Guide To Disney #1: Tangled

Will I do many of these Disney posts? Who knows. But hey, let’s give it a go anyway.

Yes, after finally deciding what to call these posts without implying a certain day I have to post them, I’ve finally decided to do a series of reviews on all things Disney. From Films to TV shows to properties that Disney owns (yeap, that means old Star Wars, Marvel and Indiana Jones) I’m going to try my best to review as many as possible. As well as the review, the out-of-five rating system will only apply in context to other Disney films not to all films in general (meaning a 4/5 here could be a 3/5 in the larger film world). So, without further ado, let’s get started then. (Spoilers will probably follow).

I figured a good place to start would be what Disney is mostly known for. Its princesses. However, rather than looking at one of its older princesses, I thought I’d look at one of its latest. Tangled. Now, I must admit, this is probably one of my, if not the, favourite Disney Princess movies (for many reasons), but of course, it’s not without its flaws.

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This 2011 animated flick stars Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries, Chasing Liberty) as Rapunzel, Zachary Levi (Thor: The Dark World, Chuck) as Flynn Rider and Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2, The Bourne Legacy) as Mother Gothel.

The plot basically resolves around Rapunzel, who was kidnapped as a child by Mother Gothel due to her hair being magical and anti-aging, leaving her secluded tower thanks to thief Flynn Rider in order to see the floating lights that only ever appear for her birthday.

Now, let me get the issue out of the way. And, please note, this is a plot issue rather than anything else. Right, I get that Mother Gothel needs the hair to keep her young or whatever, but then, how come at the start of the film, as soon as she finishes brushing the hair she gets old, yet later in the film, she can leave the hair for days without aging at all?? Like come on, I know this is a kids film, but there needs to be some kind of realism. But then again, I’m probably just being picky.

This princess film is filled with the exact cliche’s you’ll have come to expect from a Disney Princess film. You have the naive yet capable princess, the handsome and charming love interest (though not a prince this time round), the evil witch figure who is trying to capture/kill the princess, the lovable animal sidekick (except this time, there’s two! What a twist!) and of course, there’s the soundtrack.

To be quite honest with you, I do really enjoy this soundtrack. I think it’s one of the best that Disney have produced. It’s not just one memorable song (looking at you Frozen) it features many different tracks, from happy-poppy ones to slow ballads, that’ll be stuck in your head for days. And, thanks to this review, are now stuck in my head.

As well as the soundtrack, the characters are actually surprisingly interesting. Despite Rapunzel basically being a generic Disney Princess, the fact that she’s been locked away from the outside world with just her ‘mother’ and a chameleon called Pascal (oh yes, that’s one of the funny animal sidekicks) for company adds a different dynamic to her as we see her adapt to the outside world and being without Mother Gothel for large parts of this movie. As well as her, Flynn Rider is also an interesting character. Most Disney male love interests in these Princess films are Princes, but this time, he’s a thief, on the run from the police. Almost Aladdin-like but a bit more self-assured and charming. Levi does an incredibly successful job of making you believe that this guy could charm his way out of (and in to) just about anything.

As for the plot, its pretty generic, but the fact that Rider is on the run from the people that Rapunzel wants to go and see, does add a bit of an edge.

The action in this film is good, especially the set-piece at the mining site. The humour is surprisingly intelligent as well as being really silly when it needs to be. The animal sidekicks (the other is a horse called Maximus by the way) don’t steal too much of the show but they have their moments when they need to.

Overall this is a really good Disney Princess movie, I’ve probably not sold it to you enough but it does have my stamp of approval. I rate it higher than Frozen, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and its on par with Beauty and the Beast. It’s also not too long (only 96 minutes) so its easy to watch. If you enjoy these classic-formula Disney Princess movies then this will definitely be one for you to watch and enjoy.

Tangled: 4.5/5

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