I know, I know. I said I was going to review this on Thursday. Don’t tell me you really believed that. Yet, here it is, in case you haven’t seen the movie yet — or if you have and just want to read about it to recapture your happy experience. Or whatever.
Bratzbasher and I celebrated Winter Break with a trip to the full-price movie theater (matinee rates, of course) to see Tangled. It was worth the extra money. We laughed hysterically* (although our butts didn’t fall off — or our heads, for that matter).
Even if you’ve never heard of it (in which case, what rock have you been living under?), it’s obvious from the poster that it’s a retelling of Rapunzel. There were a few key changes of which I approved — despite the cheesiness of “magic hair that glows when I sing.” Rapunzel is not taken due to a contract with a witch; rather, she is stolen because of the magical properties of her hair (think fountain of youth), which are lost if it is cut. Rapunzel is also a much stronger figure in this version, wielding a frying pan with so much success that she starts a new trend in combat weaponry. Gallant hero Flynn is no prince (in fact, he’s a thief on the run from the local authorities), and his coolness factor is eclipsed by Rapunzel’s unexpected superior capabilities. As usual, there are animal sidekicks — a must for all Disney movies (except for the noted exceptions such as Kung Fu Panda, which features a cast made up entirely of animals and, therefore, renders cute animal sidekicks pointless) — and these are two of the best:
- Maximus is a horse belonging to the Captain of the Guard (who manages to fall off early on in the movie, leaving Maximus to pursue Flynn alone). He exhibits behaviors more typical of a bloodhound than a horse: tracking Flynn by scent, snuffling along the ground, growling, and thumping his hind leg when Rapunzel gives him affection. Maximus is clever, sweet, fierce, and willing to call a temporary truce with Flynn for the duration of their adventure with Rapunzel, though he still doesn’t approve of the rogue.
- Pascal is, by far, the cutest sidekick Disney has ever come up with. He’s Rapunzel’s faithful playmate, but he doesn’t really fulfill any purpose other than adorable, comic relief/nonverbal commentary. His presence is justified by his cuteness, though, don’t you think?
My two favorite scenes are the musical number featuring the thugs in the Snuggly Duckling, wherein each burly and unsavory character shares his secret dream in life, and the moment Flynn realizes the solution to Rapunzel’s cumbersome tresses when he spies four sisters braiding each other’s hair. The looks on their faces when he asks for their help is priceless.
It may be a musical fairytale, but the cheese factor is fairly low. We’re already planning a second viewing when it reaches the $1 theater.
*Bratzbasher wants credit for this word.