While not among the studio's animated classics, "Tangled" is a fun offering from Disney, playing well to the target audience, offering both romance and light adventure. The latest animated film from the studio is CGI-animated headed to some theaters with a 3-D option. The film focuses on Rapunzel (voiced by the rather obvious choice of Mandy Moore; not anything against Moore by any means, but it's very much a Moore voice role.) Rapunzel and her massive hair have been locked away in a tower by the mean Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), magically able to stay bright and shiny without the salon worth of conditioner it would otherwise require. Gothel keeps her locked away, as Rapunzel's magical hair allows Gothel to remain youthful.
Trapped away, Rapunzel remains eager to try and break free to see the outside world. One day, she gets a very unexpected visitor in the form of good-hearted thief Flynn (Zachary Levi.) Finally able to venture out into the world, she gradually adjusts to life outside the tower; while she and Flynn quickly find themselves having some spark between one another, he comes to her rescue and she comes to his. While the movie doesn't stray too far away from formula, it does manage some enjoyable moments of comedy and adventure, without going too heavily into slapstick.
While the film's story stays close to the familiar, the look and feel of the film is a delight - rich, warm and detailed, the picture's CGI work is not quite Pixar-level, but gets closer than most non-Pixar pictures have gotten in the recent past. Detail is particularly eye-popping and many images are beautifully composed. The musical score from Alan Menken is not the composer's best work, but it's reasonably enjoyable and, not surprisingly, Moore gets a chance to shine.
Moore and Levi deliver nicely with their voice work, as Moore's genuine sweetness comes through and Levi's delivery gives the light comedy a nice energy. The emotional moments don't have quite the same impact as the comedy, but that's not a factor of the acting as much as the story, which chooses to lean towards a lighter tone. The picture also keeps pushing forward with an enjoyable level of momentum. Overall, the picture targets a younger audience (probably late single digits), but will likely keep the interest of most adults who choose to watch the film with their children.
"Tangled" is a bit inconsistent, but otherwise stands out as above-average family fare, with a strong visual style and fine performances.
VIDEO: "Tangled" is presented by Disney in 1.78:1 (1080p) and the result remained highly enjoyable. Sharpness and detail were consistently first-rate, with all of the minor details of the animation looking crisp and clear. The picture looked smooth and clean, with the only concern being a couple of minor instances of pixelation. No edge enhancement or other faults were spotted. The film's warm, vivid color palette looked vibrant and bold, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The film's DTS-HD 7.1 presentation offered an audio presentation that was mildly more active than expected (and certainly no one was expecting Michael Bay-esque audio assault.) The surrounds provide some mild discrete effects at times, as well as a reasonable amount of ambience. The film's score is also reinforced nicely by the rear speakers. Audio quality was quite nice, with clear dialogue, well-recorded score and clean, crisp effects.
EXTRAS: "Making of" and deleted/extended scenes, as well as the "50th Animated Feature Countdown" brief piece and promos for the film.
Final Thoughts: "Tangled" is a bit inconsistent, but otherwise stands out as above-average family fare, with a strong visual style and fine performances. The Blu-Ray edition boasts terrific audio/video quality, as well as a few minor extras. Recommended.
The Film B