Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard.
Cast: (voices of) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman.
REMEMBER when Disney was known for their quality animated movies, as opposed to their purchasing of reflected glory through business deals with Marvel and Pixar?
Tangled is a return to those halcyon days when Disney reigned supreme with its hand-drawn tales of princesses and fairy tales, except this time they're doing it CG-style - albeit using the most sumptuous and beautiful (and expensive) CG you've ever seen.
A throwback to the likes of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid, Tangled takes the Grimm Brothers' Rapunzel and gives it a twist. Thankfully, it's not a Shrek-esque twist filled with pop-culture gags. No, this is a charmingly told tale that's big on intelligent storytelling, stunning visuals and a healthy dose of slapstick.
You probably already know the basics: Rapunzel's got long hair and she's locked in a tower. Where scriptwriter Dan Fogelman gets inventive is the reasons - Rapunzel's lengthy locks hold restorative powers and she is being kept prisoner by her "mother", who uses Rapunzel's magical hair to keep her forever young.
About to turn 18, Rapunzel's shut-in lifestyle gets turned upside-down by the arrival of thief Flynn Rider and soon the pair are on the run from Rapunzel's mother, Rider's old accomplices, some royal guards and a bloodhound-like horse named Maximus.
This has all the benchmarks of the Disney princess movies, despite the studio's idiotic re-naming of the film (largely seen as an attempt to make it appeal to boys who wouldn't see a Disney princess movie). Disney claims it changed the film's title from Rapunzel to Tangled to emphasise Flynn Rider's role in the film, and he's certainly no Prince Charming - he's an homage to Errol Flynn with a twist of Han Solo - but that title-change excuse doesn't fly. This is a Disney princess movie - there's the anthropomorphic (but not talking) animals, the sweet virginal heroine, the songs, and the love story that must overcome all manner of obstacles.
Thankfully, the songs are short and not-too-bad (the Muppets-meets-Monty Python absurdity of I've Got A Dream is good fun) and the love story is imbued with some nice themes - overprotective parenting vs the dangers of the world, following your dream, etc.
Don't let its princessness put you off - Tangled is Disney recapturing its magic and that fairy-tale sense of wonder that made its films appeal to boys, girls, mums, dads, nanas and pas in a silly yet wonderful way.