Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tangled (FINALLY!)

Most of the time I don't mind being hard of hearing. Sure it makes some daily things (like making phone calls) difficult or impossible, but modern technology has bridged a lot of barriers so that I can for the most part function fairly normally.

However the one major lack of accessibility is the movie theatre. Although some theatres (notably AMC and Regal) are offering open or rear view captioning options, they are still limited by the price of equipment, existence of a large reliable audience, and access to the necessary captions by the studios.

So although "Tangled" was captioned in other states, it never got to a theatre near me (and that's from a woman who has been known to travel 40 minutes to reach a captioned version -- for a midnight opening!). Needless to say it got a bit old hearing everyone rave about what a wonderful film it was. I never doubted this -- I'd been following the project since the first promotional picture hit the internet several years ago and had always been thrilled that Disney was finally translating Rapunzel to film. And I vastly enjoyed seeing Zachari Levi (CHUCK!!!!) and Mandy Moore perform their duet at the Oscars.

Finally, it came out on DVD. I was thrilled and immediatly made plans to rent it from the Redbox. Except... this movie was apparently SO good that everyone else always managed to get to it first! I tried reserving it twice -- but was foiled each time, either by technology or slow internet. I even tried dashing in to snatch up a copy, only to find that it had disappeared (although the computer still registared it as checked in at that unit).

Finally I made my plight known on my facebook status and my neighbor immediately chimed in with her own difficulties in tracking down a copy. However, having four children meant that she could justify going ahead and buying a copy, which she graciously agreed to lend me.

Needless to say, I had very high expectations of the film.
They were not disappointed.

Tangled is, from first to last, wonderful. It has an engaging story that moves quickly, a fresh and interesting cast of what may be the best three-dimensional characters to appear in a Disney Animated film, and visuals that are absolutely breathtaking. Of especial note are of course Madam Gothel (who breaks much of villian tradition for a more sympathetic portrayal), Rapunzel (whose spunk, youthfulness and joy in the small things gives her an enchanting realisim without loosing the essence of Disney Princess), and Flynn (who carries more personality than nearly all previous Disney Princes, and also gains a special place in my heart as he was created as a homage to Errol Flynn's Robin Hood whom I adore).

Normally I don't post this many pictures on a review these days, but honestly, Tangled is such a masterpiece of art that I can't resist it. And the stills only capture a small part of the magic. The expressions and body movement are superb. The animators really outdid themselves this time, creating a film that rightly deserves to stand alongside classics like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin."

In fact, I only had two qualms with the entire film. One is that the dialogue faltered in a few places. This was especially disappointed as Disney's last princess film (The Princess and the Frog) blew me away by the solidity of its script. It's possible that this difference is only in my mind and is due to the different expectations I had going into the films, but I did watch "The Princess and the Frog" more than once and it held up to repeated viewing.

Tangled was also eclipsed by "The Princes and the Frog" in the music department. Neither film reaches the heights of "The Little Mermaid" or other Disney classics, but "The Princess and the Frog" does a much better job of delivering songs that are memorable and catchy. I think a part of this might be related to the fact that "The Princess and the Frog" delves heavily into the rich musical traditions of New Orleans, while "Tangled" stays mainly in the arena of modern pop.

That's not to say that "Tangled" doesn't deliver any memorable songs, for it does, however even then the magic still comes more from the visuals than the music itself. However it did create one of my favorite sequences in the movie, which was the floating lights scene pictured above. (Absolutely breathtaking. Can I have lights like that at my wedding? Please? Okay, so I have an obsession with pretty lights...)

Long story short, I love this film and look forwards to adding it to my collection of films when my budget allows.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I fully agree, this movie is amazing!!! I also love prtty light and have to sigh in rapture everytime I see that lantern scene!=)