Happy New Year’s and a Movie Review

I am not dead! This astonishes me, too. New Year’s Resolution: actually update this dratted thing. Once a week. Really. Also, switch up the colour scheme and maybe get a new banner. To celebrate rebooting Snake Stones, I’m going to review a fairy tale—Disney’s new princess movie, Tangled.

Yes, really.

Spoilers ahead. Ye be warned.

I went to see it this Christmas with my mother. In 3d, my first exposure. Wasn’t really worth the money, this new-oldfangled 3d technology, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I had to resist the urge to grab at things, which was fun.

I loved the movie. It, unlike Princess and the Frog, actually had some of that ole Disney magic, by which I mean, those little details that expanded the fairy tales and made them so much fun for me. In Beauty & the Beast, that would be the enchanted servants; Cinderella, those mice sewing the dress—fun things, unexpected, original even. In Tangled, what I particularly enjoyed was the treatment of her hair. She uses it Indiana Jones-like as a whip, as a pulley, she carries it around, she makes 70 feet of hair actually make sense somehow. I also enjoyed the way Rapunzel was a bit of a talented Renaissance (wo)man, with her painting and her cooking and her sewing and all.

The characterizations stood out, too. Rapunzel made the traditional Disney ingénue-naïveté work. This time, the princess has an excuse to be clueless. Her bipolar guilt/joy swings after getting off the tower were fabulously done. Flynn, too, was a charmer. I like it when Disney princes have character (Erik, Philip, whathisface from Snow White—is that Charming? I will never miss you.) I also enjoyed that he wanted to be Errol Flynn and pulled it off rather well. And Maximus was a nice inversion, the princely charger who is actually…a police-dog trapped in a horse’s body. (Has anyone else noticed that Disney horses always seem to act like dogs? Philippe can track where Belle’s father has gone in the snow; Pheobus’s horse sits). This is clearly not a canon explanation, but when I could just pretend Maximus was magically made into a horse I enjoyed him completely. He almost stole the show. Oh, and Pascal. Pascal was super adorable. And he didn’t speak, which was refreshing.

And I liked Rapunzel and Flynn’s relationship, to the point where I groaned when the plot kicked in and fast-forwarded their romance. I wanted to watch it develop. Of course, it must needs be a short kid’s film, but I thought there was enough potential for tension and amusement to not even need the added villainry.

Disney makes some cool villains, and I liked Mother Gothel. The way she used twisted logic on poor clueless Rapunzel—who has never had the chance to encounter another viewpoint—it’s wonderfully evil. It’s some of the worst evil a Disney villain’s gotten up to—psychological stuff can leave definite lasting harm. We don’t get to see that harm at the end, but I can well imagine their happily-ever-after is very much not the candy-coated sweetness that, say, Aurora and Philip will probably have, those two-dimensional lovebirds.

Of course, the film was formulaic and quite predictable and the music was largely forgettable. These are major drawbacks. But I still enjoyed Tangled and would totally watch it again. And again. It’s cheerful and Rapunzel has the same haircut I do at the end of the movie.

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~ by ambergor on 19/01/2011.

One Response to “Happy New Year’s and a Movie Review”

  1. oh man I LOVED Tangled! The frying pan as a weapon- genius! And the horse almost did steal the show, he was fantastic. You are seriously right about the horses acting like dogs; I never noticed but it’s so true. I bet you could find even more examples if you needed too. The music was tragically forgettable, but I guess we can’t quite have it all.

    This review was the perfect ending to my coincidental fairy tale day. I watched Everafter, a TV show with a fairy tale themed ball, and even went out to dinner with my own prince charming 😉

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