BLONDES certainly have more fun in Disney’s significantly cheerier remake of the Brothers Grimm tale, Rapunzel, with a script that marries hilarity with dazzling visuals.
The traditional fairytale formula of rousing love ballads and a boo-hiss villain is stirred to perfection by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, who draw heavily from The Little Mermaid as their plucky heroine abandons her tower and explores a world previously out of reach.
Once upon a time, princess Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is abducted by the scheming Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), who covets the girl’s magical tresses.
The golden locks shimmer with the secret of eternal youth but must never be cut – or else the hair will lose its power and horror of horrors, turn brown.
Disguising evil with over-protectiveness, Gothel confines the girl to a tower and convinces her she must never leave for fear that she will fall victim to the Evils of Man.
As years pass, Rapunzel longs to explore the world below but must be content with a cheeky chameleon, Pascal, as her one and only friend.
But lo! On her 18th birthday, swaggering outlaw Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) happens upon the tower in the secluded clearing and climbs into Rapunzel’s bedroom, tempting the young woman with freedom.
Screenwriter Dan Fogelman manages to appeal to both children and adults, peppering his fantasy world with cuddly critters and underscoring the tomfoolery with a romance that tugs the heartstrings without ever becoming cloying.
The 3D format isn’t too obtrusive, employed most effectively in a wonderful sequence involving hundreds of fire lanterns.
Vocal performances are almost as lively as the animation and Pascal and Maximus shamelessly scene-steal from the ‘human’ characters in their roles as under-rated side-kicks.
Tangled is most definitely a delight, carrying us along on Rapunzel and Flynn’s haphazard adventure, which as per standard Disney fare, includes a rousing song and dance number, I’ve Got A Dream.
As it forges headfirst into new technological territory, it’s not hard to see why the animation world still lies at Disney’s feet.