Reviews: Tangled

A New Era Of Disney...And a Good One

This film is different with its animation, so let's start with that. The animation, now 3D/CGI, is very appealing and proficient. The character movements are all good, and the comedy achieved with the animation is just as good as any Jones or Avery piece.

Rapunzel is a good character, who is strong-willed but devoted to her mother. Her search for the truth about her past drives her, and she's naive in a way that's entirely justified by her isolation. She's a pretty endearing character, especially when her situation is shown.

Flynn Rider is also pretty good. Yeah, he's the lovable jerk, but he isn't too annoying, and we get to see his softer side early on, which is good. His attitude is refreshingly left out of the conflict and just develops to a more positive state. He only lacks Rapunzel's trust due to manipulations. Whose manipulations?

Mother Gothel's. Gothel, in my opinion, is the best Disney villain. She may not be magic or that bombastic, but that's what works. She's a chillingly real depiction of an abusive parent, keeping Rapunzel for her hair, which de-ages her. Everything she does serves to belittle Rapunzel under pretense of love, and her most genuine affections are only directed at the hair. She is smart and ruthless when needed, and her abuse scars Rapunzel, leaving us to love the poor girl even more. She has excellent writing and animation and is the most despicable villain I've seen in Disney.

Pascal is a great animal companion. Maximus is funny but goes a bit too far for me at times.

The plot as a whole is pretty sweet and simple, but enchanting nonetheless.

The negatives? While it works for Flynn's story, the action sequences are a bit gratuitous and jar a little with the story, and the whole "don't be afraid of the real world" message is a little idealistic and naive in itself. Gothel may make Rapunzel more scared than necessary, but some caution is warranted.

But overall, it's a fine movie and has a lot of great stuff. Definitely worth a watch.


In interests of fairness, I will summarise its positive characteristics first, even though there’s a dozen positive reviews that do the same. So, to be brief, the animation itself is advanced and competent, although lacking when judged against later works. The 3 protagonists (including the stallion) are energetic and upbeat, and Rapunzel does capture the innocence of youth, etc. The inevitable love story and Flynn’s struggles between abandoning Rapunzel and staying are believable, if unexceptional, and the pet chameleon is always cool when it appears.

However, there are also negatives aplenty. Firstly, Flynn and Maximus are not new characters: if you watch the underrated Road To El Dorado, you’ll quickly find that Disney simply reused their designs from that film, and it’s impossible to deny the similarities and knowledge that you’re watching a recycled product. Then, the dedicated action scenes in the film are frequently devoid of tension, thanks to the guards so incompetent it actually hurts to watch them. Royal Guards firstly get beaten by two hardened criminals, (somewhat believable), then get disarmed and knocked out in their numbers by Flynn, who never fought before and used a goddamn frying pan of all things. The scene at the end where guards all get schooled by Maximus in frying pan combat just rubs salt in the wound.

What really tipped the scales for me was Mother Gothel’s treatment. She is one of the most benign villains in the Disney canon so far, unwilling to kill, and content with being left alone in peace, yet still gets the standard death-by-gravity treatment with little regrets. While she was certainly evil in taking Rapunzel away from the entire world, King and Queen were initially in the wrong: Gothel was the one who discovered the flower and had the right to keep it. In real world, their actions are much like having forced vital organ donation on someone to save your child, which is morally unjustifiable for me.

In fact, I found the whole story far more enjoyable if you view King and Queen as greater villains. Suddenly, the stunning incompetence of guards makes sense: kingdom cannot afford to train them because of enormous sums blown into launching lanterns. Similarly, Flynn and the singing gang are outlaws despite being rather nice people because the country is broke and they have no other opportunities in life.

Rapunzel The Child of Science: A Frozen Comparison

Disclaimer: Frozen and Tangled are fascinatingly similar but different films and I want to explore that, but if you want to know about the film in purely its own merits then my review won't be very helpful. I've also lost interest in talking purely of how goodbad something is, but the summary is: Frozen has a more timeless attitude which garnered it more prestige, Tangled is a product of its time but is a better told story. The animation in Tangled wasn't quite mastered yet, whereas Frozen is gorgeous

Frozen and Tangled are the stories of two princesses who spend the majority of their youth entirely isolated and the growth and experiences they have when they finally break out into the world. It's about growing up and learning who you are, how to have relationships with people and dealing with intense periods of change. But despite the identical set-up they are two are very different. Anna in Frozen feels 16-18, she's learning how to form deep relationships with people and how the bonds you have with your family alter as you've begun to step upon life's paths and found they've taken you to different places to the people you've grown up with. She's partying, dipping her toes in love and acquiring responsibility. She loves to have fun and that fun infects the people around her and she's not afraid to be herself and be a little odd.

Whereas Rapunzel feels like she's 11-13 (this makes the romance a little weird to me :P). It's not about growing up and taking on the challenge of adult life, it's about seeing everything with fresh eyes. Every blade of grass, every flower, every star has something special about it that you've never encountered before.

Did you know those tiny stars are so far away and so enormous that the earth would look like a speck of dirt next to them? She has the childish delight and satisfaction in every little thing that drove people to dedicate their lives to uncovering the secrets of the world. She paints star maps, she creates her little theories about how the world works and she's determined to see them through. She uses levers and pulleys and the excitement and belief that everything is fascinating never stops and it causes people to become enraptured in her and want to help her get to her dreams.

Disney captured one of the best aspects of being young.


When I first heard about this movie, I admit I was a little put off by the colour of Rapunzel's clothes (shallow, I know, but I thought it'd be an über-girly movie) and I was actually hesitant to watch it. I only got around to watching it in 2014, believe it or not.

Boy was I proven wrong.

Yes, it might play many Disney Princess tropes straight. But it does so pretty well actually, and with such well-written characters and such atmosphere that I just couldn't help but be charmed. And I mean really charmed, in a way perhaps only Wreck-it Ralph and parts of Toy Story 3 charmed me. (And that's saying a lot, because, as much as I like Up, it didn't get the exact same feeling, probably because I liked the characters there and cared for them but I couldn't identify with any of them, unlike here and in those movies.) The kingdom dance scene and the lantern scene has to be one of my favourite in animation.

Believe the hype.

Okay, first things first: when it comes to stories about a shady man running from his past and saving a young, quirky, book-smart and competent girl with magical powers locked in a tower for her whole life, keeping her safe from her abusive parent figure (who is actually not her real parent but stole her in infancy), this is no BioShock Infinite.

But that's good. There's room in the world for all kinds of stories, both the Timey-Wimey Ball Mind Screw kind and the normal, simple kind.

This movie started the trend of a somewhat-reformed Disney, a Disney that looked back at its often-criticized cliches and took steps to subvert or avert almost all of them. A trend that continued with Frozen, and while it's a close call, I'm going to pick Tangled as the more polished of the two. All the main characters are fleshed-out, given believable and relatable motivations, and the Twist Ending comes off as both genuinely surprising and logically following from the plot — not forced or out of character.

It's not a deeply philosophical life-changing experience — it's a Disney fairy tale, after all — but everything that it strives to accomplish within its format, it accomplishes masterfully. And surprisingly for Disney, beyond all that magical window-dressing it explores very down-to-earth issues relevant to the real-world: the issue of emotionally abusive parenthood, especially the stealthy kind that masquerades as genuine care for the child, and the experience of outgrowing an Epiphanic Prison.

What Can I Say?

I really only went to see this movie because the rest of my family wanted to go. I thought “Hey, it’s been a while since we had a family trip to the movies, and it looks OK. Why not?” So I went.

Tangled is the only movie I have gone to that received a standing ovation at the end. EVERY time I went. Yes, it is a Disney Princess movie. But it is incredibly well-balanced. There are kissing scenes, there are scary scenes, there are funny scenes, there are sad scenes. But there aren’t too many of any. There isn't much else I can say that hasn't been said by someone else, probably better than I could. This is a Good Movie.

Plus, they had a whole division of the production crew devoted to hair.

Pretty good film.

In the past, i spoke ill of this movie on the forums, but having rewatched it countless times, i can say its a good movie.

The color theory and animation is very lifelike and gorgeous, especially DAT HAIR. The characters are kinda geeky and broadly defined, but i felt they were ultimately likable. The songs were fine, as was the voice acting. Probably my favorite scene was the death of Mother Gothel.

Overall, good fairy tale film and fun family flick. Thats all i have to say.


Wonderful Film

I loved it.

First of all, this is the first movie I've been to where the audience actually applauded at the end. I think its because going to a Disney musical is almost like seeing a play, and when the curtains close, you have to applaud the performers.

I adored Flynn and Rapunzel's romance. I found their dynamic very cute, and I found it amusing that Rapunzel goes into the romance much like a teenager would. Flynn was incredibly charming as a character, and he quickly rose to my favorite Disney prince. His self-sacrifice for her at the end was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Mother Gothel, to me, was a great villain. I found her interesting because though she truly wants Rapunzel for her hair, she does love her to some extent. In the end, though, she puts her selfish desires over her love for her, which is in contrast to Flynn, who does the opposite.

The animation was, of course, amazing, and the music (both songs and score) was great to listen to (I especially loved the music during the dance scene). The humor was hilarious and timeless (as in, no cheap pop-culture references) and, despite what the trailers may have lead you to think, not dependent on slapstick.

Overall, I loved it just as much as I love the Disney Renaissance films, and, for some, even more.


The story has been deftly adapted from the source material by the Brothers Grimm. Embellishments such as the chameleon Pascal and the palace horse Maximus (thank goodness they don’t talk – my favourite animal sidekicks never actually talk) and Flynn himself are worked into the story decently and don’t feel shoehorned in.

Disney seemed to be stuck with a formula of the “rebellious princess” for a while – but here, when Rapunzel is taken from her royal family, locked away in a tower and oppressed by a nasty woman – there seems plenty reason to rebel. Flynn is also a great leading man character: elements of Phoebus from Hunchback and especially Prince Edward from Enchanted are readily evident in the gung-ho, slightly vain, scoundrel-with-a-heart-of-gold Flynn.

Mother Gothel is also a fairly serviceable Disney villainess, with bits of Lady Tremaine from Cinderella, Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid and even Claude Frollo from Hunchback (the way she warns of the cruelty of the outside world and locks her charge in a tower) plain to see.

The voice acting in the film is actually one of the highlights. Zachary Levi is a revelation as an excellent, excellent voice actor. TV’s Chuck imbues Flynn with a roguish charm and likeability, and does his own singing to boot. Mandy Moore puts across the naiveté and earnestness of the princess very well, and as a singer by trade she handles the songs capably too. Donna Murphy’s voice drips with a dangerous silkiness that every self-respecting Disney villainess should possess, and she is especially menacing in the song “Mother Knows Best” and its reprise.

This is far from the best the studio has produced, but still I laughed, I cried and I cheered. The enchantment that leapt off the screen melted away some of the scepticism, and it’s hard to deny that even when tarnished by meddling executives, this film still has its fair share of magical moments.


A Wonderful Addition To The Disney Animated Canon

Being a huge Disney buff, it's pretty safe to trust me when I say that Tangled is just awesome. I love it even more than The Princess And The Frog (beware of spoilers).

Rapunzel, Flynn and Mother Gothel are the best characters in this movie. Rapunzel just has a certain adorableness about her that's new for a Disney Princess. Her pluckiness, sunny disposition and strong will make it almost impossible to not like the girl. Flynn, or should I say Eugene, is one of the most interesting and likeable Disney Princes yet. He experiences the most Character Development from taking Rapunzel to see the lanterns just to get the crown back to handing it over the Stabbington brothers after realizing Rapunzel's more important to him than money. The interaction between these two make them a very cute and likeable couple. I don't mean to start a Flame War, but Mother Gothel is a better villain than Dr. Facilier. She's coddled Rapunzel and warped her so much that Rapunzel goes bipolar when she first leaves the tower from being in ecstacy to the depths of despair for being a terrible daughter. Her and Rapunzel's relationship is one of (if not the) deepest between a Disney villain and the protagonist. Mother Gothel really does seem to love Rapunzel at first, but her hair is more important in the end as evidence by her dragging the girl she's raised for 18 years in chains to the basement and stabbing her Love Interest. It's just so easy to hate her. The other characters are fun, too. Pascal is even more adorable than Rapunzel is, Maximus is the coolest Disney horse ever (and funniest), and the Pub Thugs win your heart over with their secret sensitive sides.

You can't have a Disney movie without Nightmare Fuel and a Tear Jerker, so let's analyse those scenes. Mother Gothel's death was almost as creepy as Dr. Facilier's; after Rapunzel's hair is cut, her source of immortality is cut off. She wraps her cloack around her while having a breakdown and accidentally trips out the window. When she hits the ground, she's just a pile of dust. Thank God that cloack was covering her. Flynn's Disney Death was so damn bleak but so deliciously emotional. This is where you can really tell that Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi can voice act. Seeing Rapunzel cradle Flynn and futilely trying to heal him is just so sad. And blood was actually shown!

My rating overall: 9/10