Tangled

Tangled

Starring the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, and Donna Murphy
Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
Rated PG for brief mild violence
Appropriate for all ages

    Based on the story of Rapunzel, a princess is kidnapped by an evil old woman when she discovers that her hair has the power to keep one young forever.  Locking Rapunzel up in a tower and forbidding her to ever cut her hair, she raises Rapunzel as her own, not allowing any contact from the outside world.  But when a dashing young bandit decides to hide in the tower after stealing the crown jewels, she gets her first taste of what really lies beyond and escapes her prison cell to go on a grand adventure. 

    I know we haven’t had many great live-action films this year, but 2010 has been a terrific year for animation.  What was looking like a two dog race for the Animation Oscar between Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon now has a new competitor in Tangled.  And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if all three were nominated for Best Picture as well. 

    While Tangled possesses the old-fashioned Disney princess tale in good form, it does so in a contemporary feel that makes the film endearing.  Just like the other princess tales in the Disney library, this heroine is far from helpless as the beautiful but tough young woman.  And just like last year’s The Princess and the Frog, the male lead is a Han Solo-like scoundrel that must overcome his selfish tendencies in order to earn the love of the fair maiden.  The difference this time is that the gorgeous computer animation enhances the look to provide a more modern story-telling device.  And while I usually am not a fan of 3D in animated films, this particular film really flies off of the screen in grand fashion due to its gorgeous effects.

    Just like any great princess piece, there is a need for great music and for that they turned to eight-time Oscar winning composer Alan Menkin who will most likely be adding more trophies to his collection this year.  The music sounds straight off of a Broadway stage and are some of the best tunes he has ever composed.

    I have to give special props to the creation of some of the most fun and original characters to ever grace the screen including the hero horse Maximus who steals every scene he is in and the adorably tough chameleon Pascal.  All of this is due to the terrific writing by Dan Fogelman (Bolt) and his team.  This is a story that I could have never conceived a big movie coming from, but through use of ingenious story crafting, the fairy tale proves to be what I consider Disney’s best film (not including Pixar pics) since Beauty and the Beast, and overall one of their greatest creations.  I have never been so proud of Disney Animation and have a feeling that more is to come from this talent-filled studio.  A+ 

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