Disney‘s 50th animated movie, as the pre-show credits point out, is their latest film Tangled. This is essentially a Disneyfied re-imagining of the Rapunzel fairy tale most popularized by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.
Disney has a long tradition of taking the basic elements of these stories and recreating them as more interesting family fare as most Grimm fairy tales are quite morbid in their original form. This effort is no different.
Here we’re presented with a much more assertive Rapunzel than what’s come before. A king and queen have replaced a lonely childless couple and the Prince is replaced by a dashing bad-boy outlaw-type named Rider. Of course he’s good-hearted underneath it all and is dazzled onto the right path in life once he spends some time with the captivating girl.
Rapunzel is the most intriguing feminine character Disney has created other than Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She’s quite a complex character and that’s used to great effectiveness in the film.
The look of the film is, as we’ve become accustomed to, quite beautiful. Everything looks as it should. I did see it in 3D and there I would have to say I don’t think I was ever really aware of it. Nothing stood out to make it worth the extra cost. In fact the 3D previews were far more impressive. The animation is certainly a step above most previous Disney efforts but now we’ve been desensitized to it and thus this feels no better than what’s expected at this point.
The music was, quite surprisingly, very average. There’s a nice number about dreams but nothing that really stays with you which is quite unlike previous Disney efforts and this is more surprising in that the numbers are right from the pen of music mastermind Alan Menkin. Is Menkin finally running out of ideas? It certainly felt like it here.
The story itself is also rather obvious and predictable. There’s nothing about the film that you’ll find yourself thinking about later. Here we have a girl locked away from humanity for her entire life and yet it’s barely made a mark on her other than to be slightly withdrawn at first. Sadly, for all the pre-hype I suspect this one’s going to be quickly forgotten with the exception of the female character herself. She’s likely to find a post-movie life living on as a character at every Disney theme park for quite a long time no doubt dazzling young children with her exceptional mane of hair.