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Tangled
Genre Animation
 
Review:

Disney have usurped our childhoods... systematically converting every fairy tale into a Disney classic and making it difficult to imagine fairy tales any different. Then a former Disney animator, Tim Burton, has been entrusted with stealing our adult nostalgia by revamping classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Pixar show that fresh new ideas do exist with films like WALL-E, Ratatouille and Up... which is why they're at the top of the food chain. Until recently, it looked like Disney was yesterday's toast with digital artwork replacing the hand-drawn animation Walt Disney made famous.

Disney have made a comeback! They may have been a little shell-shocked at the end of the 20th Century, but with films like Enchanted, The Princess and The Frog and yes, even Meet the Robinsons... there's still hope. Tangled is their latest addition to the fairy tale kingdom of fame - a take on the story of Rapunzel. The story of the girl trapped in a tower, whose long locks reached down to the ground. Disney have taken what was essentially a very simple and quick fairy tale and expanded on it to make it their own.

Reportedly, the most expensive animated feature yet, Tangled, has been filmed for 3D - the revamped technology and anti-piracy draw card to re-invigorate old cinemas. It's not their best movie, but is a big step in the right direction, embodying a similar feel to their hand-drawn classics and returning to their musical roots with some upbeat songs.

The voice cast includes Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider, better known as Chuck, and Mandy Moore, who lends her sweet singing and acting voice to Rapunzel. Other recognisable voices belong to Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond). The ensemble has a comic edge and background, which suits the witty dialogue and "banter" in Tangled.

Medieval pubs, lakeside castles and lanterns in the night sky make this enchanted kingdom a real spectacle. The 3D animation just enhances the likable characters and allows one to fall in love with the sweet fairy tale story. Once again, Rapunzel revolves around princesses, suitors and eccentric characters, including a mood-changing chameleon and a gallant horse called Maximus - a more regal brother to the carthorse in Beauty and the Beast.

Tangled is first and foremost funny, which is probably what you'd expect from a story about a princess smuggled from her parents at birth and kept hostage in a tall tower and blessed with healing properties in her glowing hair. They succeed in keeping the pace brisk with luminous visuals and an amusing script. The entertainment factor is high. However, the story's main flaw is in its villain. The aging "stepmother" is more egotistical than evil and relies on fairly ineffectual henchmen to carry out her will. The Princess and the Frog almost overstepped the mark with voodoo style evil in New Orleans, but created a much broader conflict between the good and evil.

Tangled is much more light-hearted, escapist fare... choosing mild peril instead of targetting dopamine levels. The action is strong enough to warrant a PG for violence rating, yet things just come a little too easily for our adventurers. The best Disney movies have relied on much stronger characters, where the good are shining lights and the evil are dragged from hell. To this end, there's an uneven sway - relying on our heroes complex past and good nature to shine through and win out at the end of the day.

Tangled's charming, romantic at times and will go down as one of the more tender Disney movies. The overall quality of the production as a whole is what really pulls Tangled together, making it an affable romantic comedy and fantasy adventure for the whole family. Watch a more confident Disney production that, while not on par with Pixar, shows they can still do it - even in the world of digital animation and 3D.

The bottom line: Entertaining.

 

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