Much like so many of the Disney classics Tangled consists of a princess in danger. But true to the greater modern notion of womanhood, this princess, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore), is far from helpless, wielding an aggressive frying baking pan as well as 60 feet-plus of golden frizzy hair that frequently gets her out of jams in ingenious ways.

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Rapunzel has been locked away in a tower by the conniving Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), over pretending to be her mother. Mom Gothel is a centuries-old hag who has used a golden magic rose born of the sunlight to stay forever young. When that flower was picked and its electricity transferred to a newborn baby Rapunzel — the blossom is the cause of her lovely, long locks — Mother Gothel steals the infant away from the rightful parents, the California King and Queen, and elevates her as her own.

Background

When Rapunzel sings, her hair glows and repairs whoever it touches. Yet once cut, it withers and turns brunette, gap of any magic, indicating that blondes do indeed have more fun.

Mom Gothel wants Rapunzel and her magic power to herself.

To ensure the lady never runs away, Mom Gothel has locked Rapunzel in a tall tower system hidden in a profound forest. Mother Gothel moves so far as to frighten Rapunzel of the outside world with reports of scheming thieves and murderous marauders.

In spite of her head filled with such dangerous and dark images of life outside the tower, Rapunzel cannot help but dream of giving her safe surroundings to see the mysterious signals that appear in the sky like bright actors yearly on her birthday. The former princess has no idea that the lights are floating lanterns the King and Full send aloft in storage with their lost little girl in hopes she’ll see them and return home.

The day before her 18th birthday, a good-looking thief, Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi), who has lost a jeweled crown, climbs into Rapunzel’s tower to escape pursuing castle protections.

Rapunzel, cautious about strangers, makes quick work of Flynn, but she offers to give him back the crown if he may companion her safely to find the magical lights in the near by kingdom. Mom Gothel learns of their plans and pursues the pair, plotting a way to rid Rapunzel of Flynn, while tricking her into going back to the tower and living there forever.

None of this is very original, but Tangled feels fresh with its lively story, impressive computer animation that brings an oil painting to life, and abundance of one’s. The animation, by the way, sports some of the best 3 DIMENSIONAL this side of Character. Consider this one film worth the surcharge for the 3D experience.

This kind of being a Disney princess or queen film at heart, despite the studio’s marketing tries otherwise, there are the requisite songs, almost all of which aren’t particularly memorable, save a Murphy offering (“Mother Knows Best”) and a song-and-dance number (“I’ve Got a Dream”) by a pub of thugs — Jeffrey Tambor and Brad Garrett provide two of the voices — that could have been ripped from Spamalot.

Acting

Tangled’s voice players is top-notch. Moore provides Rapunzel a lot of spunk, and Levi offers laughs and fun as the impossible-to-resist rogue. Because with most Disney movies, the villain is often the strongest character and Mother Gothel is no exception; however, in a welcome change, powers of persuasion and treachery make Mother Gothel formidable somewhat than the usual dark magic.

Tangled was written by Dan Fogelman (co-writer on Disney’s Bolt and Pixar’s Cars), and co-directed by Nathan Greno (his first feature film) and Byron Howard (who co-directed Bolt). The film also marks a major motorola milestone for Disney: its 50th animated release.

Finally

While Tangled isn’t quite to the level of the high level Disney classics, this computer-animated gem does give you a rollicking good time for the holiday season, for kids, and people.