Review: “Tangled”

After a burst of great movies like The Lion King and Aladdin, Disney’s cartoon movies have gotten seriously weak of late. So I tried not to groan too loudly when my wife wanted to see Tangled, which is a Disneyfication of “Rapunzel.” Luckily for me, her mother gifted her with extreme – almost pathological – cheapness. This isn’t always a plus, but it saved me from seeing Tangled in the movie theater.

I wasn’t exactly dancing with joy at the prospect of seeing Disney’s Tangled. I still wanted to like the movie, but it would have to win me over. Oh, and I could have cared less about the changes they made versus the original “Rapunzel” story. I just wanted a good movie. So I did my best to give Tangled a chance.

Was I disappointed? Did my wife squeal with glee like a teenage girl when we saw it? Stay tuned to find out.

Something shiny!

Believe it or not, I actually liked Tangled. It wasn’t The Lion King, which is probably my favorite Disney cartoon to date. But it wasn’t Pocahontas either. (As you can see, I gave up on most of Disney’s animated features some time ago.) Despite the complaints, adding a dude to the story may have actually helped. He wasn’t Mal Reynolds from Firefly (dare to dream!) but as far as bad guys with hearts of gold go … well, at least he wasn’t Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager. Shiver. This new character allowed Rapunzel to remain innocent without overdoing it and triggering my barf-button. This is always a risk with anything Disney.

Anyway, about the movie. Rapunzel was born a princess with magical healing powers in her hair. This was because of a healing flower that was used to cure her mother of an undisclosed illness. Note that this is Disney, so it’s more likely to be a fatal case of athlete’s foot than something interesting, like cancer or herpes. Anyway, the flower’s power was transferred inexplicably to Rapunzel. I’m sure there are loads of doctors out there who can explain this scientifically. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments for that. I’ll still accuse you of being full of shit, though.

You’d think Gothel would
have young studs feeding
her grapes and rubbing her
…uh…feet. But no.

Meanwhile, some old broad named Gothel had been using the flower to keep herself young. She had hidden the flower, but done a bad job of it, so the King’s men took it to cure the queen. This deprived Gothel of the flower and eternal youth. Then Gothel discovered that Rapunzel’s hair now had the same power to keep her young, so she swiped the girl and raised her as a daughter … one you keep locked up in a tower (Where did an old witch get a tower in Medieval fake-Europe?) and controlled her through a liberal application of guilt and shame. (Use only as directed by an elder in a Kingdom Hall near you.) Rapunzel remembered nothing of her true heritage. Standard issue for a Disney cartoon.

Where the hell does
a peasant get a
frigging tower?

By her 18th birthday, Rapunzel only knew the tower she was raised in and her evil not-mother, Gothel. Only now, she wanted Gothel to let her out of the tower to see these glowing lights that appeared every year on Rapunzel’s birthday. It turns out these were sent out by Rapunzel’s real parents, the King and Queen, as a way of retrieving their lost daughter. I have no idea why anyone thought this would work – it’s not like they had her name on them or anything – but OK movie. You win this round.

Gothel denies Rapunzel’s request to see the lights. Bad move, Gothel. Because Rapunzel meets a thief with a heart of gold, named Flynn Rider, when he climbs up into her tower. That’s right, I said he climbed up into her tower. Yeah, now you wanna see it.

Enough room for one
more, kids?

This being her first encounter with an actual dude, you might think she’d be all Amazon Women on the Moon for him, but no. She smashes him in the head with a frying pan and holds him captive in her closet. Which seems healthy to me. So I guess she’s more Misery than Amazon Women on the Moon. Oh, and she ties him up in her 40 feet of hair too.

Damn. I might be in love.

Anyway, it sort of gets weird from there. Flynn takes her to a bar at one point, called the Snugly Duckling (it was obviously a gay bar … or maybe that’s just my cynical nature burning through) and they run into the most awesome horse in all of cinematic history, Maximus. Even if you hate Flynn and Rapunzel, you’ll like Maximus. He seems to be the only person in Disney-dum with the keen intellect to match wits with Flynn. Quite a pair, these two.

Never go to a bar
called The Snugly
Duckling. Ever.

No, Flynn and Maximus don’t end up married. That would have been a real shocker of an ending. Way better than Disney’s usual fluff. They should hire me to fix all their movies. Anytime, Disney. You know where I live.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise Disney ending, but Flynn and Rapunzel end up married. ::Gasp!:: Then I presume he kisses her a few years later and that’s where babies come from. I wouldn’t actually know, but I think I read that over at Conservapedia someplace. So it must be true. Those guys know everything.

Guys, if your girlfriend’s gonna make you rent something cute, it may as well be Tangled. It’s about as good as Beauty and the Beast, if you remember that one. It’s probably not romantic enough to get you laid, but then, what is? (If you’re me.) See my point. At least it’ll take your mind off Duke Nukem Forever being delayed yet again.


Note to Pascal:
If you wanna be in my review, you gotta have tits.
Or a really nice ass.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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