When I first heard that Disney was finally making a movie based on the fairy tale Rapunzel, I had mixed feelings about it. I had seen the other Disney princesses movies, liking some more than others, and becoming rather disappointed with the more recent princesses *coughTianacough* so I had low expectations for Tangled. My curiosity was sparked when I began seeing the promotional posters, and then we saw the first trailer, and I thought better of the movie. So my sisters and I put our money together and rented Tangled on the day it came out on DVD.
On the first viewing, it was hilarious. We watched it twice that night and instantly loved it. We watched part of it again the next day before taking it back to the movie store. In a word, it was EPIC. :)
Yes, again that word. It's such an epic word. But moving on...
But why is Tangled such a likable movie?
(Please note I hold spoilers in high opinion. I write them in intentionally. Proceed at your own risk.)
One of the reasons I liked it so much was that Rapunzel was so different than the other iconic Disney princesses. Think about Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White... they met their Prince Charming, fell in love instantly, and married without a second thought (yeah, I'm not too fond of the love at first sight thing and basing a marriage on one romantic song). Rapunzel didn't. She and Flynn did not get along at first. Their preliminary relationship was built around a frying pan. Seriously. Then it was through the adventure that followed when they learned to trust each other and their friendship grew into something deeper. Their romance really wasn't the main focus of the movie, but rather came out on a side note for the happily ever after.
Rapunzel also has long, blonde hair like myself, but of course that doesn't affect my opinion. ;)
Rapunzel is the long lost princess of the kingdom, but from the beginning of the movie, she doesn't know that. All she knows is that she's got a magical gift that must be protected and she must trust her mother without question. Her one dream is to leave the tower and go see the lanterns that appear every night on her birthday. Not too much to ask, right? Well, in Mother Gothel's opinion, it's WAY too much to ask. And Rapunzel must never ask to leave this tower... again. But does Rapunzel listen? Nope. Why? 'Cause she's got Flynn Rider tucked away in her closet and there's a plan forming in her mind.
A little rebellion, that's good. Healthy, even. My family and I all disapprove of Flynn's words here. Rebellion ain't healthy. It's as the sin of witchcraft. Highly condemnable. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox.
So, Rapunzel makes a deal with Flynn Rider, promising to return his satchel to him if he takes her to see the lanterns. She brings along her trusty frying pan and her frog... chameleon... nuance.
Loved Pascal. How is it possible to not love a chameleon?
Flynn Rider... was I the only one who burst out laughing when he admitted that his real name was Eugene Fitzherbert? Wow. No wonder he changed his name! *ahem* I'm calm. But anywho... Flynn is, like Rapunzel, vastly different from the iconic Disney princes (going back to Cinderella's prince who I believe really doesn't have a name other than Charming, ditto for Snow White's prince, and then also Prince Philip who I will admit is possibly one of the better princes based on the fact that he has a sword and USES IT). Uh... where was I?
Oh, Flynn isn't some handsome prince with a fantasmagorical (and yes, incorrigible spellcheck, that is a word) castle and magnificent horse to boot. Nope. He's a thief who wants a castle to call his own and is continuously running away from a horse throughout the entire story. But you really can't help but like him from the moment he steps onto the screen. For one thing, he actually has a part in the course of the movie. He talks! (Yeah, *ahem* Prince Philip, I'm looking at you here; there's a point against you) You get to really know him. And he uses a sword... er, frying pan. :)
I think one more thing that made this movie really popular was the use of modern lingo in a medieval time setting. Flynn has his smolder (which I regard with Rapunzel's confused look), and he talks just opposite from what you'd expect real medieval people to talk. “I know not who you are, nor how I came to find you, but may I just say... Hi. The name's Flynn Rider. How's your day going?” My sisters and I like to joke how Flynn went from Shakespeare directly into surfer dude with this line. And then you've got, “Ooh, mama! I have got to get me one of these!” Who in that time would have said mama in that context? I won't condemn Flynn for speaking like that, as it really just made the movie all that more memorable. And quotable, I might add.
Dun dun Duhnnnnn!!! Mother Gothel. IMHO, one of the worst fairy tale villains of all time. Why? Because she's not openly evil, like the evil Stepmother, Malificent, and the other stepmother queen person. We all know she's bad right from the beginning of the film (thanks to Flynn's narration about the old woman who sang to a flower... creepy, right?), but Rapunzel has no idea that Gothel's a kidnapper. She innocently thinks her the mother she must love and obey. Gothel steals the beloved baby princess away just so that she can stay young and live forever. She doesn't really care for Rapunzel's opinions and whenever Rapunzel seems to notice something amiss, Gothel acts like it's all a big joke. She cares for no one but herself, demonstrated definitely by her actions. She'll kidnap a baby from loving parents. She'll scare Rapunzel into staying in the tower. She'll double cross the Stabbington brothers. She'll kill Flynn. There's no limit as to what she would do to obtain what she wants. Evil, evil, evil...
There are so many great characters in this movie, one of which is the great Maximus. Haha!! He's stubbornly loyal and steadfastly into doing whatever it takes to mete out judgment to those who deserve it... until he meets Rapunzel. Because it's her birthday, he'll temporarily pardon Flynn. I think the reason Maximus liked Rapunzel so much right away was because she was one of the first people to really show affection for him. He'd lived his life under all the guards where everything was strict and structured. There was no time for affection. So when he received the love from Rapunzel, he enjoyed it and loved her in return. He may still have been loyal to the kingdom and the guards, but love and loyalty transferred to Rapunzel which explains why he helps Flynn later escape the dungeon to save Rapunzel.
By the way, was I the only one who wondered what Maximus did while Flynn climbed the tower and did what he did up there at the end? Nobody appreciates Maximus, do they? Do they? Left him all alone while Rapunzel and Flynn cut (no pun intended) into their happily ever after. Though, Maximux ended well... not that we can say that for most of the apples. :)
The pub thugs are (cue my second favorite word) Epic. I'm not going to go into them in detail, but what can you not say about them? They've all got dreams and, despite their gruff appearance, they're always ready to help out a damsel in distress. That's epic.
I'll say it now: I have just about every single song from this movie memorized, and I sing at least one of them every day. I love the music in this movie!! With the exception of the first song (in which my family doesn't care at all for the electronic guitar or whatever it is that plays while Rapunzel sweeps the floor and knits and whatnot), I really enjoy this soundtrack! Mother Knows Best and I've Got a Dream are two of my absolute favorites. It's just those classic, stick in your head until they drive you insane Disney songs. Love it. Two of my other favorite songs that don't include singing are Flynn Wanted and Kingdom Dance. I love the jumpy feel to the music as Flynn and Maximus battle for command of the satchel, and Kingdom Dance is just beautiful with the gorgeous orchestra/enchanting medieval/haunting fun feel to it. I'm actually listening to it right now. :)
Well, I think that's about it. So, to wrap it all up, my final thoughts:
Rating out of 5 stars: Hmm... 5 stars.
Did I enjoy Tangled? YES, YES, YES!!
Did I enjoy Tangled? YES, YES, YES!!
Would I watch it again? YES!! A thousand times, yes!
Would I recommend it to other people? For the most part, yes. Just watch with a teeny bit of discretion. And remember your frying pan.