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Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett, Paul F. Tompkins
Writing Credits:
Dan Fogelman, Jacob Grimm (fairy tale), Wilhelm Grimm (fairy tale)

Get tangled up.

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 sets 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.

Box Office:
$260 million.
Opening Weekend
$48.767 million on 3603 screens.
Domestic Gross
$195.784 million.

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Video 2.0
French DTS-HD HR 7.1
Spanish DTS-HD HR 7.1
Supplements Subtitles:
Mandarin Chinese
Cantonese Chinese

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 3/29/2010

• “Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes and Extended Songs
• Original Storybook Endings
• “50th Animated Feature Countdown”
• Teasers
• Sneak Peeks
• Bonus DVD


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Tangled [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 18, 2011)

With 2010’s Tangled, we get Disney’s official 50th animated feature film. Of course, the studio has made a whole lot more movies than that, but via their accounting of “animated classics”, Tangled takes us to 50!

And goes “old school” along the way, as its fairy tale/princess focus takes it back to the studio’s roots. Elderly Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) witnesses the healing powers of pure sunlight. This gets channeled into a flower, and when she sings a particular song, this acts as a fountain of youth for her.

Fast-forward a few centuries and a queen takes ill during pregnancy. Her guards locate the flower and make it into a broth that restores her health and allows her to deliver healthy baby Rapunzel.

Healthy and magical baby Rapunzel. It turns out that the girl’s golden hair still maintains the flower’s healing abilities – if uncut, at least, as any shearing will turn Rapunzel’s golden locks brown and deprive them of their powers. Gothel learns about this and kidnaps Rapunzel so she can monopolize the girl’s healing skills for herself.

That’s where we find Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) 18 years later. As she grows, Rapunzel wants to see the world, but Gothel warns her of dire dangers that mean the girl needs to remain trapped in their tower.

In the meantime, bandit Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) steals a tiara and hides from the law – as well as his accomplices, who he screws over in the bargain. After a rocky start, the pair get to know each other and a relationship slowly blooms. The two work to escape the clutches of Gothel and Flynn’s partners to live happily ever after.

Apparently Tangled represents the last of its kind. Reports that emerged around the movie’s release date indicated that Disney would abandon “princess flicks” because boys won’t see them. Perhaps this is only a temporary moratorium, or perhaps it’s simply a minor statement blown out of proportion, but if true, it really does mark the end of an era.

While Disney never produced a ton of fairy tales, they accounted for a high percentage of the studio’s classics. After all, Snow White established the animated feature as a viable genre, and both Cinderella and The Little Mermaid helped bring Disney back to prominence after fallow eras.

If Tangled ends up being the final Disney “princess movie”, I’d love be able to say that they went out on top. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as Tangled provides fairly average Disney fantasy.

Which isn’t to say that it’s poor or unenjoyable Disney fantasy. Admittedly, I give Disney animation a pretty long leash; even their more forgettable efforts tend to provide something I like. Tangled is far from the bottom end of that pile, as it’s miles above mediocrities like The Wild or Home on the Range.

Perhaps the problem is that Tangled begs for comparisons to Disney’s classic princess movies and comes up short – as well as derivative. Granted, most Disney animated films follow a certain template – moral message, silly sidekicks, etc. – but Tangled can’t quite seem to make a name for itself. Rapunzel feels like an amalgam of other characters – with a particular nod toward Ariel – while Flynn is a lot like a somewhat naughtier Aladdin. Neither role ever transcends those influences, and the movie’s ending comes straight out of Beauty and the Beast; it’s more “rip-off” than “homage”.

The music comes with a “been there, done that” feel as well. Some of Alan Menken’s work self-plagiarizes; I can’t be the only one who thinks “I’ve Got a Dream” seems a lot like “Gaston”, can I? Other tracks like “When Will My Life Begin?” just come across as generic 21st century Disney pop; they lack much to make them memorable.

Despite these flaws, I do want to reinforce that Tangled provides entertainment. The actors are all more than competent, and the secondary characters prove to be unusually delightful. I realize that Pascal exists mainly to sell plush toys, but I don’t care; he’s an abnormally adorable lizard, and he adds charm to the film. I also love Maximus the super-determined steed; he’s the most admirable and impressive part in the whole flick.

In the end, Tangled is a perfectly likable, enjoyable film. As mentioned earlier, it’s thoroughly professional and far from the bottom of the Disney pile. It simply lacks something that would take it from good to great, so don’t expect a revisit of Disney’s glory days.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Tangled appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. While attractive, this wasn’t one of the better-looking animated Blu-rays I’ve seen.

Sharpness could be a minor distraction. Though most of the movie displayed solid clarity, a few shots seemed a smidgen soft. These were mild instances, but parts of the image lacked the tightness I expect from Blu-ray. At least no issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, the image lacked any print flaws; it remained clean at all times.

Colors became a strong element. The movie went with a somewhat pastel palette, and it displayed consistently vivid hues. Blacks were dense and tight, and shadows were usually fine, though a few low-light shots seemed a bit dark. Overall, this was a good enough presentation for a “B+”, but that meant the presentation disappointed compared to the usual “A”-level computer animated effort.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it opened up the film in a satisfying manner. Though the mix didn’t give us wall-to-wall theatrics, it managed to use the spectrum well. As expected, the film’s occasional action sequences boasted nice breadth and activity, and the collapse of a dam created a fine sense of involvement; the water engulfed us in a convincing manner. While the soundscape didn’t stun us on a constant basis, it provided more than enough to succeed.

Audio quality seemed consistently solid. Speech appeared natural and distinctive; no edginess or other issues marred the dialogue. Music sounded warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. When necessary, bass response came across as deep and tight. All of this lifted the track to “B+” status.

Don’t expect a ton of extras here. Hosted by actors Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale runs 12 minutes, 27 seconds and offers notes from directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, supervising animator Glen Keane, hair simulation developer Kelly Ward, and actor Donna Murphy. The show looks at the film’s development, character design, some animation topics, and trivia.

“Making” doesn’t live up to its title, as it only includes a few tidbits related to the film’s creation. Nonetheless, it’s a brisk, reasonably fun piece that throws out general Disney nuggets with a few facts about the flick. Despite its lack of depth, it becomes enjoyable.

Unused material shows up next. We get three deleted scenes (12:36), two original storybook openings (7:59), and two extended songs (7:52). Under “Deleted Scenes”, “The Jaunty Moose” (6:51) provides an alternate version of the pub sequence; it’s more action-oriented but lacks the peppy musical number. “Chemistry Develops” (1:44) shows a little more bonding between Flynn and Rapunzel post-pub, while “Vigor the Visionary” (3:43) includes a discarded fortune teller character. The finished Snuggly Duckling scene works better than “Jaunty Moose”, and “Develops” is also superfluous. “Vigor” has some comedic potential, though.

For the “Openings”, both use the standard fairy tale “once upon a time” format instead of Flynn’s intro. “Version 1” (3:57) shows a basic take on this, while “Version 2” (4:02) is closer to the final tale. I don’t think a storybook version would’ve been a bad thing, but I’m glad the movie veered onto something more dynamic.

Finally, the “extended songs” area gives us longer renditions of “When Will My Life Begin” (3:35) and “Mother Knows Best” (4:17). Both come in stages of near-completion, so they’re better developed than the usual cut footage. I’m pretty happy both were abbreviated, though; in these versions, they tend to run too long.

Note that all of the unused material includes intros from the directors. They let us know a little about the footage and tell us why the shots were cut.

Under 50th Animated Feature Countdown, we get a two-minute, three-second reel. It shows all short clips from all of Disney’s 50 animated feature films. It’s an interesting package, though it uses an accounting method that omits all the Pixar flicks and others like Nightmare Before Christmas. (Note that a similar progression appears during “Making”.)

Nine Teasers fill a total of nine minutes, 12 seconds. These offer online ads that promote the movie in a variety of clever ways. Most use scenes from the film recast in a different light; for example, one promotes the fragrance “Smolder”. The last few are Flynn Rider adventures with South Park-style animation. All are great fun.

The disc opens with promos for The Lion King, Cars 2, and Tron: Legacy. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with ads for Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, Shake It Up, Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods, SpookyBuddies and The Incredibles. No theatrical trailer for Tangled appears.

On a second platter, we get a DVD copy of Tangled. This gives us a standard retail version of the release, so it’s a nice bonus.

As a “princess fairy tale”, Tangled provides reasonable entertainment. However, it seems rather derivative and lacks a certain quality that would make it special; it delivers a likable but not especially memorable adventure. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a handful of fairly interesting supplements. You can do worse than Tangled, but you can also do better.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1818 Stars Number of Votes: 11
4 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main