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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Movie Review: Tangled {2010}

International Disney Poster Gallery
yes, I know it's a foreign poster, but it's gorgeous.

Walt Disney Pictures presents Tangled, one of the most hilarious, hair-raising tales ever told. When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. Tangled is a story of adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair.

I wasn't planning to write this review (really, do I ever 'plan' to write a review?  Looking back through my reviews, I think not) but after reviewing Frozen and having a lot of good feedback about that review, I thought it would be fun to review Tangled, even though I haven't watched it for forever (mostly because when I first discovered it through my cousins, I watched it so many times that I hated it - shocking, I know).  I watched several clips on Youtube (with the exception of a few 'filler' scenes, pretty much the whole movie is on Youtube) and it all came rushing back to me - both the information I needed to write this review, and why I love this movie so much.  It's definitely not like Frozen (and please don't ask me which one I prefer - I probably like Frozen a teensy bit more, but it's subject to change) because it's more the traditional fairy tale/princess movie, but there are still some ways that it's different from other Disney movies.

Little Rapunzel smiling at her mysterious birthday lanterns. :) <3
awwwww!  she's so cute!
Of any of the princesses, I believe Rapunzel would have the most reason to be rebellious and defy her mother because, y'know, Mother Gothel isn't her real mother.  And the way she emotionally abuses/manipulates Rapunzel is terrible.  But Rapunzel doesn't do anything like that.  Come on, she stayed stuck up in a tower for eighteen years because of her 'mother's' orders.  And I think that maybe Rapunzel was starting to feel a little doubtful inside after Gothel yelled at her about never leaving the tower, which is partly why she left (reading into stuff is so much fun, isn't it?).  Even after she left the tower, she had a major battle with herself about whether she should go back (the battle didn't even end after Flynn told her that 'a little rebellion is good - healthy even').  And I love the contrast between Gothel and Rapunzel's real mother (more on that in a bit).  Oh, and another way Tangled is different is that instead of the princess changing, it's actually the hero who changes (Tangled has amazingly complex characters).  Speaking of which, I'm going to talk about the characters next.    Rapunzel
Rapunzel is my favorite Disney princess (not that I've watch too many Disney movies... :P).  For one, she is so talented.  She paints, sketches, plays the guitar, knits, sews, does pottery, does ventriloquy, and makes candles.  And she's a big reader.  Wow.  That's definitely something :)  She's sweet, kind, courageous, and just all-around adorable.  And her skill with that frying pan of hers is not to be underestimated.  One thing I like about her is that her dream is really simple - go and see the floating lanterns.  After that, she plans to go home (well, whether she would have or not is still hanging, especially after she fell in love with Eugene.  Still...).  She's really naive and innocent (a lot like Cosette, really) and her interaction with Pascal, her chameleon are so sweet and funny (Pascal really wins the award for best Disney pet, I think).  However, she can be strong and decisive when she needs to.  The scene where she tells Gothel that her hair is not up for grabs (literally) anymore is amazing.  She's so courageous.  Oh, and her hair.  I love it.  It's one of those things that really could have only worked with 3D animation, because with traditional it would've just looked like a big yellow sheet (especially when it glows).  It's so pretty and realistic looking (especially when it's braided for the Kingdom Dance scene).  I really can't decide whether I prefer her long blonde hair, or her short brunette hair.  Probably blonde, just because that's what I'm the most used to (she has it for all but the last five minutes, or so).

Can I marry Flynn Rider?
Flynn Ryder (or Eugene Fitzherbert - I personally prefer 
Eugene) is a handsome, charming thief who stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower, climbs it...and promptly gets hit on the head by a frying pan.  To make a long story short, he takes Rapunzel to see the floating lanterns just so that he can get his satchel back (the satchel holds the princess' tiara, which he plans to sell to get a pile of money).  However, he didn't count on falling in love with the girl he was escorting - or to have his steps dogged every part of the way by various obstacles (Maximus, the Stabbington brothers, and Gothel).  I think that Eugene is the main character in Tangled, no matter what most people think.  He's the one that changes, while Rapunzel stays herself.  He starts out as a thief named Flynn Ryder - a name he chose to hide his true self and create a new identity - and he ends the film as Eugene Fitzherbert.  I don't think Rapunzel exactly changed him.  She just broke down the walls he had built up around himself (which, I guess, is change).  At the beginning, he would have rather forget the whole thing, but at the end, he was willing to sacrifice his life for Rapunzel (and he actually did - a fact that's lampshaded by the opening narration..."This is the story of how I died").  Eugene is an amazing hero and I love how he becomes a better person through the course of the movie.  It makes him so much more believable as a hero, by showing he isn't perfect.  Perfect heroes are boring.

Mother Gothel and Rapunzel's parents
Mother Gothel had kept herself alive for centuries using the golden flower, but then it's taken away since the queen is dying (she's about to have a baby) and flower is the only thing that can heal her (okay, I just realized the resemblances to the original story of Rapunzel with this).  She then has a baby, Rapunzel who happens to have magic golden hair because of the flower (why the mom didn't get magic golden hair instead is beyond me).  So, out of revenge, Gothel steals the baby (after trying to cut a lock of her hair - that didn't work 'cause once the hair is cut, it turns brown and loses its power) and keeps her hidden in a tower for eighteen years.  I'm sure that at first Rapunzel just followed along with whatever Gothel said, but then when she got older and began to think for herself, she wondered why she always had to stay in the tower.  And that's when Gothel started putting her down and making her out to be worthless.

Mother knows best
Take it from your mumsy
On your own, you won't survive
Sloppy, underdressed
Immature, clumsy
Please, they'll eat you up alive!

Gullible, naive
Positively grubby
Ditzy and a bit, well, hmm vague
Plus, I believe
Gettin' kinda chubby
I'm just saying 'cause I wuv you!

Rapunzel's true parents, on the other hand, are pretty much the best parents you could ever ask for.  They don't say anything during the five minutes or so in total that they're on screen, but they touch an emotional chord in almost everyone who watches the film.  After all, they lost their daughter eighteen years ago and they still release floating lanterns every night on her birthday (you know, you would've thought Gothel would be smart enough to tell Rapunzel a different birth date).  The little gestures and facial expressions they make are heartbreaking.  And the reunion scene?  So sweet!  [quick note on all the characters I missed:  The Pub Thugs - those guys are awesome!  First you think they're good ('cause the name 'Snuggly Duckling' seems to say it all), then bad, and then good again.  And they way they rescue Eugene is so fun.  Pascal - really, could a princess ask for a better pet/friend?  Watching Pascal's expressions throughout the film is really entertaining.  It goes to show the amount of detail put into these films.  Maximus - ah, yes, the horse version of Javert.  One of the best characters in the film.]

I will find the real-life version of Flynn Rider, and we will get married and live happily ever after. Don't even try to get near him. I will smash your head in with a frying pan.

A run-through of everything else about this film...the animation is gorgeous.  Not just Rapunzel's hair, but the floating lanterns, the grass, water, costumes, everything.  Tangled is a real feast for the eyes.  And I love the music.  The songs all follow the typical Disney pattern - Heroine Song + reprise (When Will My Life Begin?), villain song (Mother Knows Best), love song (I See The Light), and funny song (I've Got A Dream).  They're all memorable and go well with the feel of the film.  And the score, composed by Alan Menken, is beautiful.  There's relatively few tracks, but I love them all.  Actually, I love this film in general.  What about you?


1 comment:

Miss Jane Bennet said...

I never realized the parallel either! How cool is that??
Um, anyways. Great review! Totally agree about Eugene/Flynn (I can never decide which name to use! ;P). And Rapunzel too--she's one of my favorites. (Although Belle from Beauty and the Beast is probably my first-favorite, if I had to choose; she's a courageous, sweet bookworm with a pure heart. I love it. ;))
Y'know, I'm learning a lot here! I never really read too much into Tangled, but now I'm analyzing every second of the clips. ;) Her parents are just...amazing. The End.
And that's pretty much this film too! *tries to think of something else to say* *fails miserably* *awkwardly signs off*

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