Film review - Tangled (PG)

Reporter:

Mark Lingard

YEARS ago I dreamed of being a film critic. In some ways I am, I suppose, I get to review many of the big releases – however, fate has specialised me into children’s films.

I’ve seen them all, some brilliant (Despicable Me), some terrible (Animals United) and some just okay (Cats and Dogs 2).

Our youngest, at three years old, is still at the age where give her a bag of sweets and a cinema screen and she’ll watch anything – even the adverts would be enough.

But our eldest, who’s nearly six, is starting to formulate her ownopinions on what she’s watching. Not all films, for her, are good.

But she seemed so taken with having watched the Tangled trailer (repeatedly) online, that we just had to go and watch it.

Tangled is the Disney take on Rapunzel. Quite how faithful to the true Rapnunzel story it is, I don’t honestly know. I’ll admit it’s not a fairytale I’m massively clued up on.

Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) has hair, lots of hair. But for missing princess locked up in tower read rebellious teenager fed up of being cooped up in said tower with the ability to use her hair as a sort of kung-fu style weapon. Not only that, she spends half the film armed with a saucepan.

And all this is set behind a sound-track that almost could be Andrew-Lloyd Webber – surely Tangled is a stage show in the making?

Of course, the story of Rapunzel has a dark side. The old lady/witch who keeps her in the tower is, to be frank, more than a bit sinister.

I know of more than one young child who had to be removed from the cinema, such was their fear of this loathsome old woman.

Normally in a Disney film most things are quite black and white. The princesses are beautiful, the prince is charming, and everyone lives happily ever after. No surprises.

But in Tangled, everything’s, well, tangled...

Perhaps that explains the name? The old woman keeping Rapunzel in the tower is also Rapunzel’s ‘mother’, feeding off the power of her hair to stay forever young.
And for a small child that means mixed emotions – the villain of the piece is also the mother who ‘loves and cares for her’.

Not only that, but the prince who stumbles into Rapunzel’s life is a bandit on the run after stealing a crown from the palace.

So the hero of the hour is a bad guy who turns good, while the villain of the film is a seemingly good egg who’s actually bad.

While Disney do ‘magical’ films brilliantly well, they’re not normally as funny as some of their peers. However, Tangled does have some moments of comedy genius – watch  for the mime artist who randomly appears in the middle of a fight scene, while the scenes in the ale tavern are also pretty funny – and again ripe for the West End stage me thinks.

One notable point in Tangled is the animation. DIsney, it seems, have upped their game. The CGI is impressive to say the least, with every character almost perfect and some stunning backdrops created. CGI hasn’t always worked brilliantly for character animation, but with Tangled, Disney have shown it works.

To sum up Tangled; Disney magic, enough humour for the adults to stick with it, perhaps a little scary for very small children, and a brilliant hero who will make your young daughter want to grow her hair very, very long...

And for the record, the daughter with an opinion absolutely loved this film.

RATING: 4/5

Tickets: Cineworld, Shrewsbury

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