Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: Tangled (2010)

(photos of posters from Disnology)

"Tangled" is the retelling of the story of the Brothers Grimm's Rapunzel, a girl with magically long hair. She is a princess who was kidnapped as a baby by an old lady who takes care of Rapunzel and uses the magical powers of her hair to look young and beautiful. One day, a thief, Flynn Rider, chances upon Rapunzel in her tower and their adventures together begin... until they live happily ever after.

I watched this film with Anna and Ate Maddie at the Alabang Town Centre. All I can say is that the 9pm show was worth the wait. The movie was shown in 3D. The animation was superb, similar to cartoons such as Cars, Up, and Toy Story. The dialogue was snappy and quick-paced. The characters had expressive facial expressions. I want to see it again!

We were laughing throughout the show because the characters were just too funny! In my opinion, despite the title of the movie being a reference to Flynn and Rapunzel's developing relationship (thanks to the hair, of course), the spotlight is shared equally by the main characters with the two sidekicks: Maximus, the palace horse, and Pascal, Rapunzel's pet chameleon. I expected Max to be just like other cartoon horses, haughty and poised but always the silent supporter of the prince until he comes face to face with the witch/evil stepmother. However, he is more talented than the other horses. He rivals a bloodhound on the trail of a prey, and he's pretty persevering as well. On the other hand, Pascal, the diminutive chameleon, reminded me of Jiminy Cricket because Pascal acts like Rapunzel's conscience. He also reminds me of Moshu the dragon because of the size and because they're both reptiles. The resemblance ends there, however, because Pascal has the ability to blend into his surroundings and he doesn't talk in the movie. Moshu tends to stand out, both because he's a dragon and because of his big mouth.

The antagonist isn't too bad in my opinion. Mother Gothel is no Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty); she doesn't even come close to the evil of the wicked witch in Snow White nor of Queen Narcisa (Enchanted). Rather, she is more like Lady Tremaine (Cinderella); I think that Mother Gothel has no intentions to kill Rapunzel... just make herself pretty and comfortable while making the princess' life miserable whether intentionally or not. 

Rapunzel is the most protected of the Disney princesses because she's always been locked up in the tower. As such, Rapunzel's first venture outside the tower is naturally wrought by mixed emotions, literally a pendulum of extremes (thanks to her hair once again). Princess Jasmine is in second place now, in my opinion. Even Princess Aurora, albeit under the constant guard of the three fairy godmothers, is allowed to venture off into the forest despite the threat of a pinprick on her life. Every girl who grew up with strict parents, and/or sent off to all-girls' boarding schools, could surely relate with Rapunzel's escape from the tower. 

Flynn, on the other hand, is just like Aladdin. An outgoing fellow who takes the princess out to see the world, teaching her life lessons along the way. 

One thing I missed here in Disney's 50th animated feature, is the theme song I can easily remember Rapunzel by. The Disney Princesses I've watched all are associated to signature tunes. Specifically, Jasmine has "A Whole New World", Ariel has "Part of my World", Aurora has "Once Upon A Dream", Snow White has "Someday My Prince will Come", Pocahontas has "Colours of the Wind", Cinderella has "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", Mulan has "Reflection", and Belle has "Beauty and the Beast". Even Giselle has a song, "That's How You Know". For Rapunzel, I drew a blank. There were a lot of songs for her in Tangled, but they're not very memorable.

In contrast, the iconic Tangled song for me is "Mother Knows Best", which is sung by Mother Gothel. Strange, I thought, the antagonist has a song!

All in all, I loved Tangled. It hasn't replaced Mulan and Beauty and the Beast as my favourite Disney Princess cartoons but it comes in as a close third.