We all know the story of Rapunzel; a young girl whose father stole food from a witch and was later imprisoned in a high tower for years while her hair grew longer and longer. One day a prince arrived and fell in love with her. He helped her escape from the tower and they lived happily ever after. In the new Disney animated movie “Tangled”, the classic fairy tale gets a revamp to bring it into the 21st century. Yes, the tower and the very long hair are still featured but this is where most of the similarities of the fairytale version of Rapunzel end.
In this animated, 3D version, a vain calculating woman by the name of Goethel (Donna Murphy), longing to remain young and beautiful forever, has acquired a magical golden flower that helps her maintain her youth. When the flower is taken by the King to save the ailing Queen who is near death, Goethel is determined to get it back.
While retrieving the flower Goethel encounters Repunzel. A baby whose hair is the same golden color and has the same magical healing properties as the flower. Goethel imprisons Rapunzel in a high tower, where she is trapped for many years.
Around the time of her eighteenth birthday Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) thinks Goethel is her mother who imprisoned her to protect her from the dangers of the outside world. Rapunzel however, has grown restless wants to leave the sanctuary of the tower – and especially visit the place where the glowing lights are from which seem to appear every year around her birthday.
As for the Prince, well in this version he is a rogue bandit by the name of Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi). Flynn, getting into trouble of his own, happens upon the tower and decides to hide out from his pursuers. He climbs up the tower where he encounters a less then helpful Rapunzel (let’s just say you don’t want to have your back to her while she has a skillet in her hand). Rapunzel takes Flynn hostage and will only let him go provided he takes her to finally see the place where the floating lights appear. Flynn agrees to her conditions mainly due to some major persuasion on Rapunzel’s part (think weaponized hair). This girl obviously doesn’t need a prince to rescue her; she can take care of herself pretty well.
The couple set out on an adventure where they must not only avoid those who want to imprison Flynn but also Goethel who wants Rapunzel.
True to Disney form there are animals that lend a helping hand and some comic relief. While imprisoned in the tower Rapunzel befriends a chameleon by the name of Pascal. Then there is Maximu, a high-spirited palace horse who eventually becomes an ally to Flynn and Rapunzel. The animation is well done and the 3D effects (which aren’t always necessary in some movies) work quite well in “Tangled”. Disney has once again put a spin on a classic fairytale.
If you like adventure, comedy, romance and just plain good story telling, “Tangled” is definitely a movie for you.
If you don’t like fairy tales, prefer fairy tales to be true to their original formula, or don’t like CGI animation – seriously this is probably the only weakness (if you can call them that) in “Tangled”.