With the distinction of being their 50th Animated Feature, Disney's Tangled 3-D from Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, is a re-imagination of the classic Fairytale Rapunzel by The Brothers Grimm. Enhanced with some modern sensibilities and some intricately detailed-CGI, Children and Adults have something exciting to be excited about.
Gifted with long, magically healing locks, baby Princess Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is kidnapped and raised in a life of solitude by Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), whose youthful looks are dependent solely on the powers which radiate from her hair. Devilishly handsome Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) is a Thief who happens to steal the Tiara which rightfully belongs to Rapunzel. He betrays the Stabbington Brothers (Ron Perlman), escaping with their coveted find and as a result, Flynn is a wanted man. As fate would have it though, coincidentally he finds safety in Rapunzel's Tower while fleeing from the Stabbington Brothers.
Mother Gothel and Rapunzel are experiencing strains in their Mother-Daughter relationship. Approaching her 18th birthday, Rapunzel feels repressed by her Mother's oppressive ways, not being allowed to go out and see the World. Her only dream is to be able to witness the Festival of Floating Lanterns, an annual event held by her birth parents in hopes of one day being brought back together with their daughter; Rapunzel however, is oblivious to the true meaning of the Festival but does find it odd that it is held every year on her Birthday.
After realizing that she will never be granted her greatest wish of being emancipated, Rapunzel sends Mother Gothel on the task of locating Sea Shells to be made into Paint as her Birthday Gift, as this is one of the few things she is allowed to enjoy in life. This buys Rapunzel some time to coax Flynn whom she imprisons secretly with her hair, persuading him to take her to see the Festival while her Mother is away. As both Flynn and Rapunzel spend time with one another, their attraction grows stronger despite their v. different values. Will Rapunzel be able to escape the wrath of evil Mother Gothel, who is unbudging in keeping her all to herself? Will Flynn avoid being captured for his crimes and are his feelings for Rapunzel true or does he have ulterior motives? And most of all, will Rapunzel ever be able to break free and live life on her own terms, reuniting with her true parents?
Don't be fooled by its unassuming guise as a Children's Movie, Tangled 3-D is rich, multi-layered and as is mandatory in any Disney film, emotional.... without Candy Coating it. And did I mention what a visual spectacle it is? Although it doesn't have the flashiness which say, Cars 2 or TRON: Legacy might promise, the Film tastefully uses its 3-D technology to punctuate scenes rather than driving them. Case in point, the Film's most touching moment comes where Flynn and Rapunzel finally make it to the Festival of Floating Lanterns, a scene beautifully lit by a incandescent shower of Lanterns. One cannot help but feel a part of the Romance and even the Children at my Screening were vocal in their awe, reaching out to touch the Screen.
The underrated Moore shines in the role of Rapunzel, being challenged both vocally as a Singer and as an Actress with much range required of her in transforming from naive and subservient to outright angry and defiant, because she refuses to have her fate written for her. Levi is charming, having some fun with his flawed and unconventional Hero, but Theatre star Murphy is most stellar of all in her cruelness, understanding fully what it is that drives Mother Gothel in her all-out obsession with Youth; one of the most memorable Disney Villains in years.
Although it will have a bit of a challenge appealing to audiences who already may know the story of Rapunzel all too well, Disney's Tangled 3-D will have both your eyes and your heart French Braided with its twists. The Film hits theatres on November 24, 2010. Grade: A-
Check out some of these pics I got of Moore earlier this week in Toronto promoting Tangled 3-D.