Saturday, October 23, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney's "Tangled"

Disney has a new Princess and she's the queen of "Whip My Hair"

About this time last year, Disney introduced Princess Tiana in the movie "The Princess and the Frog".  Well, Tiana is about to be dethroned as the newest Disney princess by none other than Princess Rapunzel in the new Disney movie "Tangled".

Thursday, my son and I saw an advance screening of "Tangled" at the Birmingham Uptown Palladium.  But that was not my first time seeing the movie.  When I was in New York for the BlogHer conference, I saw an advance screening of the Disney movie "Secretariat".  Before "Secretariat" was shown, we bloggers were treated to the first 7 minutes of "Tangled", so I knew a few months ago that the Disney version of the story of Rapunzel was going to be out of this world exciting and like no version of the story that I had previously read.

The movie "Tangled" starts out telling the Disney version of the story of how Rapunzel came to be trapped in that tower that we all read about as children.  Rapunzel's mother falls ill while in childbirth and is about to die.  To save his dying wife and unborn child, the king sends his army to look for a special flower that legend says can heal any sickness. The flower has been hidden for years by an evil old woman who has been using the flower's healing powers to keep herself young. The soldiers find the flower and the queen is healed and gives birth to Princess Rapunzel. Rapunzel is born with the power of healing in her hair and the old evil woman steals the baby and raises her as her own child so that she can use Rapunzel's power to stay young.

The king and queen are devastated by the kidnapping of their child. So every year, on Rapunzel's birthday, they release thousands of lanterns in the sky in the hope that one day Rapunzel will return to them. Rapunzel (voiced by Manny Moore) has been trapped in the tower for 18 years and has never left, although she longs for freedom and to see the magic lanterns that mysteriously appear every year on her birthday.

One day a handsome thief (voiced by Zachery Levi) steals Rapunzel's crown from the castle of the king and queen and that theft sets off a chain of events that finally releases Rapunzel from her tower and from the fears of the unknown that she has carried around since she was a baby.

Like every Disney princess tale, "Tangled" is an exciting, complex story about goodness, evil, hate, love, fear, destiny, selfishness and total sacrifice.  Although we did not see it in 3D, this movie should be seen in 3D because of the bigger than life scenes in the film and the exciting storyline. I had to hold my son in his seat at times during the numerous chase scenes in the movie.

Speaking of exciting, the character of Princess Rapunzel is no shrinking violet in this story. She is not waiting for a prince to save her in this tale. She is both sweet as pie and a tough cookie who fights evil better that any solider.  Everyone will love the intricate things that Rapunzel does with her piles of hair from using it as a elevator to turning it into every kind of fighting weapon imaginable. Despite the traditional story setting, Princess Rapunzel is a modern, highly intelligent princess who falls in love not with a prince, but with a bad boy with a good heart.

I and my son really enjoyed "Tangled" and I predict when the movie debuts on November 24th, Princess Rapunzel will become the new reigning queen of the Disney Princesses. And if Disney were smart (if they have not already), they should buy the rights to Willow Smith's new tween pop song "Whip My Hair" and use it in the marketing of "Tangled".

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