Disney returns to its more successful roots with another princess movie, this time moving on from its traditional hand drawn medium and embracing computer animation. Tangled is a re-imagining of the classic fairytale Rapunzel.
After seeking out the healing properties of a magical sunflower for an ill queen, the child she is bearing takes on the magical anti-aging properties of the flower in her hair. After being kidnapped by the manipulative Mother Gothel, Rapunzel is raised in an environment to fear the outside world yet yearns to be free. Flynn Ryder is a ‘dashing’ rogue who steals the royal princess’s crown and fatefully ends up in Rapunzel’s tower.
This film has every element of the original princess films that made them such successes — musical numbers, comic relief animal and a female antagonist. If anything this is probably what hurts this film. Trying too hard to be something that was successful in the past and failing to represent what audiences enjoy today. Tangled is a fine film but it doesn’t hold a candle to the legacy of previous animated Disney films and it doesn’t do too much animation wise to stand out in today’s standards.
Probably the most successful and enjoyable part of this film was its talented cast. Sitting down with Mandy Moore, we got to learn a little about being a part of this film and her transition to animation. Disney was always a part of her life. “I started singing because I wanted to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid,” she remembered. ” I knew auditioning for this, that if I got it, maybe what this film means now to these kids, will be what those films meant to me.”
The transition from singing to acting was easier for her than some of the other entertainers who have tried. “Because I didn’t have the mega level of success that some of those other girls did I didn’t need to reinvent myself. It certainly worked to my advantage in being able to cross over from music to film.”
Being a vocally trained entertainer lent Mandy a leading edge over others but she would still need the guidance of a strong director to help her bring the voice of Rapunzel to life. Luckily she had two, Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. “It was nice having two directors, they were a great tag team,” Moore explained. “Nathan would read with me a lot, Byron was really incredible at explanations and painting the picture of what scenes were like.” Surprisingly, aside from Byron Howard co-directing Bolt, Greno and Howard were fairly new to directing.
Perfectly timed for the holiday season, Tangled is out for families to enjoy together.
Rated PG for brief mild violence.