a review by Darby O’Gill

Just when you thought Disney was all out of princesses, Rapunzel lets down her hair and pulls out another hit. Tangled marks the 50th installment of the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and even though it might not be one of the best, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. I think it’s safe to say that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation have clearly stolen a lot of Disney’s animated thunder over the last few years, but why is that? It might just be a sign of the times, but I don’t think computer animation has anything to do with it. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Tangled was a completely computer animated film, which it is sort of. They used both hand-drawn and CGI techniques to help bring Tangled to life. I don’t think the look really matters though, and when it comes down to it, it’s not the animation style that makes a great movie. It helps, but the story itself is what really brings an animated tale to life. Okay, well when you say it like that you do sound kind of stupid. What I mean to say is that the story is what connects to the audience and ultimately holds their interest. If you took one of the Toy Story movies and remade it word for word with the old school hand-drawn animation, I would be willing to bet it would still be one of the best animated movies of all time!

In Tangled, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) was born with magical hair, and when she was just a baby, she was kidnapped by an old hermit lady who knew of her hair’s magical powers. She then locked Rapunzel away in a tower, raised her as her own, and for eighteen years told her of the dangers of the outside world, keeping her an unknowing prisoner. That is until the dangerous outside world came to her. When the outlaw Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) decides to use her nicely isolated tower as a hiding place to lay low after stealing a priceless item from the castle, he not only is shocked to find someone living there, but quickly finds himself being blackmailed into playing tour guide for Rapunzel’s first outing into the world.

The movie has some great moments and fantastic animation in it, but it also has musical numbers as well. The music is good, but it doesn’t have that unity that the other Disney animated classics of the 90’s use to have, like Aladdin and The Lion King. The songs in Tangled almost seem out of place at times, and even forced. I’m not a big fan of musicals, but I was a big fan of those older Disney films, so I’m not exactly sure what the difference is here. Not that it effects the enjoyment of movie, it’s just noticeable. The musical numbers don’t seem to flow with the storytelling here. In The Little Mermaid, you almost didn’t even realize the musical numbers were happening at times. Music aside, the humor in Tangled is really fun! Not too goofy, but it does have its moments. The storyline is clean for the most part, with the exception of a few holes, but overall Tangled is a nice addition to the Disney legacy.