Disney’s Tangled Review

Posted on February 10, 2011 by


I know I usually reserve reviews of Disney movies for my Forgotten Classics bit, but in order to write about Tangled in that, I’d have to wait about twenty years, and even then I suspect I’d be hard pressed to call it ‘forgotten’.

Today we’re looking at the new Disney movie, Tangled, which is also slated to be ‘the last fairy tale Disney will make’. Yeah, I’ll believe that on the day that Episode 3 of Half Life 2 actually comes out.

Tangled is a re-imagining of the classic fairy tale ‘Rapunzel’ by the Brothers Grimm. No, not Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, the real ones. You might wonder why they changed the title to ‘Tangled’, well basically it’s because of boys. Let’s face it, no self-respecting boy is going to go see a movie called ‘Disney’s Rapunzel’. They might as well have subtitled it ‘the flower princess’ or something. So they picked a more boy-friendly title, which has gotten them a bit of flak for being a ‘marketing stunt’ but that just seems like people complaining that those dastardly fiends at Disney are trying to get more people to watch their movie! What utter bastards.

Everyone knows the basic story of Rapunzel. An evil witch kidnaps a princess and sticks her in a tower. She gets rescued by a handsome prince who climbs up her ridiculously long hair (she must have bloody amazing root-strengthening shampoo). In Disney’s version of things, there’s a magic flower which has healing powers. A witch called Gothel has hidden it and uses it to stay forever young, because, y’know, that’s the driving motivation of pretty much every witch EVER. When the Queen goes into labour, something goes wrong and everyone hunts for the flower. They find it (Gothel’s idea of hiding it involves putting a pot over it, not the brightest witch ever) and use it to heal the queen. The magic of the flower transfers into the newborn baby Rapunzel’s hair, so naturally Gothel accepts that it’s time for her unnaturally long life to finally end gracefully. Oh no wait, she kidnaps the baby. Not like the ENTIRE KINGDOM WILL BE LOOKING FOR HER OR ANYTHING.

So Rapunzel grows up in the tower believing Gothel is her mum and doing all the stuff that Disney princesses do to prove that they aren’t just two dimensional pretty faces for manly men to rescue, like reading the same books over and over and painting stuff. She also cultivates her ridiculous hair and the things she can do with it to levels bondage experts can only dream of and dreams of ‘a life out there’. So not at all like every other Disney Princess in history. Well, not the bondage anyway.

She has a little pet Chameleon, because everyone needs an adorable small pet for comic relief. The other animal in the movie is Maximus, a guard-horse who obviously acts like a dog, because kids can’t relate to any animal other than a cute widdle doggy!

In what is clearly another fiendish attempt to draw in the penis-owning demographic (and lonely, desperate mothers) is the introduction of Dashing rogue Flynn Rider, the male lead. Flynn’s a thief who breaks into the royal palace and steals Rapunzel’s tiara before escaping into the woods, with the palace guard hot on his heels. Ironically, of all the guards, the only one intelligent enough to actually track Flynn is the horse. Flynn stumbles his way into the tower and decides it’ll be a nice place to chill until the heat is off, and proceeds to get the living crap beaten out of him by Rapunzel with a frying pan (Frying pans being excellent weapons is a running joke throughout the movie).

Thing is, it’s nearly Rapunzel’s 18th birthday. Every year on her Birthday the King and Queen release thousand of those flying paper lantern things, and this year Rapunzel is determined to go see what the hell is up with that, and Flynn is her ticket out of there. She manages to get Gothel away for a few days to find her a special birthday present and then proceeds to blackmail Flynn into taking her to see the lights by hiding the stolen tiara.

That’s right girls, if you want a hot guy to take you places, beat him with a frying pan and steal his stuff, that’ll do the trick!

Plot wise, things are pretty much the usual fare, what really holds this movie up is two things. The first is the dialogue, which is pitch-perfect. It’s fast, it’s witty, it’ll make kids laugh and it’ll make grown-ups laugh. Tangled genuinely has some of the best movie dialogue i’ve ever heard, and the second is the art style. The movie is rendered in 3D (and shown in 3D, which I hate) like UP and Toy Story 3, but instead of the ultra-detailed super-realistic looks of those movies, everything is fuzzed and blurred and distorted in some amazing way that makes the world around the characters look like an oil painting, and it truly is beautiful.

While Tangled doesn’t go out of it’s way to deviate from the normal Disney tropes, it is a very funny, very pretty and very enjoyable movie. Oh, it has some songs in it as well, but not many, and they’re funny too.

Posted in: Movies, Review