Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Tangled" Review

Last week, I saw Disney Animation Studios's 50th animated feature film called "Tangled", along with the trailers for Cars 2, Gnomeo and Juliet, Prom, Justin Bieber 3D: Never Say Never, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and probably some other movies I forget.

The movie starts out with the voice talents of Zachary Levi, who plays one of the protagonists in the movie, Flynn Rider (who we find out later has an embarrassing real name that I won't spoil for you), a cunning kingdom-wide-hated thief who gets the most out of life from stealing things. Think of Robin Hood, minus the "gives for the poor" part. He and his two cohorts find a sacred crown and put it in a special satchel and plan to run off with it. But Flynn's plan goes haywire when he is separated from the dynamic duo and is chased by a white stallion named Maximus. He manages to escape through a small cove and finds a large tower - Rapunzel's tower.

Now, Rapunzel's story starts off with a golden flower. It had the power of the sun and glowed very bright. An old lady named Lady Gothel found it one day and found that when she sang a certain song while touching the flower, it would glisten brightly and it had the power to heal the sick or injured and to turn the old youthful again. Instead of telling the kingdom about this great discovery during their time of need where the queen was sick and was about to have a baby, she kept it to herself and sang to it on a regular basis to keep herself from getting old. Eventually the kingdom found the flower and cured the mother, who gave birth to Rapunzel. Unlike the rest of her brunette family, Rapunzel was born with silky golden hair with the power of the flower in it. Her hair had the same powers as the flower (flower power lawl). People would try to cut it to have the power, but all that would do was make the root brown and it'd lose its ability.

Furious, Lady Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel in a fleeting instant and Rapunzel became known to the kingdom simply as the "lost princess". Lady Gothel raised Rapunzel as her daughter and locked her with her in a huge tower and gave her specific instructions never to leave so that she could keep he "daughter's" power of keeping her young. And Rapunzel doesn't suspect a thing.

Now, it's Rapunzel's eighteenth birthday tomorrow and Flynn Rider climbs up to her tower to find refuge with his crown-bearing satchel that I mentioned earlier. But he not only gets several whacks on the head with a frying pan (which later turns out to be the number-one weapon of choice), but he also gets a huge surprise.

God, that's a lot of exposition. But I wanted to get it out of the way so that I can freely say things without having to explain it mid-review. So, now that I've explained the entire first 12 minutes of the movie to you, let's actually get on to the review.

I honestly didn't know what to expect going into this movie. I didn't know much about it, despite the thousands of promos on TV. All I knew was some dude goes into Rapunzel's tower and lets her out and then they... do crap. And there's a horse named Maximus who from the trailers looked like Flynn's horse who just hated him for some reason, and then there's a chameleon named Pascal that Rapunzel has for a pet. And that's it. But then after watching that first part of the movie with the massive amounts of exposition, I realized that that's all they could really throw at you in a two-and-a-half-minute-long trailer. They'd have to get some serious Speedy Gonzalez action if they wanted to explain all that in less time than the movie itself does at the beginning.

That being said, I knew not a whole lot about the movie. After... storytime, there is a scene where Lady Gothel leaves the tower and Rapunzel is left alone in the morning to do whatever the crap she wants. She cleans, she sweeps, she reads, she makes dresses for Pascal, and she makes huge panoramic murals on her walls using her extremely long hair as a pulley to keep herself up. ...Oh, did I not mention she has long freakin' hair? I thought that was kind of a no-brainer. And when I say long, I don't mean like rock band long, I mean like you could hide a dishwasher with her hair. Either way, she does all this crap, and then her "mother" comes to the tower after her day of... whatever the crap she does. Then we see the second instance of her mother using her hair. She's getting kinda wrinkly, so she quickly tells Rapunzel to sing and she instantly becomes younger. I guess being locked up in a tower means you never really got an education, but come on, Rapunzel, you're smart enough to know how to paint murals using your hair as tightropes but you can't see that your so-called mother NEVER AGES?

Anyways, Rapunzel asks her mom if she can go see the "floating lights". Yeah, in memory of the lost princess, the kingdom always sets out these floating lantern things (they exist - don't think Disney's gone retarded on you), and she wants to go to the kingdom to see them. And in the second song in this music movie, her mom sings to her a song called "Mother Knows Best", telling her about all the dangers that lurk in the outside world without mentioning that she herself is the greatest danger.

And a bunch of crap happens and Flynn comes into her tower and she agrees to give him back his satchel if he takes her to see the lights and they go on an adventure and Flynn's being followed by people and they eventually team up with the horse and they bring Pascal along and he and the horse fight and on the way they fall in love and the mom is creepy because she can't be pretty and it's all well and dandy.

This movie was really funny. It's just very... involved. Though I do think the tough-looking bar guys singing about how they have all these petty dreams as they're punching people and the girl is liked by all of them and the guy is the one getting thrown around scene was pretty typical and honestly something I think they do way too often in Disney movies. But there were plenty of scenes that were honestly humorous.

By now it's expected that the animation is gonna be really good, but for some reason there was something about this movie that really stunned me. I didn't even see it in 3D but I still think one scene that has to do with lights that I won't spoil for you looked really awesome. And especially during the night scenes and all the times she is singing, Lady Gothel has a very lifelike creepy edge to her that reminded me sort of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

Overall, I give this movie an 8.5/10. It was cheesy, there were predictable scenes, but several redeeming qualities come into play, such as funny moments, good emotion, outstanding animation, great voice acting, and songs that were catchy but not to the point where you hate them.

Add Tangled to your list of movies you should see over your winter break, because no matter how much of an adult you are, I think Disney movies can usually really bring out the kid in you, and this movie's a great example of that.

- Written by Tim


Brynna Giadrosich said...

Such a good review! Good balance between serious and humor. :)

alex-ness said...

great piece, welcome aboard!