Full of heart: Disney’s ‘Tangled’ delivers smoothly


Image courtesy of Yahoo Movies

This Thanksgiving, Disney Pictures presents Tangled, the newest installment in their collection of fairytale animation.

Rapunzel, a feisty princess with 70 feet of magical, golden hair and a hankering to see the world, has been locked in a tower for 18 years of her life by Mother Gothel, a controlling, manipulative and over-protective villain who is also the only mother Rapunzel has ever known. Flynn Rider is the kingdom’s most wanted bandit who’s always relied on his charm, wit and good looks to get him out of trouble. When Flynn hides out in Rapunzel’s tower and she takes him hostage, the two strike an unlikely alliance. The ensuing adventure is a modern twist on a classic fairytale that will enchant audiences with its warmth, humo, and stunning visual appeal.

“Tangled is so full of hilarious characters, but it also has tremendous action and a lot of heart,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, in a press release. “We wanted to create a unique world and story that evoke the rich, dramatic feeling that is classically Disney, but is also fresh and humorous, and that gives the audience something it has never seen before in computer animation. The filmmakers have created a world that builds on Disney’s heritage but transports us to a land that is completely new.”

The story of Rapunzel has long fascinated the master storytellers at Disney; it has, in fact, been in development since the 1940s under Walt Disney himself. Directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno helped steer Tangled to the big screen.

“Nathan was working on the story before we became the directors, and he saw a real spark in Rapunzel that was starting to come out,” Howard stated in a press relase. “That grew into our initial conversation about the movie. We asked ourselves, ‘Who is this character, and how quickly can we get her out of the tower?’ We knew that she had to propel the whole story, and if she’s stuck in this room for the whole show, we’re not going to get anywhere. That really affected what we needed her character to be.”

“We wanted to make her a more dynamic character, and that meant having someone else to balance her out,” added Greno. “She needed someone to be her foil and equal – a character who could hold his own against this quirky, intelligent girl. She’s very smart, but she’s not worldly. She has this limited world view and doesn’t really know what’s out there. That’s where Flynn Rider comes in. He’s the worldly, sharp guy who’s been around the block a few times and knows how the world works. Throughout the film, they both fill in what’s missing in each other.”

Mandy Moore (License to Wed) lends her voice to the character of Rapunzel, while Zachary Levi (NBC’s Chuck) portrays the voice of Flynn Rider. Both actors create dynamic, lovable characters with distinct and memorable personalities that develop as the film progresses. They also add impressive vocal performances to the film’s musical score. Tangled features five new songs and a score by eight-time Oscar-winning composer/songwriter Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas and Enchanted). Lyrics are by Glenn Slater, a Tony and Grammy nominee for his work on The Little Mermaid.

The magic and creativity that pour out of Disney Studios is evident throughout the film. The animation challenges of 70 feet of hair turn into more clever uses for hair than anyone ever imagined. Technical achievement also adds to the fun and spectacle of Tangled. The result is some of the most complex and intricate effects ever seen in CG, including the glowing look of Rapunzel’s magic hair, a spectacular sky full of candle-lit lanterns and a flash flood that made the audience gasp.

“Seeing the film in 3D allows viewers to experience the story and action in a way they never could before,” noted Howard. “Instead of just seeing castles as painted backgrounds, the kingdom suddenly becomes a real place. The forest is real, with dimensional dust mote particles floating in the shafts of light. The audience is totally immersed in the same environment as the characters.”

For viewers seeking film entertainment this holiday season, Tangled in 3D is sure to impress.

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