The Disney Company has been around for quite a few years now, entertaining and providing memories for families all during those years. Tangled is the Disney Companies 50th animated film. The ever popular children’s story of Rapunzel is brought to the screen to entertain children of all ages. While an earlier desire by Walt Disney himself, it took years to finally adapt the story and bring a product to the screen the company would be proud of. Recently released on Blu-Ray DVD, fans of the movie, called Tanglers, will be able to watch the retelling of this fairy-tale over, and over, and over again, all along the way, picking up themes that touch on a variety of topics which are in part responsible for making this long standing fairy-tale a worthwhile viewing from a long-time family favorite Disney, as only Disney could tell.
There are times I watch movies on Blu-Ray and I ask myself; ‘what in the world did I just waste that extra money for?’ Then there are other times where I say; ‘Wow!’ The Blu-Ray rendering of Tangled is one of those ‘Wow!’ times. This beautifully told story is enjoyable and well worth the extra cost of the Blu-Ray rendering. Disney has a reputation of developing and producing quality films, and while there have been a few lack luster efforts over the years, we see more times than not, images like we see produced on Tangled. Not only are the images stunning, we see a wonderfully directed film with a strong emphasis on story, lesson, and morality. Mixed in the script are complex aspects of love, hope, and the magic of discovering ones self. Directors Nathan Greno, and Byron Howard have given us a story that can not only be enjoyed by children, but their adults watching alongside.
In Tangled we see an infant child, Rapunzel kidnapped by Gothel a prideful, vain woman seeking to remain young. It so happens that while Rapunzel’s birth mother was pregnant, she had some health complications of which a magic flower in the area provided healing and youth. Rapunzel has the magic power available after her birth in her hair. After 18 years of captivity, Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, thinks Gothel is her mother, albeit she is held in a tower of refuge which is more of a prison than a home. Rapunzel, unaware of the negative attributes involving her surroundings and situations though is also unaware of the opportunities that are available on the outside of the tower walls.
As with most Disney stories there is also a love interest, and what would the story of a young princes be without the hope of a possible prince? Along comes Flynn Rider, voiced by Zachary Levi. Rider is an opportunistic young man who has dreams, but the acquisition of his dreams often times involves his involvement with some unsavory characters, leading him to acts of crime and at times, desperation. In his escape from the theft of a princess crown he comes into contact with young Repunzel as he is trying to escape capture by both authorities in the kingdom and some of his criminal cohorts. Over the course of time, Flynn and Repunzel go on a quest together, love blossoms and we see the characters develop in a way that while viewed in animation form is still understood and appreciated by the viewer. The characters develop in an entertaining and thought provoking way. Disney in its magic provides ample, fun characters and situations that keep the story fun, while at the same time, informative and with value.
There are so many themes in Tangled one could pick up on, from the persistence of loved ones in trying to rediscover family, to the abuse and misuse of human beings. I was touched on the concept of never giving up on hope, despite the tremendous difficulties a person may face. Throughout the film we see Repunzel come face to face with tremendous obstacles. She dreams of seeing the flying, or floating lanterns that fly each year on her birthday. She doesn’t know what it is that causes this phenomenon, (actually her mother and father, and the kingdom they rule fly’s paper lanterns each year.) All Repunzel knows is that she really wants to see this in person, up close, rather than from the window of the tower. She has a dream, a desire, to do something that comes from within, she doesn’t know why. Of course we know the story while watching, but it is still told in such a beautiful way that the viewer will appreciate the telling. I was inspired by her willingness to go after her dreams.
There is also the idea that God will send others along the way to assist in situations that may seem at times, impossible. Those individuals often times also helps in the discovery of dreams. Sometimes, those used to help one accomplish those dreams may not seem like the likely, or even best choice, yet we can find hope, and help from those we least expect. Sometimes, in their talents, we have the very tools we needed to get the things God has for us. In a world where it seems we are often encouraged to make evaluations on people due to their circumstance, we see a story where on the surface, even the least desirable, has the potential to help us, if we only give them a chance. Repunzel in her innocence hasn’t learned those lessons or obstacles, yet, she is willing to give chances to those who are willing to help. While many may be concerned as to the influence those less than desirable characters can have on their life, we see through Repunzel a person who is light in darkness. It is her bright and shining light that penetrates the characters around her and thus, changes them.
Tangled isn’t the best Disney Movie of all time, but it is in the top tier, possibly top ten Disney Animated movies. It is fun, entertaining, and thought provoking. There are reasons many enjoyed this movie in theaters and good reasons it will be around for some time. Word on the street is, and from Disney, they won’t make any more Princess movies. I think that is a mistake, they have done such a good job at providing appropriate role models for young ladies, from which older men like myself can learn, appreciate, and want to share with a daughter or granddaughter. I for one hope they reconsider their decision.
As to the DVD, it is a good product with excellent transfer quality. I did find the navigation of the special features difficult and while there are some good special features on the DVD, especially the Tangled Teasers, I was somewhat disappointed in the overall features, due again, largely to the difficulty of navigation. I was pleased the package includes both the Blu-Ray and a standard DVD disc which can be played on standard players. Like most Disney Animated films, Tangled is worth more than renting, it is worth owning. Its story will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come, from the oldest, to the youngest in the family.
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