Tangled has all the trademarks of the traditional Disney animated film: lots of singing, a harkening back to fairy tales and classics, fantasy tropes – with a spin. In this case it puts a fresh spin on the Rapunzel tale, introducing new, original plot elements like Rapunzel’s hair having longevity properties. This makes Stepmother’s motives much clearer than in the traditional fairytale (where she kidnaps baby Rapunzel as payment for turnips. I know right.) which makes the story more realistic and believable and less whimsical.
The animation is dazzling: sceneries are well-crafted, action sequences are neatly choreographed, and there’s a weight to everything, which makes it very believable. The characters are interesting, in particular Flynn, who is at once both a very brilliant twist and a sly throwback to the conventional Prince Charming. I must say, he, together with the horse (who’s more a dog actually), adds a lot (a lot) of humour to the story. The love between Rapunzel and Flynn develops very believably, complemented by the artfully scored music, with lyrics that are meaningful and not cheesy.
The story progresses clearly and sensibly – which in part is its undoing. The plot is just too tame for its own good. There’s not much taking of risks and stepping out of the comfort zone. Stepmother is woefully underdeveloped, and Rapunzel’s fallout with and defiance of her stepmother feels like teenage rebellion on Rapunzel’s part. There were points where I found myself sympathising more with Stepmother. I mean, there’s no reason [SPOILER] for Rapunzel to murder her stepmother even if the latter is not her real mum. [/SPOILER]
In the end though, I must say, this is a good movie for the whole family.
Rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Rating on IMDb: 7.8
Viewing history: Seen 1x. On DVD.