Knot your average fairy tale
December 6, 2010 —
If you are looking for a movie that matches the classic story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, you wonít be interested in Tangled.
But, if you are interested in a story with adventure, love and Disney magic ó lots of magic óthen this movie is good for you.
The basics are still there. The evil Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) steals Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) from the king and queen and stows her away in the tower. Each day Mother Gothel visits using Rapunzelís long golden hair.
But hereís the twist ó Rapunzelís hair glows and has special healing powers when she sings. This is why the witch steals her and raises her as her own.
A criminal named Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) ends up trying to hide in Rapunzelís tower where he gets hit in the head with a frying pan. Rapunzel decides to let him go and give back the crown he stole only if he will take her to the city to see the lanterns that float in the sky (which, although unknown to her, was to honor the stolen princessí birthday). So, they set out on an adventure that will change Rapunzelís life.
This is a great return to the Disney musical with music by Alan Menken (who wrote the music for The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast). The music is enhanced by the voice of Moore.
As all classic Disney movies do, there are the comic animal sidekicks ó a horse that acts like a bloodhound and Rapunzelís best friend, a chameleon. Though at times, the horseís abilities get a little out of hand (such as when he duels by holding the sword in his mouth).
And, of course, Tangled fits the formula for a Disney movie: the evil get what they paid for, and the good characters end up living happily ever after (and often getting married).
This story teaches children something, though, that other Disney movies have often missed. In classics such as The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Hercules and Beauty and the Beast, female characters are always motivated by love and are not happy unless they end up with their true love in the end. Male characters, on the other hand, can be motivated by love, but it is not their main concern (think of Hercules who, despite his love distraction from Meg, spends the movie trying to become a true hero).
Tangled offers a role reversal. Rapunzel seeks love, of course, but from the very beginning seeks adventure and knowledge of the outside world, showing that young girls have more to seek in the world than just love.
Because this movie matches the Disney mold while still offering comedy, entertainment, and appeal for an audience of all ages, this movie deserves an A. It compares with some of the well-loved classics of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.