Tangled: A princess movie to get tangled up in


Once upon a time, in a land far away, a King and Queen were having a baby, but the Queen grew dreadfully sick. There was knowledge of a magical healing flower somewhere in the vast expanses of the kingdom, so the king launched a massive search. Unbeknownst to them, an evil hag had found it– and hidden it because it rejuvenated her youthful looks. However, the search was successful; they found the flower.The Queen then gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with flowing blond locks, whom they named Rapunzel.

Furious, the old hag stole the newborn princess and locked her in a tower. The King and Queen searched vigorously, but in vain, so they resorted to releasing floating lights into the sky each year on their kidnapped daughter’s birthday. The evil hag discovered that the rejuvenating powers from the flower were reincarnated into Rapunzel’s hair, so she shielded Rapunzel from the world.

The day of her eighteenth birthday, when her mother (the old hag) came to visit, Rapunzel boldly asked to go see the magical lights in the sky. Her mother angrily forbade it, refusing to part from her “fountain of youth,” Rapunzel’s hair.

During a bout of rebelliousness and with the help of the pompous yet adorable bandit Flynn Ryder, Rapunzel escaped from her tower on a quest to see these floating lights.

All the cliches of Disney movies then swiftly follow: Rapunzel and the scoundrel fall in love, she discovers her true heritage and finally regains her rightful place as princess.

I took my little sister to see the new Disney princess movie, Tangled, in 3D. Walking into the theatre, I grew reproachful as the majority of the spectators were mothers and their pull-up-sporting daughters. However, I was soon pacified as the movie was surprisingly enjoyable.

Based on the well-known Brothers Grimm tale ‘Rapunzel’, Disney took the original idea and revamped it with a modern twist. As it was Disney’s 50th animated feature, the budget was second highest in all of movie history: $260 million. This budget is beaten only by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean at $300 million. The 3D effects bumped it up to an entirely new graphics bracket, with gorgeous landscapes, castles and deep dark forests that seemed to surround the audience.

The movie features multiple musical numbers a la classical Disney princess movie. Composed by Disney veteran Alan Menken with lyrics by Glenn Slator, the movie had twenty musical numbers ranging from love ballads to epic, upbeat songs. The  old hag, played by Donna Murphy, had multiple evil, malicious numbers that she indubitably nailed, and in my opinion, stole the show.  

Despite the experienced composer and impressive delivery, I doubt this movie’s music will reach the notoriety of songs from Aladdin, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The reason is hard to place, but I have a hunch that it is the predictability. I found myself knowing the lyrics to the songs before they were sung, simply based on the context.

Starring Mandy Moore as Rapunzel and Zachary Levi from the TV series Chuck as Flynn Ryder, the main characters’ chemistry was undeniable. Each part was voiced to perfection, making the plot, however cheesy and unrealistic, believable.

Let me specify this unrealistic believability idea. I remember being little, and having an extended suspension of belief. Watching movies was fun simply because it took me away from the world I knew, to a world of fantastic creatures and beautiful people. Although the plots, then too, were extremely unrealistic, my little 6 year old mind did not dote on this fact because I never felt the necessity to do so.

That was the beauty of this movie. However aware I was of the realities of the outside world, Tangled successfully distracted me and brought me back to that 6 year old mindset. Something which, sparingly, is a wonderful thing to do.

Tangled was a success because it was adorable. I knew what was going to happen, and I liked it. It brought me back to how I used to feel after watching a movie: happy.

My sister and I walked out of the theatre giggling and grinning from ear to ear.



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