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Tangled [Blu-ray review]

Tangled Blu-ray

Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachari Levi, Donna Murphy
Directed by: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Running time: 100 minutes

Back Cover

Disney presents a new twist on one of the most hilarious and hair-raising tales ever told. Your whole family will get tangled up in the fun, excitement and adventure of this magical motion picture.

When the kingdom’s most wanted — and most charming — bandit Flynn Rider hides in a mysterious tower, the last thing he expects to find is Rapunzel, a spirited teen with an unlikely superpower — 70 feet of magical golden hair! Together, the unlikely duo set off on a fantastic journey filled with surprising heroes, laughter and suspense.

Let your hair down and get ready to cheer for Tangled. Bursting with never-before-seen bonus features, it’s even more enchanting on Blu-ray Hi-Def.

Movie Review

Disney’s 50th animated feature is all about (wait for it) a princess and the rapscallion who marries her (and presumably becomes a prince) after about a hundred minutes of adventure. If it sounds like Disney’s mining the rich fountainhead of its own lore, it doesn’t end there: Once again, Disney’s staff magicians have uncaged a classic tale, laid it on their dark altar and played foul magicks over it, twisting their pallid victim into a grotesque travesty. This time, the Grimms’ Rapunzel gets a pert makeover into a funny, innocuous adventure story. As with most of Disney’s later fairy-tale remakes (The Little Mermaid being possibly the most heinous), Tangled bears little resemblance to the original story. And also like most of Disney’s works, Tangled helps perpetuate the princess-mania that’s currently laying waste to our female children’s  collective sense of self (if Peggy Orenstein is anything to go by). Though to be fair, at least this princess knows how to beat a man senseless with a frying pan.

The film also happens to be exquisitely made, and a lot of fun to watch. The voice acting is really good, and the animation pays homage to the Disney of old, when animation was done with fancy inks rather than fancier computers.

Mandy Moore’s peppy Rapunzel is by turns adorable, funny and heartbreaking, while Zachary Levi is gripping and hilarious as the flippant scoundrel, Flynn. The repartee between the two characters is snappy and the chemistry is bang-on. Donna Murphy nearly overshadows the other two, playing the role of the passive-aggressive stepmother to the hilt without going over the top. On the whole, the voice acting is a real pleasure, though it bears saying that Donna Murphy out-sings the other two by an order of magnitude. Of course, context being what context is, that actually works in the movie’s favour.

At its heart, Tangled is a perky story of awakening and self-actualisation that sees Rapunzel leave the tower that’s been her home for 17 years, then discover the outside world’s wonders and dangers alongside Flynn, her reluctant guide and eventual love. Unfortunately, the film is too formulaic, and the end feels too weak for it to really work. And the showtunes throughout are fun but forgettable. Ultimately, there’s just nothing here that says “Disney classic.”

Crave Factor – 7.5


Tangled is nothing if not gorgeous. The animation is fluid and lifelike, but eschews the usual overly-digital style of films like Bolt or Chicken Little for a more organic, almost hand-drawn appearance. This was apparently largely accomplished with skilful lighting techniques. The modelling is similarly spot-on, and the overall design makes for a film that is lush and engrossing. A scene where Rapunzel watches a flight of flying lanterns ascend into the night sky will hit the viewer on a visceral level… unless said viewer is bereft of soul.
Crave Factor – 10


The film’s soundscape is as sumptuous as the visuals, and make full use of the DTS-HD technology’s capabilities. Dialogue sparkles front and centre, while background voices are positioned around the main characters. Sound effects are clear and well-done, while the songs ring out, loud and clear. At no point does anything get buried in the mix, which is impressive for such a layered and intricate soundtrack.
Crave Factor 10


The extras are the Blu-Ray’s weakest link. There’s a bunch of underwhelming cut scenes, two early, storybook-style concepts for the opening scenes, extended versions of two songs and a “making-of” featurette that outlines the difficulties involved in making Rapunzel’s hair look right, among other things.  It’s a pretty light offering for what should be a landmark release.
Crave Factor: 5

Menu & Packaging

The menus are innocuous and work fine. But these days, we’ve come to expect Blu-ray menus that are more than that. As for the packaging, it’s the standard case wrapped in yet another wasteful cardboard sleeve.
Crave Factor 5

Conclusions & Final Thoughts

Tangled is a fun story with a witty voice and the face of a pixie. It’s a feel-good movie about a young girl’s journey of self-discovery and her blossoming sense of self. It’s just not good enough to stand out against aaaall the other princes films Disney’s been putting out lately, either in terms of storyline or music.

Overall Crave Factor

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