Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Walt Disney Animation Studios: Part 50: Tangled

Series Intro: This is Part 50 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors.

Official Title: Tangled
Release: November 24, 2010
Running Time: 100 minutes
Estimated Cost: $260 million (nearly twice the cost of Frog)
Estimated Revenue: $590.72 million
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Rapunzel holds a drop of sun in her body, thanks to her mother using it to survive childbirth. However, the flower that had grown from the drop of sun was being used by Mother Gothel to stay young. After hundreds of years of staying young, Mother Gothel steals the baby and discovers her hair now holds the magic of the sun and locks her in a tower.

Eighteen years later, Rapunzel wants to leave the tower to find out about the festival of lights that occurs on her birthday. Of course Mother Gothel refuses, but Rapunzel tricks Mother Gothel to leave the tower for a few days.

Flynn Ryder, local thief, has stumbled upon Rapunzel’s tower, while running away from the lead horse of the guard (Max), for stealing the princess’ crown. Rapunzel makes Flynn take her to the festival to see the lights in person.

Rapunzel and Flynn have many misadventures (ala the frogs in Princess and the Frog and many other buddy films from WDAS). But Mother Gothel has grown wise to their scheme and sends Flynn’s betrayed partners after them.

After the wonderful day at the festival, Rapunzel and Flynn find themselves in harms way as Flynn is captured by the guard and Rapunzel returns home after an attack by Flynn’s partners. Rapunzel believes Flynn sold her out, and is betrayed as she just thought they were falling in love.

While home Rapunzel realizes she is the lost princess for whom the festival of the lights is for. At the same time, Flynn escapes a hanging thanks to his fellow riff-raff (whom were charmed by Rapunzel). Mother Gothel, refusing to let Rapuzel return to her true home, begins to take her away from the tower, when Flynn (thanks to his new partner, Max) enters to be stabbed by Gothel. Rapunzel trades her freedom for saving Flynn. Gothel agrees, but Flynn has another plan, he cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and it looses all its magic. Gothel falls out the window (with a little help from Pascal (Rapunzel’s chameleon side-kick). Rapunzel cries over her lost love, but her tears contain the drop of sun and save his life.

Flynn and Rapunzel return to the castle to be welcomed into the royal family. And they lived happily ever after.

1. When Will My Life Begin?
2. Mother Knows Best
3. When Will My Life Begin? (Reprise)
4. I’ve Got A Dream
6. Mother Knows Best (Reprise)
7. I See the Light
8. Healing Incantation

Welcome back Mr. Menken! It has been too long. The music for this movie was interesting. While there were some standout songs, like “I’ve Got A Dream” (that evoked old feelings of belonging not seen in quiet a few movies). I didn’t quite like the pop feel of the “I want” song – “When Will My Life Begin?”

Plot Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The music, did help move this plot along, and the whole movie hand a much closer structure to WDAS’ renaissance. I fell in love with both leads almost from the moment they were on the screen.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5
WOW! Just WOW! Finally, WDAS has learnt from PIXAR. The CG animation was clean and the hair was amazing (not just Rapunzel’s 70 feet) but all of it. The soft matted backgrounds from Bolt return to make the characters live in a hand painted world. The characters moved and lived very well in the world. Of course though, there were some moments when the CG was overwhelming, but they were few and infrequent, although when they happened (say when a character was moving too fast) it did take me out of the story and reminded me that I was watching CG.

I did have some trouble believing that Rapunzel was 18. She was so much smaller and less developed than Mother Gothel and the Queen. I kept thinking she was 14 or 15.

The Test of Time:
Rapunzel became the 10th Disney Princess even before the movie hit the theaters. I think Disney was jumping the gun, and we do need to wait.

I also feel that this section will close now too, and be called “Final Thoughts,” as “The Test of Time” can’t exist from now on, as not enough time has passed.

Final Thoughts:
WDAS was extremely proud of this movie, as it marked the 50th animated movie released into theaters.

Next Up:
Winnie the Pooh

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