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Tangled (Blu-ray Review)

25 Mar, 2011 By: John Latchem

Street 3/29/11
Box Office $197.7 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo, $49.99 Blu-ray 3D combo
Rated ‘PG’ for brief mild violence.
Voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Brad Garrett,
Ron Perlman.

Walt Disney started working on a potential Rapunzel movie in the 1940s. It took the studio he left behind more than 60 years to finally do it. And yet, despite the fairy tale origin of the story, Tangled is definitely a product of its time.

As we are constantly reminded on this Blu-ray, Tangled is the 50th animated feature film released by what is now called the Walt Disney Animation Studios, a legacy that began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way back in 1937. While that may be an invitation to compare the film with the classics that came before, it’s more a sign that things are picking up again for the studio after what could be considered a rough patch in the early 2000s. (Home on the Range, anyone?)

The production team apparently is so proud of hitting that 50-film mark that they have included not one, but two countdowns of the 50 films with the Tangled Blu-ray. One is a standalone extra, while the other plays during the course of an informal and overly cutesy behind-the-scenes featurette hosted by stars Mandy Moore (who voices Rapunzel) and Zachary Levi (who voices her love interest, the roguish Flynn Rider).

While it’s kind of weird to see Disney do a fairy tale in CGI, especially in the wake of the 2D The Princess and the Frog, its hard to quibble with the final result. The CG work is richly evocative of Disney’s hand-drawn style, and when you see the beautiful effect of Rapunzel’s glowing hair or the ceremony of the floating lanterns, it’s hard to imagine pulling it off as well with traditional animation.

The songs are lively if not all-timers, the mood is relatively light, the characterizations are well-defined and the princess is plucky, which makes for yet another pleasant Disney experience.

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