March 31, 2011

Movie Review: Tangled

As this movie is about to hit DVD, many of you have probably already seen it. But if you're reading my movie reviews, you definitely aren't after reviews of what's currently in the theaters. The fam went to go see this movie at the second run theater as a send-off to Daddy leaving for Texas. Howdy grumbled, "Do we HAFTA see 'Tangled'?" to which I cheerfully replied, "Yes! And you're going to like it!"

Thankfully, I was right, although, you won't get him to admit it. The closest you'll get is that it wasn't "too bad". While this is a Disney movie, it should be clarified that this is a movie with John Lasseter as executive producer. He's the man behind all the Pixar movies. If you're going to a Pixar movie, you know without a doubt that you are seeing a movie with heart, soul, and humor that is safe for all ages. Such is the case with "Tangled".

Mandy Moore is the voice of Rapunzel, the girl who has spent her life locked in a tower in an effort to keep the world away from her magical hair. Zachary Levi plays Flynn Rider, the rakishly charming thief who inadvertently jumpstarts Rapunzel's foray into the real world, much to the consternation of the woman who has kept Rapunzel hidden all her life and passes herself off as the sweet girl's mother.

Rapunzel is all green-eyed wonder as she discovers life outside of her tower. Everything is new, everything is an adventure. And even the toughest of rogues can't help but fall for her sweetness. Flynn tries hard to ditch the girl as she is keeping him from escaping with his stolen treasure but eventually, even he falls under her charm. And no movie would be complete without a plucky sidekick for comic relief. "Tangled" has two--a horse named Maximus, who is set on bringing down Flynn, and a chameleon named Pascal, who shows his emotions by changing colors. (I wouldn't be surprised if there's been a spike in chameleon sales since this movie came out.)

This is the most expensive animated movie made to date ("Avatar" not included), but it was worth every penny. Several times during the movie I found myself caught up in the look of it all. I was just in awe at far they've come since the days of "Toy Story". The detail is just amazing. You can see every strand of Rapunzel's golden hair as it moves. In a close up of Flynn, you can see his stubble. But I'm not talking just a hazy shadow, I'm talking individual whiskers of differing length. It's a gorgeous movie on top of being so fun.

The songs are great, of course. Mandy Moore has a voice that's just perfect for Disney and I was pleasantly surprised at how well Zachary Levi can sing. When Donna Murphy belts out her song, "Mother Knows Best", I pictured a very Jewish Queen Latifah singing her song from "Chicago"--"If You Be Good to Mama, Mama's Good to You." And that is a compliment.

If you haven't seen it, go out and rent it. Better yet, buy it on DVD. It'll be worth the investment as you'll want to watch it over and over. (*****)

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