Disney scene! *sniffles*

I See The Light

Then I was sold. Best movie ever. Let’s buy it. Own it. REWIND SCENE!!

Oh, did you want a little sum up of thoughts? Maybe a rating for this movie?

I’m feeling devious tonight and will refuse. You can take my really long review or have nothing. :P

But one last thought. If anything needed adding, it’s a song for Flynn. Not one about thieving, because we already have Aladdin’s nice little ditty about robbing. But… I don’t know… something actiony and daring. He really should have had a solo. It could have been part of the scene where Maximus chases him, and then the music swells and ends right as he comes across the tower. It’s an idea. :)

Farewell! May your lanterns glow like the starlight!

~B~

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10 thoughts on “A Tangled Review

  1. I’ve always enjoyed fractured fairy tales, and the Disney and Pixar animated films have so far not disappointed. I hope this retelling of Rapunzel follows suit.

    1. I thought it was quite wonderful, especially how they tied in the bits that hinted to the original fairy tale, yet they stayed true to the Disney happy ending. :)

  2. NO! This movie should not be called Repunzel! There is not enough of Repunzel in this movie to warrant that title. The title Repunzel is way too mysterious and refined to be wasted on this movie. Not that I didn’t like the movie, I loved it, own it, look forward to seeing it again; but it is not Repunzel. Before I saw the movie I thought the title was dumb because I expected to see Repunzel. After watching the move, the title is still dumb (for all of the reasons that you expressed), but I’m soooo glad that they didn’t waste the title of Repunzel on this movie.

    Sadly, I must agree that chances are that a truly Repunzel movie will not likely be produced now, but I do hope so, and then they can use the title Repunzel. Not before. I hope they check with me first. I don’t know why they waited so long to try anyway, but this isn’t it. It’s a wonderfully done “recipe” Disney story that I love so much. I thoroughly enjoyed the scene where she was willing to give her life up to the evil old lady for Flynn to live, and he was willing die for her so that she didn’t have to. (icantevenbringmyselftocallherRepunzelhere!)

    1. I hate misspelling words/names, especially ones that I really like! Rapunzel, RApunzel! Well at least I only misspelled it NINE OUT OF NINE TIMES! Sheesh!

      1. I was going to say, “If you expected to see Repunzel, I’m not sure why you were disappointed.” :P

        But… it was such a cute film that… uuugh. I have such mixed feelings.

  3. First off, let me say thank you for linking me! I appreciate the fact that you thought about me and my movie reviews! ^_^

    Second, this is a great review! You had definitive pros and cons of the film, and your pictures and captions were golden. ;)
    However, I disagree with one point: the style of the film. You say it’s more Toy Story than Cinderella, but I cry foul. If you look at any Pixar film, they are aiming for a photorealistic looking world with disproportionate/funny looking people. And DreamWorks CG animation strives for a photorealistic world with proportional/regular looking people. If you compare Tangled with Up and Shrek, you’d instantly see the difference between the three, and that’s because Disney’s style is dratically different, because they stay true to classic disney form. Just look at the characters! Rapunzel has giant eyes, a small oval face, a perfect body, and flowing hair – you can actually see the similarities between Belle and her in the two pictures you posted. Disney animation during the Renaissance period (the 90s)has always had a distinct visual style (The Little Mermaid, Alladin, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) and I believe that captured that visual style in CG form. The world looks realistic, yes, but it’s also highly stylized, where it looks like a piece of art instead of a real-life scene.

    Okay, I’m done with my disagreement.

    Anyway! I totally agree that Flynn should have had a solo song! Zachary Levi had an amazing voice, and it’s a shame that he didn’t sing more. As great as the movie was, it simply did not feel like a true Disney movie of old because there wasn’t enough singing. :/

    1. You betcha! :D

      Ooooh! See, that’s why I usually leave these up to the knowledgeable people. To me, it’s just… I get the feel of something and that’s what I think it’s closer to. That barely makes sense to me and I wrote it. Anywhoodles…

      I watched it again today and I think it would have been cool to elaborate more on his “I’ve Got a Dream” theme, but more personal. And then he could have sung a sad reprise while in jail about Rapunzel so that his, “You were my new dream” tied into it all.

      Speaking of which… *bawls* ;)

      1. Hahaha! Oh it’s quite alright. I understand what you’re saying. :P

        Ooooo, I like it! *sigh* I hate missed opportunities. x_x

        *hands you a tissue*

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