Tangled is an animated retelling of the classic fable of Rapunzel. Rapunzel, raised by her strict mother, has been locked in her tower all her life. Longing to venture into the outside world but afraid of the perils that exist, she comes across her chance when a handsome thief stumbles upon her. Rapunzel and her mischievous companion set forth on and adventure filled with curious characters and hilarious mishaps. Featuring the talented singing voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.
Tangled is one of the most charming movies I have seen in a long time. It is sweet and cute and everything that a Disney film should be. Tangled is also very funny and clever, mixing a classic fable with slapstick humour whilst staying entirely innocent. As with all animated children movies there a few adult references, which are so, obscure that they would defiantly go over a child’s head, ultimately though the film is as pure as they come. The thing that makes a Disney film so great is its timeless quality. Disney reach this by not over saturating their films with current pop culture references like other companies that also produce animated films for children. Sure, adding a pop culture reference would receive a guaranteed laugh but in ten years time the film would be dated. Disney create classic tales that can be enjoyed by children for generations, for example Snow white was made in 1937, Cinderella was made in 1950 and Beauty and the Beast was made in 1991; all three movies are still beloved by children and enjoyed by adults.
Tangled also diverts back to the classic way that Disney animated films were structured. Tangled is a musical. I’m sure someone of every generation knows at least one Disney tune that they hum and recognize instantly. The music composed by Alan Menken, is very soothing, although reminiscent of other Disney animated features. Mandy Moore and Donna Murphy, who do the majority of the singing, have wonderful voices and bring the songs alive (Other notable voice talent being Brad Garret from Everybody Loves Raymond and Jeffrey Tambor from Arrested Development who also have fantastic singing voices). The singing doesn’t seem out of place and they don’t over do it either. Everything in Tangled is bright and colourful and the singing is uplifting and cheerful to compliment it.
The Animation in tangled is fantastic. It might sound obscure but there is one example that outweighs all others, there is a scene in the middle of the film where Rapunzel is holding a hand towel in her hand, it is the best piece of animation I have ever seen. It isn’t simply how real the towel looks but also the way that it moves and the way the light hits it as is creases in her hands. Everything around the towel seems obviously animated but the towel itself looks as real as one in my bathroom. For the few seconds that the towel was in the scene it captivated me and I was impressed. As I stated before the colours in the film are bright and vibrant but their use of light and shadow was what gave the film depth. The lighting was used to evoke emotion and to foresee foreboding events as with all other animated films but in Tangled it was used very effectively. The visual effects team at Walt Disney Studios did a fantastic job in all aspects of the visual design of Tangled.
Tangled is a great edition to Disney’s vault, a vibrant and entertaining children’s tale without any tedious social commentary. You can have fun with this movie and not worry about having to explain what it all means, if you are in the mood for a good innocent laugh then Tangled will be a great day out with the family. Or you can set aside for a moment that you are a big kid now and pretend you are watching it for the marvellous animation and let your inner child have a laugh.
TANGLED hits Australian Cinema’s on the 6th January 2011. I give it 4 out of 5 stars