Film Review: "Tangled (3D)"

(Walt Disney Pictures.  1 hour, 40 minutes.  Rated PG for brief mild violence.  Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard.)  Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Zachary Levi (Flynn Ryder), Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel), Ron Perlman (Stabbington Brother), Jeffrey Tambor (Big Nose Thug), Brad Garrett (Hook Hand Thug).  Music by Alan Menken.
A young princess (Moore), whose hair has magical healing properties, is kidnapped and imprisoned by Mother Gothel (Murphy), an old crone vying for eternal youth.  Rapunzel remains alone until a brash, young thief (Levi) takes refuge in her tower while fleeing the castle guards, and a deal is struck for her freedom.  A sweet, funny update to a classic fairy tale.

Based on the Brothers Grimm tale Rapunzel, Tangled has a lot going for it.  The story, being princess-based, is right in Disney's wheelhouse, but the character of Rapunzel has been modernized, going from "maid-in-waiting" to plucky, determined firecracker.  She's not without her doubts (as an alternately joyous and morose scene after her escape expertly demonstrates), but she holds her own in the outside world.  Moore carries the character well, and Levi's Flynn is a capable match, bringing a suave smarminess that contrasts amusingly.  Besides, who knew that Chuck could sing?  Perlman, Tambor and Garrett round out a strong supporting cast, even if they're overshadowed by a mischievous chameleon and an overzealous horse. Although the film is CGI, it's beautiful animated and richly detailed, reminiscent of the Disney films of old (though the 3D really doesn't add anything).  The plot may be a bit predictable, and the songs are not up to the standard Menken set for Disney's films from the 1980's and 90's, but Tangled is a funny movie with plenty of charm to boot.  Grab the kids and have a ball.

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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...