Voice cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
Plot: Rapunzel is locked in a desolate tower by the evil Mother Gothel, who uses Rapunzel’s magical hair to stay young. Things change for Rapunzel when she meets the kingdom’s most wanted bandit, Flynn Rider.
What’s Good: The endearing characters of Maximus, the horse, and Pascal, the chameleon; the emotions; the good music and the beautiful animation.
What’s Bad: Hardly anything!
Verdict: Tangled is a pleasing reminder that we all believe in fairy tales. It entertains one and all.
Loo break: None at all.
Watch or Not? Certainly catch it before it leaves the theatres.
Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures’ Tangled is a quasi-musical based on the fairy tale of Rapunzel, a young girl with magical hair, who is locked away in a tower for years, only to be rescued later by a charming prince.
Disney presents the age-old fable, originally written by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, in a new-age avatar. The story goes thus: In a far away kingdom, a noble king and queen are about to have a child. The queen takes ill during her delivery and soldiers are sent out to look for the Magical Flower, which can cure her. The soldiers find the flower, crush it and feed it to the queen. A daughter, Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), is born. Mother Gothel (voice of Donna Murphy), an evil old woman, who was using the Magical Flower to stay young and elongate her life since hundreds of years, is very angry because the flower has been taken away from her. She steals Rapunzel, who has golden hair infused with the magical properties of the flower, and nurses her like her own child. But Rapunzel is locked in a desolate tower in the middle of a forest and taught by Mother Gothel never to leave it. Every time she ages, Mother Gothel touches Rapunzel’s golden hair and regains her youth again.
Years later, Rapunzel, who is on the verge of turning 18, spends her time painting the inner walls of the tower, doing sundry household chores and playing with her pet chameleon, Pascal. As cutting Rapunzel’s hair would cause them to lose their power, Mother Gothel has never cut Rapunzel’s hair and it is almost 70 feet long now. In fact, Rapunzel uses her hair to hoist her mother up the tower. Rapunzel wants to go out into the outside world but is scared to do so because her mother has told her horror stories about people who will kill Rapunzel for the hair.
As a result, Rapunzel’s only window to the world is an annual event, when she sees hundreds of star-like things floating in the sky. Finally, Rapunzel decides to get out on the eve of her 18th birthday, when her mother has gone out on a three-day trip.
In the kingdom, the king and the queen, who had lost their infant daughter, yearn very badly for her. Every year, on their daughter’s birthday, they release hundreds of flying lanterns in the sky, hoping that their lost daughter would see those and come back home. In the meantime, the kingdom’s most wanted — and most charming — bandit, Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi), escapes with the young princess’s crown after a failed robbery attempt. In the forest, he finds Rapunzel’s tower and attempts to hide in it. Soon, he is taken hostage by Rapunzel, who wants Flynn to take her to the kingdom in the hope that she will find the origin of the floating lights. The unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade through the forest, complete with the chameleon, a super-cop horse (named Maximus), and a gruff gang of pub thugs. Is Rapunzel able to find out the mystery behind the floating lights? Is she reunited with her real parents? Does the evil Mother Gothel let this happen? What does Flynn gain from helping Rapunzel? The latter part of the film reveals the rest…
Script & Screenplay
Dan Fogelman’s (Cars, Bolt) screenplay adaptation of Rapunzel’s fairy tale is heart-warming and funny. He does a very good job of first establishing the protagonist’s character and then creating conflicts within her mind (to defy mother or to not defy mother) and in the world outside (Flynn’s attempt at running away from her; her fight with Flynn). He has also created the very endearing characters of Pascal and Maximus; the viewer just cannot stop laughing at their human-like behavior. The love angle between Rapunzel and the handsome but narcissistic Flynn is also cute. As in typical Disney film style, all the characters, as gruesome or dangerous as they might look, are, in fact, soft and likeable.
The film is a musical, with characters breaking into song-and-dance every now and then, but this only adds to the story’s appeal. All the five songs, written by Glenn Slater and composed by eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken, are melodious and take the story ahead. The background score by Menken is also nice. The voice actors do a fine job. Mandy Moore, as Rapunzel, and Zachary Levi, as Flynn Rider, are very good. All the other characters’ voices have also been rendered with élan.
Direction, Animation & Editing
Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard come out with flying colours. They paint a canvas (literally) that excites all age groups and succeed in maintaining an emotional connect with the audience throughout the film. Technically, the film is superb. The animation is first-rate, as is expected from a Disney film. Editing (Tim Mertens) is crisp.
The Last Word
All in all, Tangled offers a good package of entertainment, but it has little chance at the Indian box-office as at the end of the day, it is a fairy tale, that too, in animation format.