Movie Review: Tangled

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(4.5 out of 5 starfish)

Can a 70-ft tower imprison a feisty princess forever?  In Disney’s new 3D animation “Tangled” which opens on November 24, 2010, Rapunzel, a stolen princess with 70 feet of magical golden hair, is planning on getting the heck out of the tall tower that the evil Mother Gothel imprisoned her in!  Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, the wanted thief who stole a precious crown from the royal palace, form an unlikely duo.  They find themselves dodging palace guards, the spirited-palace horse Maximus, and Mother Gothel, in search of the floating lanterns that appear on Rapunzel’s birthday every year.

“Tangled” is a spectacular film filled with rich and colorful characters, each with different personality.  I have to say that Flynn, the thief with a good heart, is definitely one of the most hilarious characters.  Like Megamind, he has an air of sarcasm around him.  His showmanship always gets him into trouble!  Rapunzel is an adventurous and curious lost princess with a “bipolar” personality.  One moment, she is happy about her freedom; the next, she is torn and sad about leaving Mother Gothel.  Pascal is a cute, mischievous little chameleon who is Rapunzel’s best friend.  Maximus, the palace horse, is playful, incredibly smart, and one of the most adorable.  He has a strong sense of justice and is most intent on capturing Flynn the thief.  The animals don’t talk in this film, which I like.  You still know clearly what they are thinking through their complex facial expressions and actions.

There are so many funny scenes in the movie.  One of the funniest is when Rapunzel requests that Flynn and Maximus make a truce.  Maximus first turns his head away from Flynn, then shakes his hoof with Flynn’s hand, but finally hits Flynn in the stomach with his hoof when Rapunzel walks away!  Another funny scene is when Rapunzel struggles to hide an unconscious Flynn in the closet.

My favorite scenes are when the night sky is illuminated with a sea of lanterns, and when the magical flower grows from just a tiny speck of sunlight.  Rapunzel’s 70-ft golden hair is an impressive feat: it looks magical when it glows strand by strand.  I learned from professional animators that the hair is one of the most difficult things to animate well.  The animators did an awesome job here!

The movie is full of action, comedy, and romance.  Even though the film uses one punch line after another (characteristic of Disney’s competitor DreamWorks), it is the kind of “appropriate humor” that is character and situation based, not potty humor.  It is also easy to understand for younger kids and appreciated by adults as well.

The film was adapted from the old fairytale “Rapunzel.”  This was the name of the film when I first saw clips of it at the Disney D23 expo in September 2009.  I like the change from prince to thief in the film for Rapunzel’s rescuer, because it makes the story more interesting, and now Rapunzel can see what the real world is like outside through Flynn.

I give “Tangled” 4.5 starfish.  It’s “Perrific!”  I recommend it to people age 7 and up.  I wonder how Mother Gothel could build the 70-ft tower all by herself.  How could Rapunzel’s Queen mother never age in 18 years?  The ending is also too predictable, like most fairy tales.

Of the 15 animated features competing for the precious three spots for Oscar nomination this year, I think “Tangled” will win a spot there.

“Tangled” is about freedom, friendship, and love.  Although the tower is a symbol of imprisonment, the spirit can never be locked up forever.  Mother Gothel, blinded by her vanity and desire for eternal youth, doesn’t understand that, which leads to her downfall.

“Tangled” has a strong moral: The free spirit can never be imprisoned.  Follow your dream no matter how many challenges on your way!


At 10, Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning entertainment critic, TV personality, Annie Awards presenter, filmmaker/animator, and radio host, reviewing movies and entertainment with his trademark kids-friendly starfish from a child’s perspective.  Perry became a national sensation on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and National Public Radio (NPR) with Liane Hansen, and a frequent star on the red carpet at film festivals and premiers.  He is the youngest columnist for the San Diego Entertainer Magazine and recently won the San Diego Press Club 2010 Excellence in Journalism Awards.  “The Young Icons,” a nationally syndicated TV show featured Perry on Nov 20, 2010.  He was also featured on Variety for being one of the leading young film critics:

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