My opinion right after watching film
My opinion about this movie is that it is a great film. The characters are strong (though I have some issues with them), the plot is not overly simple or complicated, with the perfect pacing, and this film truly embraced the Disney Princess style with CGI animation. It definitely brought new life to the studio, and started this new era we are in (though it did need help), but it is not one of the films that would be in my Top 10 or 15. I have grown a bigger appreciation for this film since the 4 years it has been revealed to the public.
Apparently the idea of adapting Rapunzel was being thrown around in the late 90s (14 years before its release), and the film officially started development in 2002. In 2003, it was called Rapunzel Unbraided, and was going to be released in 2007. It was going to be in the style of Shrek (remember, this was in the stage where they were imitating other studios), but Glen Keane wanted the film to have more heart and to be a bit more like the traditional fairy tale. In 2005, the name was changed to Unbraided, and was going to be released in the summer of 2009, but then the directors stepped down from the project, and were replaced by the directors of Bolt.
When it came to the animation, it was always intended to be in CGI, but Glen Keane wanted it the film to look and feel like a 2D film, though it is technically 3D. They apparently took some inspiration from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and used some of the models and built off of it into 3D, where they still had the shapes, but changed it up for the world in the film.
It is unsurprising to find out that they struggled with animating Rapunzel`s hair, and even had struggles in early 2010 (like 10 months before the movie was released), but they used some program used in Bolt to make the hair move believably in water, and so the hair could be animated in a special way.
When they were creating Flynn Rider, they got a bunch of women from the studio, and asked them what they think he should look like, and what was their idea of a hot man. They merged a bunch of features from models and celebrities and incorporated it into the Flynn we know now, with not being too macho, or a pretty boy.
So the film starts with Flynn (Zachary Levi) for unknown reasons narrating the story, and he explains to us that a drop of sunlight happens to drop on earth (and somehow not destroy it), causing a magical flower to grow. An older woman named Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) finds it, and somehow manages to know that if you sing s certain song, it will make you turn young, and she uses it to turn young. The Queen of Corona is very ill, which is bad, since she is pregnant, and The King has his guards search for the flower, and they take it, and use it to make the queen feel better. She gives birth to her baby Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), who has magical hair and all of that. Mother Gothel comes back for her flower (and you can tell she looks older), but sees that the hair of Rapunzel has the power of the flower. She tries to cut the hair off to get some of the healing, but the strand turns brown. This causes Gothel to kidnap the baby.
Once a year, the parents light up the lanterns as a signal for their lost daughter to return to them. We skip to the day before Rapunzel’s 18th birthday, where she plays with her chameleon Pascal. W
hat the fuck? There are chameleons in Europe? She sings When Will My Life Begin, which is not a very good song. This song is so poppy, which does not fit in the film, and the lyrics are not the best, and not that timeless to be honest. It does not capture my interest, though it does cover Rapunzel’s character well enough.
We automatically switch to Flynn Rider and The Stabbington Brothers (Ron Pearlman) climbing across the roof of the Corona tower, in hopes to steal the crown. Right off the bat, and Flynn’s dialogue annoys with me, with a lot of his modern talk, weird banter, and over the top lines. He is so close to get away with stealing the crown, but he decides to open up his mouth, ugh.
Flynn and the Stabbington Brothers are running from the palace guards, only for Flynn to ditch them when the brothers ask him to help them up, and he steals the crown. He hops onto a palace horse named Maximus, and it is funny how he just hates the hell out of Flynn. Their animation and the way they deal with one another is pretty funny to be honest. He gets the crown, and manages to get away from the guards and Maximus, and when he sees a tower, he climbs it up, to only be knocked out by Rapunzel’s frying pan. She examines him to see if he has pointy teeth (like Mother Gothel said earlier men did), and is shocked when that is proven false. Gothel soon comes back into the tower, and Rapunzel is about to tell her that she is strong enough to go outside, as she captured a burglar, but Gothel is not about that, and yells that she is NEVER LEAVING THIS TOWER, EVER, which scares Rapunzel, and causes her to back track and tells Gothel that she only wanted paint, which is a 3 day trip, but Gothel does it anyways.
After Gothel leaves for the second time, she released Flynn from the closet, and he is creeped out that he is tied to a chair by a bunch of hair. She tells him that she is ready to make a proposition with him, which is to take her to the lanterns that will light up tomorrow (which he tells her it is for the Lost Princess), and after he returns her home, she will give him back his satchel. He guesses where it is, and she knocks him out again.
So Flynn climbs down the tower with arrows, and Rapunzel swings down, and gets excited when her feet touch the grass for the first time, and feeling the wind. She sings When Will My Life Begin Reprise as she leaves the tower, and it is a lot better than the actual song, and you can really feel her excitement, and enjoy it with her.
Rapunzel goes from happy to sad within minutes/hours, as she had to disobey her mother to go outside, and Flynn uses this to her advantage, and tells her that it is a great thing to break her mother’s heart, thinking she will back out of the deal, but she refuses to do that. Rapunzel hops on him when she sees a bunny coming from a tree, and noticing that she can get panicked, he decides to take her to The Snuggly Duck diner, where there are ruffians and thugs all over the place.
Mother Gothel sees Maximus (who saw a Flynn cover, and knew it was him, despite his fucked up nose), a palace house near the tower, causing her to run back, and to tear the rocks off the actual door, climb up the stairs, and to see that Rapunzel is gone She sees the crown and the Flynn “Wanted” poster, and gets her damn knife.
Mother Gothel sees Rapunzel with Flynn through the window, but the palace guards enter the pub, and the thugs hide Rapunzel and Flynn long enough, before they tell them the secret passage. Mother Gothel sees them go through this passage, and threatens a drunk man at knife point to tell her where the passage way ends at. The Stabbington Brothers were carried with the guards, but they managed to escape, with the guards going to find a passage way.
Flynn refuses to tell her about his past, but he is interested to learn about hers, as he is starting to impress him, but apparently she refuses to talk about things like the hair and the mother. As soon as they exit the passage, they find everyone waiting to capture them, but after a brilliant chase scene, they escape them, but are trapped in a hole that is filled with water.
It is night time, and Flynn has a cut on his hand, so she heals his hand, which he becomes interested in and creeped out by at the same time. Rapunzel tells him that she was locked in the tower because her mother wanted to keep her safe. She wants to know more about his past, and when he does not want to give her his sob story, she moves closer to her in interest. He tells her that he was at an orphanage, and was inspired by a book character named Flynnigan Rider, who was rich, so Flynn thought that instead of getting a decent job, that it is good to leave the orphanage and to rob for about a decade. I feel somewhat sorry for him, but he had other options than stealing, and he literally does it only to get rich instead of survive like Aladdin. So he leaves to get firewood after Rapunzel tells him that she likes Eugene a lot better than Flynn (I do too Rapunzel), while Mother Gothel shows up.
She sings Mother Knows Best Reprise, and tells Rapunzel that the wanted thief would NEVER fall in love with a freak like her, and that he only wants the crown and will ditch her as soon as he gets it. If you replace crown with sex, and it is a VERY interesting song.
It is the next morning, and Flynn wakes up with a pissed Maximus in his face. He pulls Flynn away, but is stopped by Rapunzel right as they are about to fight. She and Pascal calm down Maximus, and tells him to leave Flynn alone until she sees the lanterns, since it is officially her 18th birthday and all, and OF COURSE the animal does what Rapunzel says.
Well they enter the royal kingdom, and Rapunzel looks like a girl who just entered Dinsyeworld for the first time (which they based the scene off of), and after a bunch of girls tie her hair into a huge braid that almost touches the floor, Flynn is clearly enamored. With a montage sequence with the Kingdom Dance score, they spend the entire day together, doing many activities, and both struggling to dance with one another, because others are always taking them for a dance partner. When they are finally to dance with one another, both of them smile at one another, and the villagers tells everyone to head to the boats. It is clear that they are in love with one another now.
So Rapunzel tells him on the boat that she is terrified that seeing the lights won’t be as amazing as she thought, and worried that she won’t know what to do next, with him telling her that the good part is that she gets to find a new dream, menaing……que the love song, but this film’s song is I See The Light, which is….apparently one another. Okay… They sound really nice together, and the melody is nice, and the lyrics are good. It is just a bit confusing with their situation and what is happening in the scene I guess.
Flynn gets in the way of their first kiss when he sees the Stabbington Brothers on the coast, causing him to row the boat there, and tells her to wait. He gives the crown, so he can get with Rapunzel, but they refuse, saying that they want the girl. The brothers go after Rapunzel and as soon as they are going to bag her, Mother Gothel (who was working with them since yesterday to get what they want) knocks them out, causing Rapunzel to cry, since Flynn is gone (which the brothers telling her he ditched her), but we come to realize that it is false when Flynn is tied up on a boat, which is headed to the royal guards, causing him to get arrested.
So Flynn escapes with the help of the thugs, Rapunzel weirdly finds out she is the lost princess and confronts Mother Gothel on being the wicked bitchy witch that stole her, and used her to get young, Mother Gothel goes all bad guy on her eyes and ties her up as they are about to leave, Flynn climbs the tower and is stabbed by Gothel when he enters and I will slow down with the run on sentences. Rapunzel tells her she will go with her if she lets her save Flynn, but he never lets her do that, as he cuts her hair with a broken glass piece, causing her hair to go brown, and for Gothel to die from extremely old age, before falling to her death. Flynn almost dies, but is saved by her teat, she is reunited by her parents, Flynn narrates to us that he did not remember the week long party in the kingdom
implying he was drunk for most of it, and that him and Rapunzel did not wed until many years of him asking.
I have to say that I do kind of like all of these characters. They have strong personalities, and while I do wish there was some more depth to some of them, overall they are an entertaining and engaging group of people, and do their roles well. An issue I did have with the cast overall is that I wished they were more original.
The animation is beautiful The textures are on point, there is not the overly angular and detailed designs in the CGI, though it is not simple, the coloring give off the innocent, pureness that the film is trying to get off, and the characters move really well. Rapunzel and Flynn look like actual humans, and they have their own quirks in the animation. This film showed that they are just as good as Pixar and DreamWorks with CGI.
I have mixed opinions on the music. Most of the songs are not memorable or pleasing to me, except for a few songs (Mother Knows Best, its reprise, and maybe I See The Light), and they are pretty bland. The score can be good at times too, but at other times, it is not memorable. You know, cookie-cutter type at times, and very simple. Eh.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 21st, 2010, it had a very big opening, but it was competing against Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1, getting it to number 2 on opening weekend. It did better on its second week, going up to spot number 1. In North America, it earned $200,821,936, and it made $390,973,000 elsewhere, for a total amount of $591,794,936. This was a huge hit for Disney and it managed to outgross every film, except for The Lion King (this was before Frozen was released, and bumped it down to the third highest grossing WDAS film).
It got a lot of positive reception by the critics and audience. Some saw this film as revitalizing the studio from its downhill spiral, modernizing the typical fairy tale, but keeping the charm, and giving us engaging characters and beautiful animation, so on and so on. Some people did pan the music for being bland and forgettable, and others saw this film as too gimmicky and DreamWorks, or just a passable film, but the positives were a lot bigger than the negatives.
I have to mention the title change controversy before we speak about the accolades. Shortly after the release and the under-performance of The Princess and the Frog, the title was changed from Rapunzel to Tangled. MANY people were livid and furious with this, accusing Disney of being sexist, desperately trying to fit in the cool crowd, and it being as stupid as if the title of The Little Mermaid title was changed to Beached. The audience knew that it was a cheap marketing decision to draw more boys (as it is apparently the reason why its predecessor did not do as well), with the studio saying that they changed it because Rapunzel is not only the main character in the film, and it is like Toy Story being named Buzz Lightyear, (which the audience completely saw as BULLSHIT) but John Lasseter himself confirmed March of this year what we already knew. “There was an audience perception that these movies were just for little girls[,] but when boys, men, whatever actually see these movies[,] they like them. So on Rapunzel … we changed the name and we called it Tangled. We did marketing that made the people who would not normally show up say, ‘Hey, this looks pretty good’”.
So this film was nominated for a bunch of awards, but lost most of them to Toy Story 3 or How To Train Your Dragon. 2010 was a tough year for the animation field.
Well, 4 years after its release, it is still remembered, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are the 10th couple in the Disney Prince(sse)s collection, and they are all over the theme park, with many saying that this film brought WDAS back in the game, and started this new Revival Era we are currently in (which I agree with that statement). But ever since the release of Frozen, it is only really talked about when it is compared to that film, and Tangled has been overshadowed……like A LOT.
= 32/40 = 80%
17 thoughts on “Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: Tangled”
Good review. But I have to be honest, Tangled, to me at least, is not one of my favorite Disney movies. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t HATE or even DISLIKE this movie. It does have good things in it such as the animation and characters (mostly in my opinion), but it’s not a movie I find myself coming back to. I’m not much of a fan of Mother Gothel, as I think she lacks the spark that other Disney villains had (though she had a great death in the form of rapidly aging to dust once her source of immortality was gone) and, as you said yourself, the music and songs range from average to bland. So I guess this film is to me what The Lion King is to you: one that I don’t like quite as much as other Disney films. That’s just the way I feel.
A couple of nitpicks that I have. First: I don’t think I like the new length of hair Rapunzel gets at the end of the film. For me, it could have been just a little longer. I know Eugene wasn’t concerned with that fact as he was dying, but he could have cut Rapunzel’s hair just a bit longer. Maybe just past shoulder length or something. Now she’s stuck with that low cut hair that’s cut off at the ears. And second: I got a bit of a deus ex machina vibe at the end when her tear revives him even though she just lost her healing powers. My only guess as to how that happened is that when her hair lost its healing properties, the healing powers found a new home in the form of her tears. So if she wants to use them again, she has to sing the special song and cry on people now? Or maybe it was just the last of it altogether? I don’t know. I’ve nitpicked enough, so I’ll stop.
Next is what I believe to be the absolute last traditionally animated feature film to come from Disney: Winnie the Pooh. I haven’t seen the film from beginning to end, but I’ve seen parts of it and I’ll plan on seeing it in its entirety this week. I hope you mentioned the ATROCIOUS marketing and placement it had in your review. I guess I’ll see next week.
^^^^^This, very much. Same “nitpicks,” plus the fact that Eugene could have cut Rapunzel’s hair AFTER he was healed, but it could have been worse.
Tangled isn’t a top favourite of mine either, but I would rewatch it from time to time. Mother Gothel is the villain I think that has the biggest mixed response. I guess this film to you is how The Lion King is to me, which is perfectly fine and understandable. I didn’t really care for this film until like 2 years ago.
I have heard complaints about the tear from many people, but I think they did that because that is how it happened in the actual fairytale. The length of her new hair could have been a lot better.
Yes, you will see next week.
Just about every Disney film is overshadowed by Frozen, though, lol. Good review, still think that Rapunzel is not that strong of a lead without many “stakes” if she didn’t reach the lanterns, but she’s not bad and her relationship with Eugene is still good. Yeah, Tangled should have gotten more awards than it received if only the Annie Awards hadn’t messed up, just like How to Train Your Dragon taking the awards for “Best Writing in a Feature Production” over Toy Story 3.
I will get into Frozen in 3 weeks.
I definitely agree with you on Rapunzel, and how she has a lack of stakes, but there is some relatability to her.
I know that Swanpride knows more about this than I do, but apparently there was an issue with WDAS and the Oscars that year, which explains the lack of nominations.
Yeah, did you ever watch AniMat’s video on the topic?
His video on what?
Sorry foe the late response. AniMat made a video titled, “Are the Annie Awards Rigged?” about the problem with the voting. It’s still on YouTube.
I just watched the video, and it is very interesting. I remember swanpride bringing this up, which explains the lack of Tangled nominations, and HTTYD winning everything at the annies. It is very suspicious, and Animat is 100% correct in this.
I adore the score of the movie! (honestly, just hear it isolated from the movie, it is one of Menken’s best if you ask me). The songs…the lyrics are finally clever again (I was serious when I wrote that I hope that Menken will team up with this song writer again), it’s just the first song. It is not as strong as it should be. The tone-setter should draw the audience in, but when will my life begin is one of the worst I want songs Disney ever used.
I wouldn’t compare Flynn with Aladdin or any of those other characters. He gets a pass from me, because Flynn rider is only a mask. He is Eugene. And Eugene is insecure, caring, and ready to sacrifice himself…everything I love in a man. Plus an odd sense of humour which makes me smile.
The score is definitely great, and some of the lyrics in some of the songs are great, while some of the other lyrics in other songs are mixed for me. When Will My Life Begin probably did turn off many people when it comes to the music.
I do not think it is an entire mask. He has been like that for who knows how many years, so it becomes an instinct for him, so he did adapt some of those cocky traits, to make him Flynn. I still feel like he could have been a bit more original, but that’s just me.
Good review and good movie!
I wonder if Disney will make a live-action film called ‘Gothel’?
That would be a really good idea. We need to get to know Gothel more, and she deserves to have her own movie.
Tangled spawned a tv series that premiered in 2017. Between that, Tangled Ever After came out in 2012.