Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Tangled" Review

I don't know why, but... I thought I'd review another Disney movie again.

Seriously, what is it with me and Disney lately? I don't really know. I think I'm slowly making up with them, but hey, I think our relations have improved over the past. Especially when they returned to hand-drawn animation with last year's The Princess and the Frog... which then proceeded to get blown away by singing chipmunks. Seriously.

So this year? Well... today's movie should tell you all about it.

Tangl--Wait, wait, stop the press!

I refuse to call this movie Tangled any longer. You know what? No. I won't play along with Disney's cheap marketing ploy. So from here on out, I will never refer to it as that. Instead, I shall refer to it as it was orginally titled, and how it should've been titled for release:


Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is a lost princess who was stolen by Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) after a golden flower was used to save Rapunzel's birth mother that Gothel had been using to keep herself young forever. She is thus trapped at the top of a tower from her birth. However, all this changes when loveable rogue Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) comes into her life. Hoping to figure out the significance behind the lights that appear in the sky every night on her birthday, Rapunzel sets out with Flynn on a wild adventure.

Okay, so my first complaint: why the hell isn't this movie hand-drawn? I don't get it; a piece of me really wishes this was hand-drawn animation instead of computer animation, as Princess and the Frog proved they can still do hand-drawn animation really well. Take it with a grain of salt, though; all the animator's traditional tools are still there, and the movie looks gorgeous even if its computer animated.

My second complaint: Disney, what the hell were you thinking with your advertising campaign? I can understand trying to appeal to a wider audience, but come on! Misadvertising your movie as being a desperate Dreamworks knock-off is not the way to broaden appeal. Especially not when your marketing includes leaving out the fact that it has songs by Alan Menkin in there. (Yes, this movie has songs. And yes, they're all pretty good.) Yes, there are plenty of adventure elements, but at its core its a story about a princess; I think you can find some way to market it to boys without intentionally misadvertising your movie.

And... that's about it, I think. Everything else seems to click into place. As I mentioned before, the animation is gorgeous, but it's also helped by a very tight script that keeps everything together especially well. The characters are engaging, everything comes back somehow, and things are all good. Does it fit a little too well into the standard Disney Princess mold of story? Perhaps, but I found I didn't mind. The voiceover work for this movie is also astoundingly good; you can tell the chemistry between Rapunzel and Flynn is sizzling just by how effective the VA work between Moore and Levi is.

And the characters are also engaging, mostly because almost all of the major ones go somewhere. It would be a spoiler to talk about this in detail, so I won't. But let's just say that I've found one of my favorite villains of the year in Mother Gothel. Only at Disney can I get such effectively compelling villains, let me tell you.

And so, Ta-- er, excuse me, Rapunzel stands as another strong addition to the Disney animated canon. It's not exactly the most original Disney movie, but it's helped by an engaging script and beautiful animation. Perhaps the biggest drawback against this movie is the marketing campaign, and that's not a fault of the movie, so it shouldn't be counted as such.


It has a few flaws, but it's still worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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