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Tangled

Tangled

What he said:

He

Do you remember when Disney made animated movies? No, no, no I don’t mean Pixar, I mean Disney. Sure, they still make movies, but I’m willing to bet you can’t name many of their more recent ones. Gone are the days of Aladdin, The Lion King, or The Little Mermaid.  

It’s almost as if Disney doesn’t really try all that much anymore; as if they are content to ride the Pixar wave.

Then along came Tangled. The first Disney animated movie to generate any real buzz in quite some time.

Tangled is a re-imagining of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel. It stars singer turned actress Mandy Moore as the lead character and Zachary Levi (from TV’s Chuck) as her love interest Flynn Rider.

In this version of the story, Rapunzel is stolen from her parents (the king and queen) by an evil, vein old woman after finding out the child’s hair possess magical powers. It reverses the effects of time and makes people younger.

Rapunzel grows up living with this woman – thinking she is her mother – and is never allowed to leave her home; for the old woman doesn’t want to risk losing her fountain of youth.

Meanwhile, back in the kingdom, the king and queen refuse to give up hope on their long lost daughter. Each year on her birthday, they release thousands of sky lanterns into the sky hoping the lost princess can find her way home.

Realizing these lanterns aren’t stars – but not completely sure what they are – Rapunzel becomes obsessed with finding out on the meaning of these lanterns. So one day, she manages to convince her “mother” to go on an errand that is bound to take her days to complete. She also recruits the help of the suave, but street smart Flynn Rider.

Along the way they encounter thugs, thieves, imperial guards, and a very intense horse named Maximus. Maximus is actually the lost horse of one of the guards trying to catch Flynn. The two put aside their differences for a time in order to help Rapunzel reach her goal. What takes place from this point on is not only funny, but actually a really good little adventure movie.

Pascal the chameleon is also quite the entertaining little sidekick. He nor Maximus has a speaking part, but you find yourself really enjoying the two of them despite that.

I hope this serves as a bit of a wake-up call for Disney. It turns out they can still make animated movies that matter. This movie was a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by just about anyone.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the official He said, she said seal of approval on April 3, 2011.

What she said:

She

I know that I’m a little biased to Disney.  I always will be, having grown up on their animated classics.  I cannot help to get excited whenever they come up with new offering, even if it is in today’s computer generated animation, instead of the classic painted 2D.

Tangled is Disney’s newest big budget musical animated flick, and it’s worthwhile.  Granted, I’m convinced that nothing from this century will ever hold a candle to the classics, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.  But Tangled puts a fresh spin on a classic tale (Rapunzel) to create a funny and charming adventure movie. 

The film follows Rapunzel, a princess who was stolen as a child from her parents because of the magical healing powers that her hair (yes, you heard me right) holds.  An evil old lady who uses Rapunzel to remain young indefinitely, locks the poor girl up in a tower and scares her into never wanting to adventure out of her sanctuary.  The woman really has Rapunzel wrapped around her finger, she’s truly horrible, and it’s entertaining to watch her manipulate the girl into obeying her every command.  But when Rapunzel turns 18 she finally becomes restless.  She teams up with a fugitive thief, Flynn Rider, to make her dreams come true.  The two go on an adventure that, as we can predict, ends in love. 

The movie is very well done.  The script is light, but entertaining and filled with comedy that will resonate with those from all age groups.  It is technically a Disney musical, but I didn’t think the songs were anything special, and so I sort of blocked that part of it out.  They are hit or miss, which is a shame because the soundtracks from the early 90s movies are so solid.  Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi are very good as the lead characters, although how much can you really screw up a cartoon character?  Again, their singing is ok, but nothing to write home about.

I think the real strength of the movie is its fun approach, warmth, and comedy.  Maximus, the horse, and the chameleon are adorably humorous.  Tangled is a great diversion, and its fabulous animation (check out Rapunzel’s hair) makes it a joy to watch.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.