Alan Menken composed the score for this film; the songs may not be up to a Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid caliber, but they're still great. "When Will My Life Begin" and its reprise in particular are awesome.
Rapunzel, after Mother Gothel has just stabbed Flynn Rider to inflict a fatal wound. Bound and Gagged, she struggles until her gag comes off just to tell Gothel that no matter what Gothel does to her, she'll never stop fighting, never stop trying to escape, and will never sing to her again (which is the only thing keeping Gothel alive and young) unless she lets Rapunzel use her hair to save Flynn's life first, preparing to sacrifice her own freedom and happiness to save Flynn's life.
Immediately after, when Rapunzel is allowed to heal Flynn, Flynn chops off Rapunzel's hair, ensuring that Gothel will immediately wither up and die from old age, sacrificing his own life to free Rapunzel.
Seconded, that was definitely a Crowning Moment for Flynn and it doubles as a Tear Jerker, too, making that scene all the more moving.
Better, he had no idea that it would kill Gothel. All he knew was that it would save Rapunzel from being captive for the rest of her life.
That hair cut scene is THE reason that "Tangled" is my favorite movie. It's as if the whole movie exists for the sake of that one moment. Everything before it leads up to it, and everything after it stems from it. More in-depth discussion here.
It's definitely a Crowning Moment Of Awesome when you can manage to make blonde hair turning brown a death sentence. Which it was.
Sure, he gets stabbed immediately afterwards, But who didn't cheer for Flynn when he started ascending Rapunzel's tower at the climax? Especially since he strikes the famous "climbing the tower" pose associated with the fairy tale.
How about when Rapunzel first stands up to Mother Gothel? After Rapunzel has an epiphany that she's the lost princess, she whispers in shock about what she's just realized, and Gothel retorts by saying: "Rapunzel, you know how I feel about the mumbling." She then says to her angrily "I'm the lost princess, aren't I?" In response to Gothel's shocked face she draws herself up and says coldly "Did I mumble, Mother? Or should I even call you that?"
Better, she grabs her arm. Gothel tries to break free, and CANNOT. Compared to how weak she was at the beginning of the movie, being unable to lift Flynn or anything, it shows how much stronger she has become.
Fridge Brilliance: Rapunzel never was as weak as Gothel kept telling her she was. She spent all those years hauling Gothel up to the tower with her hair, after all. Escaping just made her realize how strong she actually was, physically as well as mentally.
When you look closer, Gother was reaching to pat Rapunzel's head. This was Gothel's subtle, patronizing way of telling Rapunzel she was inferior and weaker than her. Rapunzel not taking it this time, grabbing Gothel's arm and telling her she was wrong about her, is a very nice way of showing her Character Development.
Indeed, it's that brief moment when Gothel gets the Oh Crap face that gives away everything. No denial can cover that look, and for the first time in the movie, you almost get the vibe of Tranquil Fury from Rapunzel. (Awesome and scary)
Flynn and Maximus' brief duel at the dam scene was part this and part Funny Moment.
The fact that he took out 4 members of the Royal Guard (the captain and 3 soldiers) with nothing but a frying pan. The surprised look on his face at the knocked-out guards on the ground clinches it.
To quote Flynn: "Oh! Mama! I have got to get me one of these!
Maximus the horse. Just Maximus the horse. That beast is pure awesome.
The movie itself is a CMOA for animation in general. Start with the level of attention and focus paid to Rapunzel's hair, which is notoriously hard to render in CG. Next is when her tear heals Eugene, which is by far the most visually impressive and beautiful resurrection scene in any movie.
And a third for the Costume Porn. Holy cow, have you seen the detail on Rapunzel's dress alone? The complicated flower pattern on the front section of the skirt is not drawn on. It is embroidered with metallic thread. The whole damn thing. The rest of the costumes include all the actual seams, wrinkles, even weathering that actual, wearable clothes would have. (Contrast the The Incredibles' red spandex suits. Looks cool but how would you actually put it on?) The edging of the rest of Rapunzel's skirt is not just done in thread, it's done unevenly - as though she either handstitched it or was a bit uneasy on the sewing machine. And must we even mention the complex hair-braiding?!
Of course her dress would be wildly embroidered, there was not all that much else she could do in that tower room. She also painted every square inch of that room too.
The costume porn even extends to the sound the clothes make as they move, Flynn squeaks and jingles constantly due to all the leather and buckles he wearing.
Also, if you look close during the Kingdom Dance sequence, Rapunzel gets some paint on her dress when she paints the kingdom's emblem in the square.
Add a fourth moment for them to the list. Watch the scene before the King and Queen release the lanterns again - the pain on the King's face is so very evident, even in CGI. They manage to get incredible emotion across in CGI without any sound whatsoever - just a character model's face.
The lantern scene, especially when seen in 3D. That is the point where the movie exceeds its genre and becomes, for a few magic minutes, a form of high art.
When you see Rapunzel's mother, she looks very similar to Rapunzel, but not exactly. In other words, just like a real mother/daughter would look. Instead of being a Generation Xerox, they actually look like real people, despite the stylised nature of the artwork.
Also, they pushed the technology another step past Madagascar and Horton Hears a Who! by incorporating smartly-placed squash-and-stretch into three-dimensional character models, an animation principle previously only reserved for hand-drawings!
A bit meta, but the animation team gets an extra CMOA for their dedication to the whole project - when confronted with the fact that hair is so notoriously difficult to render in CGI, they didn't give up and backtrack to cel-drawn animation, try for another easier-to-animate fairytale, skimp on the quality, or just flat-out give up. No, they worked with programmers and created a brand-new custom-coded animation engine specifically to render hair, just to ensure that it all came out as the very best they could make it!
When Flynn's being led down the hall to his execution, his hands cuffed behind his back, and sees the Stabbington brothers in a cell, he pulls off the "jumping over the handcuffs" move to get his hands in front of him. Very impressive.
Keep in mind, there are two guards leading Flynn by his arms. And he takes both of them out effortlessly before he "jumps the handcuffs." Also impressive how he cows down the big scary men he'd been running from all movie.
Pretty much any time Rapunzel uses her hair as an action implement, mostly by swinging from it.
The first time Rapunzel gets a good look at Flynn when he's unconscious. It's that look on her face that scream "Ooh, so handsome."
Rapunzel deserves a medal of awesome just for going barefoot the entire adventure, and not once feeling uncomfortable, or asking for a pair of shoes.
It's a tiny thing, but look at Rapunzel's face after Gothel insults her at the start of the reprise of Mother Knows Best. When Gothel did the same earlier in the full song, Rapunzel looked sad. This time, she almost looks angry and confused or curious, as if she's wondering why Gothel would say such a thing if she's supposed to be the one who really cares about her. In other words, it marks her truly beginning to figure things out. And then, her sharp NO when Gothel keeps insisting she come along. It's just the strength in her voice as she says it.