When Tangled premiered, the film joined some hallowed company. Tangled is Disney’s 50th feature film and that importance is not lost on anyone involved in the movie starring Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.
Where it ranks in the lexicon of Disney films is not the point of this Tangled review. Tangled stands on its own and in many ways that is its greatest strength. The casting team at Disney has struck gold with Mandy Moore playing Rapunzel and Zachary Levi portraying the dashing, debonair and decidedly criminal Flynn. Not your usual set-up for a Disney film romance, no?
That is why Tangled is a triumph in telling the story of the girl with 70 feet of magical hair who holds the proverbial key to her own freedom.
In Disney’s Tangled, Levi’s Flynn finds himself paired with Rapunzel, a woman — like him — who is equally as eager to find adventure which is something to treasure. In so many ways, the casting of Mandy Moore as a Disney princess is a stroke of genius, but where the hesitation may come is with Zachary Levi. The questions audiences (who don’t enjoy the fantastic TV show Chuck) may ask are: Who is Levi and why is he in Disney’s next great animated classic?
Levi could not have been more perfect for the role. He is a stellar anti-hero, who hilariously gets into it with his horse over moral issues throughout the film. Casting the Chuck star as Flynn is also a brilliant move in that the actor was brought up on musical theater. He takes to the singing aspect of the Disney animated feature with both guns blazing. Levi’s chemistry with Moore is electric and largely why Tangled tantalizes.
Tangled‘s terrific fun does not stop with its two leads. Every Disney animated movie needs its villain and in Tangled, it’s the Tony Award-winning actress Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel. Her presence fuses Tangled with a musical theater titan. Her song, Momma Knows Best, is the stuff of Disney legend that will have mothers everywhere adopting this score standout as their new theme song!
There are a few drawbacks to Tangled. It probably doesn’t need to be in 3D, but it doesn’t hurt either. Also, the ending of Tangled does not quite jive. Without even a mention of a magical power that would transform the entire story, the end feels a little hallow. But, with a film full of Disney musical stalwart Alan Menken’s songs, Levi and Moore at the top of their games, and a story in Rapunzel that needs its due, Tangled is terrific.
Out of five stars…