If you grew up loving Disney classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, you will be psyched out of your mind (as I was) to get tickets for Disney's latest animated release Tangled, an updated version of the Rapunzel story.
Here's why you'll love it: Despite a stunning touch of 3-D, it's a throw-back to the classic stunning Disney animation style that we haven't (with the exception of The Princess and the Frog) seen in more than 10 years. For once, the female protagonist isn't a doe-eyed, placid princess waiting to be saved by her man.
Okay, Rapunzel is a little doe-eyed, but she is pretty kick-butt too. She uses her hair as a weapon, captures the man trying to use her hair as a ladder, and negotiates a deal with him to get her way. The two (spoiler alert!) only fall in love at the very end of the movie. Thanks to all the action and slap-stick comedy, and the lack of princess-overkill, Tangled has been praised as a "princess movie for boys.”.
Unlike many of the recent animated flicks like the Shrek series and even Toy Story 3, Tangled is first and foremost a children's movie. The jokes aren't over their heads, and the humor is squarely aimed at them. Animal sidekicks Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon, without saying a word, are adorable and make the story even funnier. They'll also love the fun, toe-tapping songs. Although the tunes were written by Alan Menken (songwriter for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin) the music is different—less Broadway-sounding and a bit more folksy. Kids will especially love the song Mother Knows Best and its message that mother doesn't always know best. Prepare your rebuttal now, moms!
Full disclosure: I cried twice. To be fair, the first time was before the opening credits began to roll. (I am a huge Disney nerd.) But the ending had me all emotional, too, in a way you'll have to see for yourself. Plus, this may in fact be your last chance to take your kids to a princess movie in the theater. According to the LA Times, Tangled will be the last fairy tale produced by the Disney animation group for awhile. Said Ed Catmull, Pixar Animation Studios chief, ""Films and genres do run a course." So while Tangled may be the end of an era, it's must-see—and thanks to the 3D-animation, a theater must-see.
So have you ordered your tickets yet? What are you waiting for?
[Tangled, Rated PG, 92 minutes]