Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tangled review

After seeing countless animated films over my short 16 years on this planet, I've came up with three criteria that animated films must fulfil to ensure their success:

One: A plot that does not only have clear morals, but is also hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. In other words, if it makes your eyes water with tears of laughter/emotional trauma, it's a good plot.

Two: Likeable characters must be present throughout the film, with an easily identifiable villian. The meaner the better. In addition to this, character development needs to be clear as well.

Three: The most important criteria, you must have at least one character that is hilarious and adorable in every single scene that he or she is in.

Tangled ticks all three criteria.

If you haven't seen trailers for "Tangled", well... watch the link.

It's essentially Rapunzel with a contemporary script... and John Lasseter as executive producer.

Why bother to mention John Lasseter? He has been executive producer for basically EVERY Pixar animation. Toy Story 3? Yes. Up? Yes. The Incredibles? Yes. Toy Story? No. In fact, he was responsible for the story, directing the film and the modelling and animation system development. So basically, you could call Lassester the Godfather of animation...
Anyway, back to the Script. It all begins with a flower, grown from a drop of sunshine. This flower possesses incredible healing powers and is picked for Rapunzel's mother (Queen of the Kingdom) when she falls incredibly ill during the birth of her child. By drinking a broth made out of the flower, the Queen is cured and Rapunzel inherits the flowers incredible healing power, in the form of her long, luscious locks. However, an old woman named Gothel learns of these healing powers and uses Rapunzel's hair to remain youthful, stealing her away from her Mother and Father and locking her in a tower, with no contact with the outside world allowed, raising her as her own child. Enter Flynn Rider, a handsome thief who stole a crown from Rapunzel's parents and is running away from the "law". He chooses to hide in Rapunzel's tower, and after an incident with a frying pan (or rather, several incidents with a frying pan), Rapunzel has basically got Flynn as her prisoner. She hides the crown from Flynn and tells him that the only way that he will get it back is if he takes her to see the floating laterns that are released every year on her Birthday. Flynn reluctantly agrees and so their adventure begins.

Firstly, I have to admit that the visuals for this film were pretty much breathtaking. Not just on the animation front, but the shots used were highly artistic and in animations, great directing is hard to spot. Rapunzel's hair was so realistic, despite it being so god damn long. Her hair made a great plot device, happy to see Disney getting creative with CGI as well, especially seen as this marks their 50th movie and their first ever CGI fairytale. 

The plot was refreshingly funny, most humour was achieved through a mixture of character reactions and slapstick (Watch out for Rapunzel's frying pan, that's all I'm saying). However, Pascal the chameleon was the comedic highlight without a doubt.

He's cute, he's hilarious, he has a massive attitude and yet he's amazingly loyal. He is Rapunzel's best friend (in fact, he is her only friend) and refuses to leave her side. And for these reasons, I would quite happily say that he is my favourite Disney character. Ever.

Not only is "Tangled" a hilarious film, it is also heartbreaking. You don't hear the King or the Queen talk, they remain silent throughout, and for most of their screentime, you only see their grief. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that I wasn't getting teary eyes whilst watching their grief towards their missing child. It was very upsetting. This wasn't the only upsetting scene however, as the ending almost had me in tears (Not the final scene, but the climax of the movie? Oh yes.) Disney took the basic plot of the classic fairytale of "Rapunzel" and made it better, much better. 

Now, onto Gothel. I'd say that she is one of the most intriguing villains that Disney has ever created. At the beginning of the film, you see her as a human being, cruel for stealing away someone's daughter, selfish for trying to keep the flower for herself in the first place, but all in all, a human being. The viewers watch as Gothel raises Rapunzel like her daughter. So the question is raised: Does Gothel see Rapunzel as her own daughter or merely a way to remain young? She really is a complex character study. Especially towards the end, where obsession with vanity is apparent to all. Despite her "love" for Rapunzel, she is driven insane by her betrayal of leaving the tower and follows her around, making plans for how to shake her confidence in the outside world, acting all manipulative, you know, like every Disney villain. When the mirror breaks at the end, and we see Gothel rapidly ageing, you can see her vain attitude shining through, the broken image of beauty staring her in the face, in the form of broken shards of glass.

Brilliant character. Still unsure of my opinion on whether or not she loved Rapunzel. But still, very nice for Disney to show a villian with some form of humanity, losing it as she scales into insanity.

Sun symbolism is seen throughout the film, primarily because the sun was where Rapunzel inherited her powers from. But also because it symbolises life, happiness and warmth. Everybody loves Rapunzel and everybody loves the sun, so those two could tie together too. 

RATING: 9/10.

Awesome movie. Recommend it to you all!

Lauren xxx