Tangled features the vocal talents of Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Mandy Moore. The film marks Disney’s fiftieth animated feature and follows the studio’s tradition of giving fairy tales the Disney treatment. This time it is the story of Rapunzel being retold.
Those who are used to the usual Disney style of animation are in for a treat, because the film is not only presented in computer animated form, but in 3D as well! The computer animation breathes new life into the familiar Disney animation, bringing the characters to life in a way that makes them more real. Facial expressions are portrayed so well that it is easy to forget that these characters are not real actors. The 3D effect only enhances the experience.
Although Tangled may seem like the typical fairy tale-A beautiful Princess held captive by the selfish and wicked old witch, only to be saved by a brave and stoic Prince-it is nothing of the sort. Yes, there are the arch types but, a few departures from the usual Disney formula, provides a unique and refreshing perspective on the tale written by the Grimm brothers.
Instead of a witch, Mother Gothel is an old woman who finds an item filled with magic powerful enough to keep her young. She hordes the healing properties for herself as centuries pass, until fate intervenes and places the item into the King’s hands who uses it to heal the ailing and pregnant Queen. The healing potion causes Rapunzel to be born with the magic sealed in her hair. The selfishness and vanity within Mother Gothel causes her to abduct Rapunzel and raise her as her own daughter. All the while using the magical properties of the girls hair for her own purposes.
Flynn Rider is a second character straying from familiarity, as his occupation is that of a thief. Dashing and smart he may be, though a Prince he most certainly is not. His ambitions bring him to steal a royal crown from the castle and he stumbles upon Rapunzel while attempting to hide from the castle guard in what he thinks is an abandoned tower.
Rapunzel is the only central character unchanged from the original context of the story. With the exception of her pet chameleon Leon,who provides a number of small, but memorable moments in the film.
I always looked forward to seeing Disney animated movies while growing up. Most especially those Disney films that retold a beloved fairy tale. Some of my favorites have been released within the last thirty-five years and Tangled is now part of that list. With this new addition, Disney gives us a story of wonder, sorrow, love, and hope told through music and laughter. In a word…magic-Walt Disney’s legacy.