Wednesday, March 2, 2016

First Impression: Tangled

So Disney animation seems to be riding pretty high these days. Movies like Frozen and Big Hero 6 have made quite a few fans. Then you've got the upcoming Zootopia looking like it could be another hit. I'm seeing plenty of animation buffs even claiming we are in a new Disney Renaissance (how many of these can there be?) With all that said, lots of people feel that this all really started back in 2010 with Tangled. I was curious to see how Disney approached this take on the tale of Rapunzel, so I gave the movie a shot. Here are some first impressions.

Three Things I Liked:

  • Some gorgeous animation and impressive set pieces
  • Maximus the horse was a real fun character
  • Mother Gothel was an interesting passive/aggressive take on a villain
Three Things I Didn't Like:
  • The songs and music wasn't memorable
  • The songs felt like they stopped the story cold
  • Just what kind of movie were they going for?
I have to say that Tangled offers a lot to like. It moves quickly, keeps things light and fun with some very engaging characters. The high points are the impressive animation that creates a wonderfully vivid fairytale world. The action scenes are especially well executed and exciting. But the music for this musical just doesn't have the sticking power. Worse the songs feel like the interrupt the action more than build up within it. In a few ways this movie reminded me of Treasure Planet where it didn't quite know what direction to go, so it goes in all of them. The end result is a muddled movie that lacks memorability. I'm hoping another viewing will allow me to enjoy it a bit more. 

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  1. I agree that the songs aren’t strong in “Tangled”; they seem grafted on rather than integral. Given Disney’s remarkable track record (bad pun intended) from “Pinocchio” (“If You Wish upon a Star” & “I’ve Got No Strings”) to “Frozen,” this is something of a disappointment. That said, I still like this movie for its other aspects. It has humor, adventure, and old-fashioned romance that actually works, which – as both of us have noted – has been in short supply on-screen lately.

    By the way, the Andrews Sisters still have the best version of “I’ve Got No Strings” – it sounds like an ode to singlehood, which, for all I know, might have been the way lyricist Ned Washington originally intended it.

    1. Yeah I enjoyed the movie, but I think I was hoping for something a bit more. I think I got pumped up by some of my animation (Disney) friends who just loved this movie. I want to give it a second chance because there is a lot of like about this one. Maximus had me cracking up. I read someone who compared him to Tommy lee Jones in "The Fugitive" which was an apt and hilarious comparison.

      Ok, I've never heard that version of "I've Got No Strings" it really does take on a new meaning.

  2. I haven't seen Tangled or Frozen, though did enjoy Big Hero 6. I haven't seen the Simon Pegg movie above either. I saw a copy of Frozen in a Goodwill store the other day and came very close to picking it up, but heard it was more musical than typical animation so passed on it. I'll have to rent it through NF to see what I missed. Even if some of these movies miss their mark a lot of the time they can still be entertaining.

    1. Yeah still haven't seen "Frozen". Well, I did see the last act of it, but I wasn't really paying attention and I don't think it counts.

      I am curious to see "Big Hero 6". A lot of my animation pals really liked that one and my gaming pals loved "Wreck it Ralph". Both sounded intriguing.