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“Tangled” Review: Wonderful Updating of Classic Fairy Tale

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Genres: Action/Adventure, Kids/Family, Musical/Performing Arts, Animation and Adaptation
Running Time: 100 min.
Release Date: November 24th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild violence.
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directors: Byron Howard, Nathan Greno

JJ Rating:

See it again: Yes I would.
Own it: Yes. Yes indeed.
Recommend it to: Families the world over. Kid friendly and yes it’s even for boys. The horse and Flynn give a lot of boyish charm to the entire film.

Throw in "Rapunzel let down your hair" with a twist of royal, a magical Disney touch, a couple of animals with personality and add a few songs, and Tangled exists.

What is the purpose of creating an exact replica of the original story if it’s been told countless times? Why do people turn into raving lunatics when the story isn’t dictated as they want? A different spin on the original cannot only add to the fun of the story, but make it more enjoyable. Yeah-yeah, sure it doesn’t always work, and you don’t always look great when you go out with your friends…so what?

Tangled is at best one of the top ten films of the year; at worst it’ll be underappreciated for its brilliance. People like to sit in their bungalows of dirt and mud to judge those that are making all the money. Not only to feel necessary in their daily life in knocking down those that make the money and the magic, but to do so in a way that’s neither constructive nor productive. They, in essence, like to bully them. Disney has taken many hits because of many of their animated films. I have never been the person to do that. They’ve never disappointed me as some are often, they might as well put on a frown and walk around displaying their inner beauty. I don’t overexpect. People set standards for their entertainment as they set for children. Don’t make it so you are disappointed. Enjoy what you get for what you get, not compared to what you expected. Perfection of imagination will never be matched and if it’s ever matched then maybe your imagination needs work.

Tangled made me laugh, laugh, think, laugh and almost…almost tear up. Little animated figures on the screen voiced by talented people like Mandy Moore who not only sounded different, but also had the hope of a naïve young woman infused in there somehow. Zachary Levi, with his debonair air that was equally matched by his character’s good lines or looks…he’s not good-looking, he’s just drawn that way. Donna Murphy, ruling high upon her condescending attitude that floated on the air as not as bad as it sounded…oh wait, yes it was, kind of thing. Not to mention the horse with a great sniffer, and a chameleon as the bodyguard. It was like a full course meal with all the trimmings and great tastes that danced on the imagination, never to be forgotten.

The animation richly glistened because of the expressions the characters had, as if it were a stage play and everything had to be exaggerated. You go through your daily life and that isn’t the norm. People don’t tend to express themselves in this manner. I wonder if people expressed themselves with their facial expressions unguarded, how different would life be? Especially with the horse, Maximus, and the chameleon. Their facial expressions had to be exaggerated to display their personalities, and it was done with careful planning that worked amazingly well.

Tangled’s story set up both characters Flynn and Rapunzel well enough to care about them and want to follow them to the predictable end. There were a few unexpected turns. The story didn’t go in the same direction as thought, but it followed a similar path as predicted. Most people understand the fairy tale and though it doesn’t follow it verbatim, it does follow it enough that you will recognize where it’s headed. I enjoy the villain that’s more controlling via their wit than physically, because mentally it’s difficult to fight someone. It’s easier to see physical defiance, because mental battles are invisibly woven.

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Humor between Rapunzel’s naïve worldview and Flynn’s self-centered love fest ruled most of the film. Of course they start to shift in their understanding of one another, but their flaws made for many funny moments. As mentioned before, Maximus and the chameleon had their time in the comedic relief spotlight. Mainly Maximus, because his overexaggerated sniffing ability, along with his determination to get his thief, made me laugh loud.

The music played a major role in many of the emotional moments. Showing how the mother is controlling, the different dreams Flynn and Rapunzel have, how close Flynn and Rapunzel are while in the boat and the push of importance of what’s going on by the wonderfully composed notes by Alan Menken. Enjoyable as one would expect from Disney, I say.

Some of the scenes in the trailer are not in the film. For whatever the reasons, it’s fine, because what is in the final cut worked perfectly for me. I liked everything about Tangled, including the title. It works well. Flynn is entangled in his own mess with stealing, she’s entangled with her mother's mind games and they both are entangled in the norm of their life. Disney might have lost a little of their way, but I think Tangled shows that they are on the right path to finding it again, and I’m certainly glad I saw the wonderful film that fairy tales could only dream of becoming in their aged life.


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