Review by Jack Foley
IT’S fitting that Disney’s 50th animated movie should be one that is based on a classic fairytale. And it’s also appropriate that it should be so enchanting too!
Tangled, co-directed by Byron Howard And NathanGreno, is a great family movie that possesses many classic Disney values as well as a few contemporary elements as well.
It boasts music and songs from Oscar winner Alan Menken, animation from Disney stalwart Glen Keane, and a look and feel that’s derived from the studio’s ’50s heyday.
But in some of it’s approach it also boasts a freshness befitting modern audiences, whether in its depiction of the modern hero (and thief) at the centre of the story or in its often inspired use of 3D.
The plot is derived from the classic tale of Rapunzel and picks up as she is snatched at birth by Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy), a wicked old lady who needs the power she posesses to maintain her youthful appearance.
Imprisoned in a tower, and believing Gothel to be her real mother, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) dreams of seeing the world and leading a life of adventure… something made possible by the arrival of arrogant but charismatic thief Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), who whisks her away with his own agenda in mind.
Their ensuing adventure is laden with typical Disney hallmarks such as helpful (but non-talking) animals, wicked villains and wondrous set pieces (all punctuated by instantly catchy songs).
Younger viewers will particularly enjoy Maximus, a no-nonsense super-cop horse who rides off with a lot of the best moments.
But Flynn is a likeable rogue of a hero, Rapunzel is suitably sweet and Gothel is a wily enough villain to bear strong comparison with the likes of those in Snow White and Cinderella.
The film looks amazing, too… as lush as we’ve long come to expect from Disney and mindful of its 3D – a lantern sequence, in particular, is not only breathtakingly beautiful but serves as one of the best uses of the medium in recent memory.
Crucially, too, Tangled manages to get the mix of comedy and drama just right, for it’s as sweet as it is poignant as well as good, honest knockabout fun.
It’s another fine achievement that looks destined to achieve the sort of timeless appeal that Disney has for so long specialised in delivering.
Running time: 100mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: May 23, 2011
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Mandy Moore interview
- Nathan Greno and Byron Howard (directors) interview
- Glen Keane interview
- Tangled Photo Gallery
- Find out about the Disney 50 at the Southbank
- Can you name the Disney 50?
- The Disney 50 - A Photographic appreciation