Monday, 30 May 2011

Movies I've Seen: Tangled

It is interesting that they marketed the movie as being a movie of the Shrek mold, irreverent treatment of the Disney formula, "adult" humour, emphasis more on action and comedy etc. in both the trailers,

And in the poster, where they invoked the oft-mocked Dreamworks eyebrow,

Oh, in regards to the trailer: the hair fight bit was made PURELY for the trailers and wasn't in the actual movie, and Rider isn't the made character either. The language is modernised, but not to the extent that the trailer suggested with its "She's been grounded, like... FOREVER!!!" tagline. Also it's a musical.

And although, to an extent, it does share some simularities with Dreamworks' productions (a male lead that isn't as cleancut as the traditional Disney male lead, a female lead that actually DOES SOMETHING), it... still is pretty much a Disney movie in tone, albeit updated to a 2010s audience.

The musical numbers are there, complete with villain song (invoking Out There from), the castles and princesses are there, as are animal sidekicks (who don't actually talk, thank god).

It's a very good natured movie, and the people involved seem to be having a lot of fun, which seemed to be something missing from Disney's last effort. I mean, Princess and the Frog was okay with a couple of good parts in there (voodoo not being an evil religion, the 1920s New Orleans setting, the emphasis on actually working to get what you want, Friends on the Other Side, and the subversions of regular fairy tale cliches were all interesting in the very least), but it seemed a little like they'd worked so hard in making it non-offensive to one group or another than it just seemed... a little flat.

Maybe it's because the female lead in PatF didn't really have that much personality compared to the other characters or something, I don't know.

In Tangled, most of the cast is actually interesting, yes, even the animal sidekicks, and you get the idea of there being multiple layers to their personalities, or at least multiple interpretations of what's going on that you can think about.

For example, how much of the Witch's concern over Rapunzel leaving her is due to her not wanting her walking fountain of youth to wander off, and how much is her having genuine affection for a girl she effectively raised as her daughter.

I think that it leans somewhere towards the latter in that regard, as although the Witch IS vain and selfish she does at least seem to be trying to be nice, though being a centuries (possibly millennia) old witch means her sense of humour is kind of wonky (imagine a slightly more good natured version of Glados). She gives the impression that she's trying to be nice, but she's unintentionally being really emotionally abusive.

All in all, it was a cute, well made movie. Villain was interesting, good animation, fairly good songs and great characterisation. The male lead was interesting for a Disney movie, in that he had a personality without resorting to being an asshole until "love redeems him" ala Prince Naveen from the last Disney movie. Also, it had Ron Perlman and Richard "Jaws" Kiel in it!

For more a more indepth analysis of the similarities between Tangled and the productions of Dreamworks, please check out these two videos by Lindsay Ellis' Nostalgia Chick videos,

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