Sunday, November 28, 2010

Movie Review: 'Tangled' is Hair-Raising Fun!

Tangled movie poster, property of Disney.

Almost every review I had read for Tangled before seeing it had some sort of hair-related joke or two, so I couldn't resist doing the same.  I didn't find the movie to be full of "split-ends" like some people said or a "hairdo gone flat," I just found it to be entertaining and funny and often quite beautiful to look at.  In fact, those with negative opinions of this movie are in the minority.  The film is getting remarkably good reviews, which speaks highly of Disney's animated future.

Tangled is a retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, but Disney has of course made a few changes.  For example, her hair is not only long and lovely, but also full of magical healing powers.  She's also a princess, but of course she doesn't know that, seeing as she was kidnapped as a baby by the woman who she thinks is her mother.  Every year on her birthday the kingdom sends up a million floating lanterns into the night sky in hope that someday she'll return home.  From her tower, Rapunzel can see these floating lights, and longs to know more about them.  When the thief Flynn Ryder breaks into her tower in order to hide from the palace guards, Rapunzel decides that he might just be her ticket out of there...

Obviously comedy and adventure ensue.  And obviously the two fall in love.  Rapunzel is voiced well by Mandy Moore who infuses her with a lot of innocence, curiosity, and gumption.  Zachary Levi does great as the witty and charming Flynn Ryder, and also proves that he can sing as well (everybody already knows that Mandy Moore can sing).  There are plenty of musical numbers in this one, yet I found them to be less memorable than the songs from Princess and the Frog.  "Less memorable" doesn't mean to say that they were awful.  The songs by Alan Menken were just fine and dandy, just not quite amazing.  He's done better work in past Disney films.

The animation style in this movie is very pretty to look at.  The color palette mostly consists of pastel pinks and blues and greens, and the coloring is done in a way to evoke a hand-painted feel.  It doesn't by any means look hand-drawn, but there is a softness and warmth to it that sort of bridges the gap between pen-and-ink and CGI.  The scene where the glowing lanterns are released into the sky is simply breathtaking to behold.

But overall, the movie is funny.  You'll find yourself laughing at many things, including some slap-sticky frying pan hits from Rapunzel and witty banter from Flynn.  The two animals in the film, a horse and a chameleon, get the majority of the laughs I feel, and some of the ruffians they encounter are also quite amusing.  Tangled really is hair-raising fun for the whole family!

Sorry.  I just couldn't resist.

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