Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated feature, and it’s a rollicking take on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale Rapunzel.
A baby princess is kidnapped from the royal palace by an old biddy who locks her in an isolated tower, and uses her long golden hair to stay young. Mandy Moore voices the sassy heroine Rapunzel, who is desperate to see the outside world, and who gets her wish on her eighteenth birthday, when she’s rescued by a lovable thief.
The film may be missing the naughty wit and the smart pop-culture references that Pixar does so well, but in the tradition of the best Disney musicals, Tangled is a simply-told story elevated by some excellent musical set-pieces.
Not that you expect any less when you see the name on the credits – the soundtrack is composed by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, who provided the score for such films as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Menken gives the film’s real showstopper ‘Mother knows best’ to Broadway performer Donna Murphy, who voices the evil kidnapper Goethel, and who brings life to that track. But my favorite number is ‘I have a dream’, which our heroine breaks into at a vikings pub named Snuggly Duckling where she reaches out to the softer side in those hulking giants.
The animation is clean, the 3D gives depth to the beautiful imagery, and there is an array of kooky, colorful characters – including a horse with attitude named Maximus, and the chameleon Pascal who everyone refers to as a frog.
I’m going with three out of five for Tangled. It’s predictable, but also very good fun.