Given that my own hair is thinning, it gives me no great pleasure to introduce Tangled, Disney's Oscar-nominated animated retelling of the tale of Rapunzel, which showcases more hair than a Siberian woman in the winter. The surprise hit received rave reviews when it was released theatrically, and is now being released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.
In Tangled, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is a princess who was taken as a child by an evil witch and locked in a tower. In true Disney fashion, when she sings her hair glows and also has the power to bring about youth - a power the old witch cherishes above all else. But when Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) shows up, he takes her from the tower to show her the world she's never seen.
Oh, and they fall in love. Did I even need to mention that?
Tangled is a good movie that plays up the traditional Disney clichés to a magnitude of a thousand. There's nothing wrong with that, but there's nothing groundbreaking about the production by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, either.
Unlike The Princess and the Frog, which was a bit of a box office disappointment but original and at times charming, Tangled has everything you expect from a Disney movie looking to make a buck: a big-eyed, blond young woman (who unknowingly is a princess), a charming, rebellious man, an evil witch, a few animal friends and several sing-along tunes.
The movie isn't exactly unpredictable. But, on the positive side, Disney knows how to take that formula and make it work. Tangled works. It's an entertaining and at times funny movie with some good adventure, decent music and some romance for the little girls.
The visual effects are also very good - not groundbreaking, but beautiful in their own right. The movie looks new and fresh with CGI graphics, and yet it still looks and feels like a painted fairy tale.
The voice acting is good, though Donna Murphy, who plays the evil Mother Gothel, steals the show with a classic villainous performance and one or two catchy musical numbers.
Tangled is a fun, hair-curling movie that will appeal to its target demographic and please adult viewers as well. It plays a bit on the safe side, but sometimes that's exactly what the barber needs.
As for the Blu-Ray 2-disc combo pack, there are few special features. The package comes with a couple deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and some alternate storyboard openings, but not much else. For a Disney release, it's surprisingly lacking.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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