Disney As Adults: An Adult Retrospective Review Of The 2010 Fairy Tale TANGLED

Disney As Adults: An Adult Retrospective Review Of The 2010 Fairy Tale TANGLED

Disney As Adults: An Adult Retrospective Review Of The 2010 Fairy Tale TANGLED

Welcome back to the fifth installment of Disney As Adults, and in this entry we'll be tackling Disney's shot at the Brothers' Grimm tale of Rapunzel. Read our review of Tangled below!

Time changes everything. When we as an audience view films outside of their original release time and without hype, it's much easier to review a movie. On top of that, as adults, we perceive characters, storylines, and subplots much differently than we have the capacity to as children.

This is especially true with Disney movies, as the brand boasts whole-heartedness and family themed content, but with the near-monopoly giant owning more and more of the intellectual properties we grew up on - its interesting to take a look back and see which of them hold up and which simply aren't as we remember viewing them through child eyes. 

Disney As Adults is a series of reviews that does exactly that, and we're here to bring you our fifth installment in what we hope will make you take another look at a movie and maybe see things a little differently than the first time. You might just wind up re-thinking what you want your kids to watch.



Famed director Quentin Tarantino recently made comments that he found Tangled to be a better film than Frozen. With the recent release of Frozen 2, we thought it might be a good idea to add the tales of Rapunzel and Elsa to our list for our fifth and sixth installments of Disney As Adults.

The first thing that you'll notice when watching Tangled is the dazzling animation. The film brilliantly blends traditional animation and CGI, utilizing non-photorealistic rendering so that it looks like a painting, which works out really well in the finished product. Good luck not getting mesmerized by the glimmering green of Rapunzel's eyes.



Tangled boasts a fun cast of familiar faced including Mandy Moore (This is Us), Zachary Levi (Chuck, SHAZAM!), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Brad Garrett (Christopher Robin), and more which make not only the singing - but the dialogue fun as well.

"This is the story of how I died," begins the smooth narration by Levi's Flynn Rider. And yeah, this guy's name is Flynn. Good luck not thinking about Walter Jr. the entire time. 



He quickly assures that this story isn't about him, however. We soon learn through Flynn's narration that a drop of sunlight fell to Earth which sprouted a flower containing magical healing properties. And soon after that, we learn about our villain of the story - an old woman who abuses the power of this fauna to fight off aging for centuries named Mother Gothel.

This all works good and well for Mother Gothel until one day when the King of a nearby kingdom requires the healing properties to help the sick and pregnant Queen. The magic of the power heals the Queen and is infused into baby Rapunzel's hair during her birth, leaving her with beautiful, golden, magical (literally), locks.



And you thought baby Yoda was cute. Just look at those eyes.

Unfortunately, all cuteness set aside, this is when the film takes a drastically dark turn. One that anyone familiar with the tale of Rapunzel can probably foresee.

Mother Gother, desperate for her immortality, kidnaps baby Rapunzel and traps her in a tower, isolated. Forcing the young girl to sing in order to utilize her magic, she uses Rapunzel as a battery for years and years, with no one to keep her company but her pet chameleon, Pascal.



When I initially heard the name Pascal, I thought they said "Pastel" which I was excited to include as something I caught as an adult - as it would be a fun reference to the animal's color-swapping ability. However, upon doing a bit of research I learned that this name carried over from an actual chameleon owned by one of the workers when they were looking for a name to give to Rapunzel's cute companion.

Listening to the score, audiences will likely recognize the musical talents of legendary Composer and Disney frequenter - Alan Menken. This is another big plus for the movie, and Mandy Moore's soft and bubbly voice is welcome in Rapunzel, weaving beautiful songs with the fantastic imagery created by the art.

As Rapunzel comes of age, she desires more and more to escape her isolation and leave the tower. Each year her birth parents sent lanterns into the sky on her birthday in hopes she will see them and return - but it's quickly clear how her mother - er, her captor - feels about that. 



This abusive parental relationship leads to two musical numbers - a beautiful piece delivered by Moore's Rapunzel called When Will My Life Begin? followed by a duet with Mother Gothel called Mother Knows Best which really hammers home just how much of a captive the poor princess is.

She shames her "daughter' for the entire song which has a fun beat and is easy to sing-along to, but the lyrics are over the edge, especially when she body-shames her skinny captive with the mess below.



Poor Rapunzel. Luckily for her see soon meets the clumsy thief Flynn Rider (remember the narrator of this story?) and her entire life quickly turns around.

While Rider may be a scandalous thief - he soon changes his tune once Rapunzel enters her life, even if her magical, healing hair might be the biggest score he's ever seen. He's a clumsy fool, but he's honest when it comes to our heroine, even going so far as to reveal his true name to her. Wait, you mean his name isn't Flynn? Phew.



Oh. Now Flynn Rider isn't so bad.

Rapunzel and Eugene soon set out to make their way to the lanterns for her birthday, joined by the colorful chameleon Pascal and the stern horse Maximus, though the animals remain silent. I noticed that they were fun but lacked the memorability of Abu and Rajah or others from movies over the years.

Soon, Repunzel meets a whole mess of thugs and inspires each and every one of the ruffians to follow their dreams - no matter how unlikely they may seem. This opens the door for the hilarious I Have A Dream lead by Jeffrey Tambor and including Brad Garrett and others in the ranks.



Now there's a heroine that inspires! Seeing that Rapunzel has gained so many fans, Mother Gothel heads out and teams up with the brothers searching for Eugene, voiced by Ron Perlman (at least the one who speaks), because she wouldn't be a Disney villain without henchmen.

The next showdown between Rapunzel and Mother Gothel includes the symmetrical Rapunzel Knows Best. Apart from that, we won't spoil the remainder of the film for you, but we found the entirety of it wholesome and definitely worth at least a watch or two.

An excellent adaptation that will prove to be fun for both adults and children alike, Tangled features music that will have you singing along, characters you'll be rooting for, and stunning animation you'll want to revisit. The well-known tale of Rapunzel is adapted here in a wholesome way that is acceptable for children, while also delivering a story that will make even adults feel something. While you may not find this anywhere near the top of your favorites when it comes to Disney films, and the characters may not be the most memorable, the experience is one you'll want to have again and again. 

With a stellar four star rating, Frozen will have a tough time beating this - but we'll deliver our next installment soon with our breakdown on that film and our thoughts on whether we agree with Tarantino or not!

IF



When the kingdom's most wanted - and most charming - bandit, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair.

Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief, and the unlikely duo set off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse Maximus, overprotective chameleon Pascal and a gruff gang of pub thugs.


Tangled is now available to stream on Disney+.
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