Sunday, January 2, 2011

'Tangled' reviewed - Brilliant (4.5 stars) - Must see

OMG! Wow! Amazing! Fantastic! Brilliant! Walt Disney Animation is back in business! 50 animated movies and we have hit the mark again!

Have just come from the 'Tangled 3D' early preview and it has lived up to the hype. This is a return to the 90's stories. I loved 'The Princess and The Frog', but it lacked something. It wasn't until seeing 'Tangled' that I realised what is was, Disney do fantasy tales and struggle with real life type stories. I will come back to this later.

John Lasseter has taken a wonderful story and weaved a magical film. The opening sequence of the tale is capivating and provides a great plot line. We all know how it will end but you don't really care as it is great story telling with a lot of fun thrown in.

I loved how there were hidden treasures to find - hidden mickeys - the closet from 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Cinderella's' dress making stand, 'The Ugly Duckling' hidden plug, and I am sure at one point there was veiw of the cooking area that resembled that of dwarfs stove alcove in'Snow White and the Seven Drawfs'. I was also told that I missed the real hidden mickey during the cave evacuation.

The surprise package is thinking that Maximus (the horse) and Flynn (the hero) are pals from the marketing campaign. All I can say, all is not how it appears. The comic relief of Maximus is just brilliant and you laugh at everything he does. When Flynn and Maximus finally team up the laughs really kick in. I also liked the cute behaviour of Maximus when he first confronts Rapunzel and Flynn.

Then there was Pascal, the little comic relief, who was more like Rapunzel's alter ego, egging her on when needed and being their when things go wrong. He even gets a sympathetic 'Aw' in the movie when he cops a beating from 'Mother Gothel'. He is charming and loveable, I know my youngest wants one!

Rapunzel is a great character. Child like from being locked away for so long. Confronting fears and showing how the new experiences are affecting her. To get so involved in a character and just want to keep watching her every move is a true reflection on how well the character has been developed. Mandy Moore does a great job with her character.

Flynn too is a great, fun character. I loved the part where he gets to explain how he became Flynn and the undertones of Errol Flynn, the 1940's movie star. You just like Flynn from the start, he is swashbuckling and a rogue at heart. He is cheeky and sophisitacted. He certainly cops a beating when he enters the tower - some very funny moments when he is captured. Let's say the shorts are just the start of the capture. Zachary Levi is great as Flynn, who knew he could sing. I am a fan of 'Chuck' and I was surprised when I heard he was the actor behind the voice. Great chioce.

If I had any failings with this movie it would be 3D. I know it is the next way to see movies, but it would have been just as great in 2D. Some of the music was a little sappy and misplaced, such as the dream song in the 'Rogue Lair'. But as a whole that would be the only down point for me.

To my thoughts on why this movie is leaps ahead of 'The Princess and The Frog'. 'Tangled' takes us to a previous world where we get lost in fantasy. One where Castles and wants to be a princess/prince reign. The tower Rapunzel is locked in is a throw back to the old style of animation. I felt like I was looking at 'The Old Mill' with the style of it.It was simple yet imposing in the middle of a hidden grove. The tower is just a magical place that you want to explore. The story of Rapunzel is in the same vein as 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', 'Cinderella', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Beauty and the Beast'. It transports you to a mystical world that provide an escape from reality.

This is where 'The Princess and The Frog' failed. Don't get me wrong I loved TPATF, but it was too close to reality and you get a little lost and unsympathetic to her desires and goals towards the end. TPATF is a great story, but you don't get lost in the magic of it. Yes she has dreams but they are too real and Disney is about being lost in another world, where we can forget who we are. It is why 'Peter Pan' worked and 'Returned to Neverland' failed to hit the mark.

It has taken 16 movies for Disney to regain it passion back since 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', yes there was 'Mulan' and 'Lilo and Stitch' in between, but I think this movie will push in Wave 3 of Disney animation. Lets hope it continues as the movie public has definitiely voted with their feet. This preview was sold out and the demographics was great. I saw old, young, families, teenagers and early twenties people attending, everyone laughed and I don't think they left unhappy.

I have a real desire to see this again as there was a lot to take in and you can miss some of it. But to be honest it is a great, fun story that you just want to see again.

Bravo Disney and John Lasseter - keep them coming.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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