Getting Tangled With Disney

Getting Tangled With Disney

Static Mass Rating: 3/5

Release date: January 28th 2011
Certificate (UK): PG
Running time: 100 minutes

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy

Disney’s take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale comes as an animated 3D adventure with the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy.

They’ve re-worked the story a little bit, but nothing too drastic, so don’t worry it’s not set in modern times or anything crazy like that but in the familiar fairy tale territory of kings, kingdoms, enchanted forests wicked witches and the occasional musical number.


The Brothers Grimm 1812 story told of a princess locked in a tower by a witch who would visit her and call “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.” The witch would then climb Rapunzel’s long golden hair containing magical powers she could use to keep her withering old self looking young and beautiful.

Like all stories with a princess, there must be prince who rescues them, but in this version we have Flynn Rider, a thief on the run from two dim witted thugs he’s scammed and run off with the crown they stole. What better place to hide out than in Rupunzel’s tower which he spots from the distance. Flynn climbs the tower and enters Rupunzel’s chamber but instead of them falling immediately in love, she knocks him out, ties him up and locks him away in the cupboard after being raised to fear anything from the outside world.

Eventually Flynn wakes from his slumber but Rupunzel will only give him the crown if he agrees to take her out of the tower to see the lights which appear in the sky on the same night every year. It’s what she’s been dreaming about for as long as she can remember. Although reluctant at first, Flynn agrees. Along the way they encounter magic, monsters and villains and Rupunzel will learn not only what the lights in the sky mean, but also where she comes from and who she really is.


The voice work in Tangled is very enjoyable with Mandy Moore adding a sassy quality to the princess who’s never been outside of her tower. She’s suspicious, paranoid and embarrassingly curious about everything she encounters. Zachary Levi, probably better known as Chuck Bartowski from the television show Chuck, makes a really good go of Fylnn who says in one scene “I don’t do backstory”, but it’s Donna Murphy’s voice that really shines, especially with the film’s best musical number Mother Knows Best. Supporting characters such as Maximus (a horse with detective skills that put Holmes and Watts to shame) and Pascal (a loveable chameleon) add comic relief but from a marketing point of view you can just smell the tie-in merchandising from a mile off!

As a 3D feature Tangled doesn’t really offer that much. The colours are vivid, landscapes are beautiful, the glowing effects of Rupunzels hair and the floating lanterns all look great as you would expect from a Disney film, but they don’t look any better in 3D or any worse in 2D.


As for the story, I would have to say I prefer the old fashioned Brothers Grimm version than Disney’s. It’s endured for 200 years not because it’s a classic, but because it’s well told and didn’t need gimmicks and merchandising to sell it. There’s one thing this 50th feature from Disney has going for it the book doesn’t: when it comes to show stopping animated musical numbers… Disney knows best!

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