Disney and its fairy tale stories. These two elements were once a legend. And even if Disney isn’t exactly at the top of the animation genre nowadays, given the fierce competitions, I sort of liked the old-fashioned Disney/fairy-tale mash-ups if only for a mere sentimental reason of nostalgia. Granted, I was perhaps a good twelve years passed my prime to enjoy a flutter and dreaming for a high-spirited eighteen years old princess of my own. But what I really enjoyed about the Disney ‘traditional’ animated films are always their choice of colors and of course, songs. Last year, “The Princess and the Frog” came with powerful songs but decidedly, for me, less vibrant in colorings. “Tangled,” came with a bit less songs than what I would’ve liked but my, those colors, simply lovely, and beautiful even if I merely watching it in a flimsy 2D.
“Tangled” is a fresh take on a classic “Rapunzel.” I don’t understand with the title choice. It was, for lack of better words, bad. All things aside, I’m not as familiar with the story as my wife does but she had said that she doesn’t like the direction of the new story especially regarding the simplified and less conflicted character of the ‘evil’ mother. But, it has all I loved from a Disney traditional animated film. Colorful, manic and likeable characters, impressively entertaining animal sidekicks, some great songs, and of course, a happy ending. In a year of a very strong year in animated film, “Tangled,” is comparatively, a bit better than average and wouldn’t stand a chance against “Toy Story 3,” but it was far better than, say, the latest installment of “Shrek.” All in all, I really really hoping that Disney would continue its traditional Thanksgiving release next year with another fresh take on a classic fairy-tale.
There are, in my opinion, two school of thoughts when it came to cast voice actors in an animated film. One, casting a well-known actors which could ended up in a terrific or a terrifying end-results. Two, a relatively ‘safe’ route in casting less-known actors strictly for their voice characters. I liked the second school of thought and apparently Disney liked them as well. With casting Mandy Moore as the sort-of titular character, the film doesn’t have to put another voice when it comes to singing and as always, it’s a great decision. Even so, my favorite songs and set-pieces from the film came from the un-named ‘evil’ mother. They’re dark, but its wordings are equally beautiful and that gave a bit of conflicted imagery and if you knew me at all, few captures my attention more than a conflicted imagery. The rest of the voices, even if they’re not particularly outstanding, fitted well enough with their on-screen personas and that was good enough for me.
My wife didn’t like the film as much as I do. Part of which because it gave a fresh direction to one of her favorite classic fairy-tale, of which she didn’t put much fondness upon and another because of Mandy Moore. Once she knew that it was Mandy Moore who filled the voice of “Rapunzel,” she found it that bit much harder to forgo the firm conclusion she had formed in her mind. She’s a very opinionated gal, she is. However, she agrees on one thing, that the film’s colors are brilliant. Lush, vibrant, uniforming in harmony as if they’re singing a choir in a melodious lullaby too beautiful it’s a crime. If anything, even if the film is as cliche as you’d expect them from a Disney film, and doesn’t try to give you any blows the way Pixar films mostly have, you’d be entertained enough given that you’re a fan of animated films, as I have.
My rating: **1/2 / **** – A fresh take on a classic fairy-tale Disney. Decent to great songs, beautiful colors, some improbable but entertaining comedic scenes, it was surely an entertaining flick even if it merely took you, adult viewers to your childhood instead of rewarding you with a subtle message.