Friday, November 26, 2010

Tangled: A True Return to Disney Classics

 Tangled continues in Disney's animation legacy of timeless classics. Being Disney's first fairy tale outing done in CGI, it's easy to have doubts. The marketing for this film didn't really do Tangled any favors either. Originally titled Rapunzel, the name change to Tangled and the shift of focus onto the male co-star Flynn Ryder in the merchandising was done as a way to try to get more boys into the theater. Despite this faulty marketing move, Tangled is very much Rapunzel's story and Rapunzel is the star of this instant classic. Sticking very close to the roots of the original German Rapunzel fairy tale, Tangled's story is one about overprotective parental figures and the need to want to break free. Mandy Moore voices Rapunzel and sings for her. Yup, this a musical. This is a big grand musical in the classical Disney style with songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. Alan Menken was the one who brought Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Enchanted to life; to name only a few. Moore really gets to the heart of Rapunzel and truly owns the part, but the real surprise is Donna Murphy as our main villain Mother Gothel. A true hero is measured by it's main villain and Mother Gothel does not disappoint.

Every great Disney classics needs supporting characters. What would Mary Poppins be with Bert and the Banks' Children. What would Belle be without the enchanted objects. Snow White is just a lost girl in the forest without those dwarves.

An amazing supporting cast of characters that include Rapunzel's color changing chameleon companion Pascal, the scene stealing horse Maximus, and the main male co-star Flynn Ride accompany Rapunzel in her quest. Pascal and Maximus are animal companions but have more in common with Meeko and Percy from Pocohantas than Sebastian and Flounder from Little Mermaid for the fact that they don't talk. While they are without speech, they are fully fleshed out characters and you know exactly what they are trying to convey with their sometimes hillarious reactions. Maximus was especially a personal favorite of mine. Zachary Levi from the TV show Chuck voices and sings for Flynn Rider and it's easy to see why Disney would choose to up sale him in the TV ads. I would have to say that he's one of the most fleshed out Disney heroes since Aladdin.

Tangled is a big grand epic Disney musical done in the classic sense with the modern rendering of CGI animation. This is for sure to be seen for years and years to come and I can't wait to include Tangled in my Disney Collection. I highly recommend this one.

If you like this article, check these links out:

Tangled [+Digital Booklet]
A digital copy of the awesome soundtrack for just 3.99

Tiana and Charlotte: Princess Evolution
A look at the friendship of these two new favorite Disney Women.

Disney's The Little Mermaid: Gay Allegory
A cautionary tale.

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't planning on bothering with "Tangled" after being a bit disappointment with what I found to be uneven character development in "Princess and the Frog", and some lacking areas in the story. Reading your article, however, I think might just have to look into buying this once it's out on DVD.


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