A few years back, a friend and I went through the list of fairy tales that Disney had yet to do. The story of Rapunzel was, of course, near the top of that surprisingly long list.
Hmmm…. I really liked the horse. In fact, I’m really glad they added the horse because most of the rest just wasn’t doing it for me. Cute and all, yes, but not magical. I’ve come to expect magic from Disney, especially since Pixar joined up. But even without Pixar… Magical. Just look at Princess and the Frog. That was a magical film with memorable characters, music, and themes. This one felt closer to the let’s-get-a-movie-out-the-door style that most of Disney’s competitors have wallowed in for years.
Not that it was bad, it just wasn’t magical.
Having said that, the lantern scene was magical. There were even moments where I almost thought it was reaching to the height of Beauty and the Beast. Not quite, but even coming close to that is treat enough.
While I truly enjoyed the characters, the twists, the relationships, and the reactions were too predictable. I saw the tear coming. I saw the tied-to-the-boat scene. About the only thing that actually fell outside my expectations was getting her hair cut at the end. Nice touch. Too bad it set up an all-too predictable ending.
Also, while I truly enjoyed the minor characters, they felt contrived. They felt forced. They felt… added for no other purpose than to give an out at the end. I guess it goes back to my original complaint; they weren’t magical.
Sigh…. I don’t know. I’ve come to expect too much of my cartoons. How to Train Your Dragon still just nigh of brings me tears when they finally learn to fly. Tiana is still an incredible role model. Megamind and Despicable Me both made me giggle like a girl start to finish for their witty humor, charming plots, and undeniable humor. When that little girl in Despicable Me screams, “It’s so fuzzy!!!” you can’t help but smile. You can’t help but rejoice when Toothless opens his wings at the end even though you know it’s coming. You can’t help but admire Megamind from the very start, even if he is the bad guy.
Tangled didn’t quite have it. It tried, but it didn’t quite reach it.
Still, I won’t let my absurd demand for perfection out of Disney get in the way of a decent rating…. 3 out of 4 stars. If you’ve got kids, they’ll enjoy it. You will, too, I just wouldn’t put it on my “Rush out and buy today” list, like I would (and did) for the other films discussed here.