Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tangled: Disney With A Hint of Dreamworks

When I had heard about this film, I had an interest in it, but I was turned off by the Dreamworks-esque advertising. When I heard mainly positive reviews, however, I decided that this was a movie I needed to see. I still went in the theater with little expectations, but after actually watching the movie, I can say that I found myself enjoying it.

The story of the movie took the mold of the classic German fairytale and added elements from classic Disney, including detailed settings, a tragic backstory, muscial numbers, and a rather interesting cast of characters. However, the movie followed conventions of Disney Princess movies closely enough that I could spot a lot of the film's events coming at least twenty minutes to even an hour before they actually occured. Even with the predictable elements though, it still managed to provide a few good tear jerker moments that actually made me cry a little.

On another note, the visuals were more lifelike and fluid than a lot of previous Disney movies and kept me watching. The character of Rapunzel followed a lot of common Disney Princess conventions, but worked in the films' favor. The character of Flynn Rider, a wanted thief, is the main love interest and also serves as a guide for Rapunzel outside the castle. When his acrobatic ability is shown at the beginning during a break-in, I couldn't help but think of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, another Disney film. He was well thought out, even if he followed the cliche of caring more for the girl rather than a stolen object. As for the songs in the movie, they were ok to listen to, but they weren't really catchy or memorable.

*Spoiler Alert*
Despite being a Disney film, there was one scene, and everything related to it, that felt like Dreamworks. By that, I mean it felt odd, anachronistic, and out of place. During a bar scene, a musical number begins and we see the dreams of many of the thugs in the bar, ranging from being a mime or a concert pianist to collecting ceramic unicorns. The anachronistic bit comes from mentioning Mozart in a lyric. That would mean that Mozart and other great composers exist in their world despite the film's setting suggesting a time before Mozart's music or even mime-based entertainment would even be invented. These characters occur later, but still with the feeling of being out of place in the world Disney set up.

Also, Rapunzel has the ability to heal people with her hair. This is something I can believe can happen in that world because an explanation for this is given at the beginning. However, near the end of the movie, she was able to bring Flynn Rider back to life with healing tears. It is never explained as to how she can do that, nor is it ever mentioned again.
*End Spoiler Alert*

So despite the forgettable songs, a predictable plot, and the anachronistic Dreamworks elements, Tangled is still very reminiscent of classic Disney films. Considering it is self-touted as Disney's 50th Animated Movie, it is a movie I would reccomend anyone to go see if they are looking for a quick and entertaining animated adventure.

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