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The long-haired Princess Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but when she falls in love with a bandit who was passing by she must venture into the outside world for the first time to find him.
For more about Tangled and the Tangled Blu-ray release, see Tangled Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 18, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy (I), Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor
Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
» See full cast & crew
Tangled Blu-ray Review
Get wrapped up in this excellent Blu-ray release of Disney's newest classic.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 18, 2011
You were my new dream.
Like other Disney films based on a classic Fairy Tale, Tangled takes plenty of liberties with its original story, re-imagining a part here, rewriting a stretch there, all in the name of constructing a final product that's a little more suitable for light and family-friendly animated fare than the darker original Grimm tale would have allowed were it followed more precisely. As it is, Tangled is fairly typical of Disney Princess Fairy Tale pictures: its story is built around well-conceived characters and a clear contrast between good and evil. Superficially, Tangled is made of song, adventure, humor, heart, and romance, all of which have been hallmarks of these sorts of films since it all started with 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Certainly things have changed in the 70-some years between Snow White and Tangled, but Tangled is still classic Disney at its core, even if the animation style has been upgraded, modern technology allows for a more robust film, and the budget has risen astronomically. Tangled -- Disney's 50th feature-length animated film -- is the studio's most expensive yet, but it's not quite as rich as Disney's best offerings. While it's a classy and traditional Disney picture, Tangled occasionally plays as a little long in the tooth and a bit rough around the edges of its story, but it's nevertheless an enjoyable little jaunt back into Disneys bread-and-butter, and even with its few flaws, it leaves audiences wondering what took Disney so long to get around to making a movie based around the classic story of Rapunzel.
A single drop of sunlight fell to the earth. From it grew a magical flower that could heal the sick and make the old once again young. Its powers have long been used by an old woman named Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy), but when the pregnant queen of the land becomes ill, she is made well by the flower and gives birth to a daughter named Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) whose hair retains the flower's unique gift. When a once again old Gothel learns of Rapunzel's magic hair, she kidnaps the child, keeps her locked away in a tower, and forbids her hair to be cut, lest it lose its powers. Gothel regularly visits Rapunzel and makes use of the magic hair, but Rapunzel -- now a teenager with hair 70 feet long -- wants out. She yearns to see the world and, for her gift on her 18th birthday, wishes to see up close the floating lights that appear every year on her birthday. Little does she know that the lights represent a yearly vigil held by the kingdom where she's actually a princess, the lights symbols of her parents's love and their desire for their girl to return home. Gothel refuses Rapunzel's request, but when a local criminal named Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi) escapes into Rapunzel's tower, the girl with the magical hair finds her means of escape. She knocks him unconcious, hides his body from Gothel, and finds an ornate tiara that Flynn has stolen. Upon regaining consciousness, Flynn agrees to help Rapunzel out of the tower and view the floating lights in exchange for the return of the high-value tiara. Can Rapunzel bring herself to enjoy her newfound freedom -- which is contrary to Gothel's wishes - - and maybe even find one or two other things that've been missing from her life?
Tangled may not be the pinnacle of Disney filmmaking, and the film may feel a little stale out of the box given its highly generalized storyline and surrounding well-conceived but ultimately generic elements of adventure, humor, and heart, but the film's success lies elsewhere in the core of the story which speaks on one girl's desire to live her life on her terms, to experience the world around her not through the foggy prism of captivity but rather the clear lens of freedom. Rapunzel is a fantastic character not for her hair's magical abilities but for her want of freedom and sense of self; her true magic lies not in her locks but within her own good soul, a soul that remains respectful even in captivity but that spreads its wings as far as her eyes see and the confines of her tower will allow. She's a person of her own making even if her life has been defined by captivity and satisfying the whims of another; through her paintings, yearnings, and companionship with her chameleon friend, she has found a sense of self-worth that many even living free of the bonds of captivity don't often discover. It's a wonder her captor "mother" allowed Rapunzel the amount of freedom she did; freedom of expression and windows in her tower only beg of her to yearn for a life beyond her prison. Indeed, Rapunzel ultimately becomes as the philosopher character in Plato's allegory of the cave, where individuals are chained to a surface and forced to live their lives starring at a blank wall that is decorated only by shadows reflected upon it by objects passing by a fire behind them. Their reality is merely the shadows, or echoes, of real life; Rapunzel's escape from the tower represents not just her physical freedom but the sudden ability to see things as they truly are, not merely as another wishes her to believe.
While Tangled might make for a nice little jaunt into something with a bit of metaphorical and philosophical teeth to it, the picture is ultimately meant to be viewed as a satisfyingly cute little Adventure film that's built around whimsical characters, high-flying family-safe adventure, trademark Disney humor, and an enchanting façade that altogether make it a bright, colorful, and wholesome ride for the kids and a surprisingly engaging outing for the adults in the audience. The picture does have a couple of faults -- it seems dragged out and piecemeal at times -- but Tangled is, generally speaking, a movie that's well-made from the top down, whether in terms of its superb animation, fantastically seamless voice acting, and the truly genuine feel and emotions the characters display. It's the latter that's the real attention-getter in Tangled; Rapunzel is a superbly realized character who is sweet and genuine, caring even for her captor but wanting more for herself. She's torn between satisfying her own wants and needs and pleasing her "mother," even though she does not wish for Rapunzel to see the world in any way that may threaten their one- sided arrangement. Rapunzel's "mother" has done a fair job of creating and playing off the naiveté that has become Rapunzel's way of life, and Rapunzel shows allegiance to her captor as she yearns for and ultimately both enjoys and regrets the freedom she's craved for all her life. Voice Actress Mandy Moore almost magically brings the character to life, finding that perfect balance between loyalty to her captor and want for freedom. The thirst to connect with the world but at the same time show allegiance and obedience to another is at the center of Rapunzel's struggle, and Moore pulls it off seamlessly, giving the character a vibrant heart and well-to-do soul through her perfect inflections and absolute understanding of who the character is and what she wants and needs out of life. Moore's Rapunzel is the heart and soul of the picture; everyone and everything else -- even Flynn Rider and Mother Gothel -- play second fiddle to the film's precision crafting of the Rapunzel character and Moore's seamless voice acing.
Tangled Blu-ray, Video Quality
Tangled's 2D-only Blu-ray release yields the same exceptional transfer as its Blu-ray 3D counterpart, but without the added benefits of the 3D visual effect. Fortunately for viewers without 3D hardware, Disney's transfer still offers a perceptible sense of depth even through the 2D visuals to go alongside the transfer's stunning clarity, excellent coloring, and superb detail. The film favors a slightly warm red/golden color scheme, but most hues appear naturally represented, whether Rapunzel's purple dress, green foliage, or various earthen tones. Fine detail is nothing short of excellent, too. There's an amazing life to human hair; oddly enough, Flynn's has a little more body and a natural texture than does Rapunzel's, which can look a bit clumpy and indistinct. Other detailing is exceptional; whether the finest nuances as seen on wood and stone situated on the exterior of Rapunzel's tower, the texture of her paintings inside it, or even something as small as minor wear and tear around the collar of Flynn's shirt, Disney's image yields spectacular results from the most broadly generalized objects to the finest little odds and ends. Even the characters themselves have an almost uncanny realism about them; while certain traits may be exaggerated -- the size of Rapunzel's eyes, for instance -- Tangled looks incredibly real, whether the shape, volume, and movements of characters or the textures of natural elements like grasses and tree trunks. Darker scenes yield excellent blacks, but slight banding interferes from time to time, representing the only real drawback present in the transfer. Tangled is a marvelous release, and while the film certainly benefits from its 3D elements, the "downgrade" to 2D doesn't hurt the film's look or entertainment value.
Tangled Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Tangled features a beefy DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack. Disney's audio presentation makes full use of all seven speakers plus the subwoofer; the back channels carry quite a bit of action, music, and sound effects, giving background elements a wider, more natural texture. Music, in particular, finds its way into the back on a regular basis; while it's carried by the front and enjoys an incredible amount of detail, clarity, and natural heft, the back channels ensure a full, well-rounded presentation. The track also makes excellent use of the surrounds in bringing various outdoor atmospherics to life. The lossless presentation also carries quite a bit of hefty sound effects -- stomping hooves, rushing water -- that play with a precise but powerful low end that gives a potent yet clean and invigorating body to the whole experience. Dialogue, too, is expertly reproduced and handled with clarity and ease by the center channel. This is a perfectly balanced, wholly intoxicating mix that satisfies from beginning to end.
Tangled Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Tangled doesn't feature an abundance of extra content; noticeably lacking is an audio commentary track, a surprise considering the directors's involvement in the supplements that are here. This 2D-only version, aside from the obvious absence of the Blu-ray 3D disc that's the main attraction in the counterpart release, also lacks the digital copy found on the other four-disc set.
Tangled Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Tangled is a trademark Disney feature; song, dance, adventure, humor, heart, and underlying themes of individuality, freedom, self-worth, and true love all make this a magical movie that's worthy of being Disney's 50th animated feature film. A few sluggish stretches and a couple of extraneous scenes don't drag the film down too much, and the picture is made complete through both excellent animation and Mandy Moore's superb voice acting work that injects the character of Rapunzel with a palpable lifeblood that's arguably the movie's greatest asset. It's too bad that it took Disney this long to get around to make a Rapunzel film, but the wait was well worth it; Tangled is an enjoyable and traditional Disney picture that's sure to live on as one of the studio's better all-around animated movies. This Blu-ray release of Tangled features a nearly perfect 1080p image and a fantastic lossless soundtrack, but it could use some more extras. Despite the shortage of additional bonus materials, Tangled -- either this 2D-only release or its Blu-ray 3D counterpart -- comes highly recommended.
Tangled: Other Editions
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Tangled Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Tangled Top-selling Blu-ray of the Week - April 7, 2011
Tangled was far and away the top-selling title on Blu-ray during the week ended April 3, according to data from Nielsen VideoScan. Disney's latest animated movie sold over five times more than number 2, Black Swan. The highest BD sales percentage was for Funimation's ...
• Preorder Tangled Blu-ray with Another Title, Save $10 - February 8, 2011
Amazon is offering a $10 discount when you preorder one of the Tangled combo packs (either the Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo or the Blu-ray/DVD combo) with an eligible Blu-ray title. The discount will be applied at checkout. This offer is valid through ...
• Tangled 3D Blu-ray and Regular Blu-ray Announced - January 25, 2011
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced Tangled for Blu-ray release on March 29. It will be presented both in a BD/DVD and a BD/3D BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack, thus becoming the Mouse's first animated title to debut day-and-date on Blu-ray ...
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