Version: Theatrical, Blu-ray, DVD
I'll admit, ninety percent of the reviews on this site are positive. So I guess my opinion loses its spark. But perhaps through these reviews I can help someone find a good movie to watch.
I'd like to start out by saying I do not like CGI all that much. It just can't replace traditional animation in my heart. So when I heard Disney was going to make traditional animated movies again I was pretty happy. But then Princess and the Frog came out, and it flopped. Call it poor marketing, a story people weren't used to, or just the fact that it came out in the middle of a recession. People just didn't go see it. Disney understood that people didn't go to see it. They just got the wrong message. First, it was a princess movie. Little girls go see princess movies, but what about the boys? Surely they don't like that stuff. Second, and most damning of all, it was traditionally animated. In a world where Shrek and The Incredibles do things unheard of in traditional animation, who wants to watch the boring stuff?
Unfortunately, Disney took both of those "complaints" and removed them from the next movie in progress: Rapunzel. Rapunzel is as girly as a fairy tale can get, but a company that made its name on such stories decided that wasn't going to be profitable. So Rapunzel became Tangled, and all the commercials focused on the male lead. From the trailers, it looked like Disney was making a movie for boys.
Wrong! It's still for the most part a girl's movie. :)
Tangled does have a strong male lead, Flynn, but there's a reason it's still called Rapunzel in other countries: it's her movie. We open with a voiceover by Flynn, but right away we go into Rapunzel's life and the circumstances of her capture. The majority of the songs are sung by women, and Flynn doesn't have nearly as much dialogue as the trailers make it seem. He's still an important character, but he's not as vocal as Rapunzel.
Rapunzel happens to be Disney's 50th movie in their main series, and it brings back memories of the earlier ones in the line. The opening reminds me of Sleeping Beauty in particular, and the first shot of the tower looks like it's from Beauty and the Beast.
Compared to the original story, the movie is a LOT less grim (no teen pregnancy or eyes getting gouged out here), but there is still an amount of seriousness and danger. After all, Disney wanted more than the "babies and Grannys" that the G rating usually pulls in, so this gets a PG. I must disagree with that rating, though. The only thing I could think of that earns the rating is a little blood from a wound, but no more than Mulan. There is also a little "[men] only want one thing" subtext in one of Mother Gothel's songs, but you're only going to notice it if you read into it (she's talking about a treasure Rapunzel took from Flynn, but I didn't catch the other meaning until the second viewing).
Overall, it's a nice princess film that works for both genders, but not in the way Disney wanted it too. The older boys are going to find it too 'pink' (and probably ask to see an action movie instead), but the little ones won't. And of course, expect any little girl with long hair to instantly pretend she's Rapunzel.
It's also good enough for older viewers (over the 'girls are icky' age) to appreciate. I recommend watching it. Blu-ray or DVD doesn't matter- of course it looks better on a good setup, but I've been watching the DVD copy and it's still pretty crisp.
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