Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video review: "Tangled"

"Toy Story 3" took home the Oscar for animated feature, but "Tangled" was actually the best Disney film of last year.

I mean it -- this delightful mix of music, adventure and romance was the finest princess movie since 1991's "Beauty and the Beast." It's loosely based on the Rapunzel fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm, but has been jazzed up and modernized by screenwriter Dan Fogelman and co-directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard.

Rapunzel is no blushing maiden eagerly awaiting her rescuer, but a feisty teen (voice by Mandy Moore) hungry for adventure beyond the tall tower in which she's been locked away her whole life. Little does she know evil enchantress Gothel (a terrific Donna Murphy) kidnapped her as a babe from her parents, the king and queen, to exploit the magic of her flowing golden hair.

When Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi), a charming cad of a thief, hides in Rapunzel's tower, she knocks him cold with a frying pan. Soon they're off on a quest and -- of course -- falling in love.

The movie starts out all fun and games, but gains unexpected heft and emotional resonance as the plot unspools.

Coupled with a handful of Broadway-style showstopper musical numbers, "Tangled" is an old-fashioned charmer.

Video extras vary from meager to decent, depending on which version you buy.
The DVD edition contains only two earlier versions of the storybook opening, and a countdown of all 50 Disney animated features.

The two-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo adds three deleted scenes, a making-of documentary and two extended versions of songs.

Upgrade to the four-disc combo pack and also receive a 3-D version of the film, plus a digital copy for your computer or portable device.

Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. I still loved the film and believe it's a great addition to Disney's animated classics. Lastly, let me just add a big "Yeah!" to the film's final moments when Flynn, back in narrator mode, reveals that it was several years before he and Rapunzel got married. A much better message for children than the more usual we-saw-each-other-twice-before-tying-the-knot which seems almost de rigueur in so many fairy tales.