Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews
- Category: Jacqueline Monahan
- Published on 11 February 2011
- Written by Jacqueline Monahan
Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an English/Math tutor for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also a consultant for Columbia College Chicago in Adjunct Faculty Affairs
Lyrics from the popular musical Hair say it best. “Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair. Shinin’, gleamin’, streamin’, flaxen, waxen.”
This Disney reimagining of the familiar Rapunzel fairytale takes hair to a whole new length, pun intended. It’s not just a shiny golden rope the length of a football field; this magnificent mane possesses magical healing and youth-bestowing power. It sits atop the head of the tower-bound maiden attended to by the over-protective Mother Gothel – a helicopter parent if ever there was – and they’ve not even been invented yet.
Mother Gothel resembles Cher when she’s not showing her real age, nestled somewhere between “crone” and “hag.” To keep young she must fondle Rapunzel’s hair while the girl sings an incantation. Voila! Instant facelift, hair dye, wrinkle-remover treatment, but they call it magic here, a lot faster and cheaper than a trip to Beverly Hills.
Since Rapunzel is a green-eyed blonde (and the eyes are saucer-sized) with an almost too-precious face, you must realize that Mother Gothel may NOT be the biological parent. This is Disney, so there’s a princess pedigree lurking about somewhere and that may just be where Rapunzel comes from – but she doesn’t know it. Mother Gothel is her passive aggressive, over-protective, sheltering “mom” who forbids the girl from ever leaving the tower, for her own good of course.
So there you have the hair and tower logic, intact until handsome thief Flynn enters the picture, wanted by the nearby kingdom’s royal guard for making off with a jeweled crown. He’s also wanted by a couple of thug twins, former partners in crime who also want the crown.
Flynn and Rapunzel leave the tower on an adventure that has the two chased by Mother Gothel, the thugs, a tenacious horse named Maximus, and various kingdom guards. There’s a spectacular scene involving floating lanterns, and in the end, if the pieces don’t fall neatly into place, at least they’re nearby.
Voiced by Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy, among scores of others, Tangled is sassy and clever, with plenty of uncharted territory to discover for those who think they know how the story goes.
Co-directors Byron Howard (Bolt) and Nathan Greno, making his animated feature debut keep the hair rolling, waving, swirling and draped, with facial gestures so expressive that a raised eyebrow is able to convey as much as a line of dialogue. Musical numbers are kept to a minimum, and there is the requisite sidekick for our heroine, this time a chameleon named Pascal who serves as her moral compass.
Writing credits go to the Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) and Dan Fogelman (Bolt, Cars). The latter provides a steady stream of G-rated smartass that will delight young and old alike and provide relief from syrupy sentiment, always a plus.
Additional voices are provided by Brad Garrett, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Perlman, Richard Kiel and Laraine Newman.
Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated feature and the venerable studio delivers a golden one – in both hair and story, making it a noteworthy mane event indeed.