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Tangled (3D)


Stars: Voices: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett, Paul F. Tompkins, Richard Kiel

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

There’s nothing grim about Disney’s zestful revamp of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale about the long-locked princess Rapunzel whose tresses ultimately led to her freedom from her incarceration high up in a castle tower. The emphasis is firmly on comedy, adventure and spectacle, spiced with attractive songs by Disney regular Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin etc.

Here the heroine, Rapunzel, is no wistful fairy-tale maiden: instead she’s a feisty all-American blonde teenager able to wield a nifty frying pan when her lofty tower refuge is invaded by runaway bandit Flynn, a happily hip character riff who puts the ‘hood’ in Robin Hood and complains “They just can’t get my nose right!” when faced with his wanted poster. Add a bunch of not-too-nasty oafs, (one of whom plays piano with engaging vigour despite having a hook for a hand and another who is that most terrifying of creatures, a mime), a sassy horse who gives better than he gets in the best animated tradition and Rapunzel’s nasty ‘mother’ who keeps the kidnapped princess locked up so that she can use her magical tresses to remain young - and you have the recipe for a animated movie that kids will love. And, thanks to a witty screenplay and ingrained cynicism, accompanying adults should enjoy themselves too.

The musical numbers are lively and entertaining (Broadway surely beckons as it has done for The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast) and are put over with zest by Moore, speaking for Rapunzel and, particularly, Murphy as her ‘mother’. There are plenty of good comical moments (the bloody-minded horse suddenly turning coy and wagging his tail when Rapunzel treats him like a puppy), the spectacle – including Rapunzel and Flynn’s hair-raising (oh, come, on, that was inevitable!) escape from a terrifying torrent when a dam bursts – impresses and, while it would still be eminently enjoyable ‘flat’, Tangled looks terrific in 3D.

Incidentally, Walt Disney’s classic creation Mickey Mouse appears as ‘Steamboat Willie’ in the credits. My guess is Walt would have been happy with Tangled, especially when the well-deserved profits start to roll into the studio coffers.

And here's a comment from Jimmy aged 9

Tangled was great it was humorous, action packed and adventurous. It was a truly great film. I think the Disney films are just getting better and better. As a fairy tale it certainly wasn’t just for girls. Firstly it has a few fights a few arguments and one death not that she didn’t deserve it. It looks brilliant in 3-D but I bet it looks good in 2-D as well. It’s a real twist to the traditional fairy tale. I would give it a 9/10 for family entertainment.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures. Colour.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 23 Jan 2011