Monday, November 15, 2010

Rapunzel Gets TANGLED in Disney's Newest Film

I had the chance to check out a sneak peak of the new Disney film Tangled last week, and I'll admit I was probably just as excited as many of the kids there. I'm a big fan of Disney, and many of the recent animated films have been instant classics, so I jumped at the chance to get a first glimpse at this new take on the story of Rapunzel.

The story synopsis from Disney is this: When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) is taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a feisty teen with 70 feet of golden hair who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, the unlikely duo sets off on a hilarious, hair-raising escapade filled with adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair.

Truthfully, that's a fairly shallow description of everything involved in this movie. It doesn't mention that Rapunzel is a princess who was kidnapped by Mother Gothel and has lived nearly all of her life inside the tower. Or that her parents still hold out hope they'll find her again one day and have a lantern lighting ceremony on her birthday each year. (You'll sob when you see this.) Or that the cast of supporting characters could include vikings who like to collect tiny ceramic unicorns. Or that Rapunzel can wield a mean frying pan.

The movie is both funny and heart-warming, with a few scenes that brought tears to my eyes. Rapunzel is an innocent teen, both afraid and in awe of the world yet unwilling to back down from her dreams. Flynn is the semi-stereotypical self-absorbed rebel with a heart of gold. Mother Gothel ranks right up there with Ursula and the Shadowman as a creepy villain, and certainly a mother I'd never want to have.

I don't want to give away too much of the movie, but I will declare this one a must-see. Kids will love the humor, the songs and the horse, Maximus, while adults will enjoy the love story, the emphasis on family, and will cry with the realization that we someday must let our children go free into the world.

I had the chance to see it in 3D, and while it had moments of dazzle, overall I felt the movie could do just as well without the 3D. Unless you're a big fan of it, skip the 3D. Also, the movie is rated PG for some moments of violence and a moment involving death (practically nothing is rated G anymore), so use your best judgment in determining if your child is ready to see it.

I do love that Rapunzel is a strong female character. She's kept away from the world at a child, innocent and scared of the outside, and yet she faces her fears to follow her dreams. Along the way she encounters a lot of frightening moments, but she rises to the occasion for each - she's a good modern princess role model for young girls. (Honestly, I still am not sure why this movie wasn't titled Rapunzel like all of the other Disney princess films.) 

Overall, I wouldn't rate it as my favorite Disney film, but Tangled earns its place in the Disney library of films. It's a great story, the music is good, the animation is lovely and the characters are a lot of fun. You won't be disappointed by Tangled.

No comments: