Friday, December 10, 2010

Tangled

I took my family to see Tangled today. It was awesome. My kids were a little bit aware of it, but my wife prepped them good this past week with YouTube previews. They were very excited. I love Disney, and I loved The Princess and the Frog, but their animation studio still has a ways to go before it regains my complete trust in their quality. Pixar has it still, Disney Animation does not. Rapunzel Tangled, however, helps.

I was also a little worried about the movie because of its name. I had first heard about it and seen a clip back in 2004. Back then it was still going by "Rapunzel," which is what it really should be called. However, Disney was apparently disappointed with the reception by boys of The Princess and the Frog, so they tried to fix that with this movie. I am not sure what was wrong with Princess and the Frog. Maybe they made the prince too weak/negative. I don't know. I was worried that they would compromise in order to appeal to young boys. No need to worry. Still a great story, and still should be called Rapunzel.

I was a little worried about my kids "freaking out" at the scary parts, which is what they have done with any modern movie they've watched that has a decent plot. Surprisingly, my eldest managed to not freak out. I do not know if this is because she is maturing or if it is because the movie is not that scary. There is really only one scary part, and it is pretty low-key. That didn't stop my youngest from spazzing, but at least the oldest one did fine.

The villain in Tangled, Mother Gothel, may not rise to the upper echelon of Disney villains, but I did find her compelling. She is interesting for two, slightly related reasons. The over-arching quality is immense selfishness. She has found the proverbial fountain of youth and wants to keep it for herself. Part of that is keeping Rapunzel locked in a tower as her "daughter." However, since Gothel is selfish she is also abusive. The abuse comes as emotional abuse, which is a bit unique among Disney villains. I like it, and it made me think a bit about the things I say when I am "joking."

The songs were short but great. I liked the animation style and thought the story was compelling. The characters were also great, with Rapunzel and Flynn both being a great balance. Rapunzel is young and naive, but part of the film's journey is her learning she is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Flynn is a self-absorbed thief, but he shows depth in the end and is not a shallow and helpless pansy (like Prince Naveen in The Princess and the Frog). The favorite line from my kids: "They can't get my nose right!"

In keeping with the lame posts of this week, here are the three trailers for Tangled to finish this one off:
Trailer 1

Trailer 2
Trailer 3