|Director||Byron Howard, Nathan Greno|
|Starring||Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy|
|Release||28 JAN (UK) Certificate PG|
As is to be expected, the film looks stunning, particularly in 3D. Golden hair unravels and shines against recognisable folklore greenery, and, despite modern-day characterisation and rousing action sequences, the slight pastel colouring hints at the time-honoured simplicity and innocence of Disney's best-loved classics. Never is this more apparent than in a third act scene that sees Flynn and Rapunzel sitting in a boat with thousands of floating lanterns and their reflections lighting up the screen in a moment that is so tear-jerkingly enchanting, it trumps almost ever other memorable moment from the Uncle Walt archives.
So with a captivating backdrop, our two characters follow a formulaic, odd-couple road to romance, bickering at first, before readdressing their priorities. Zachary Levi (best known as TV's Chuck, though perhaps more so stateside) gets most of the laughs as a devilishly handsome charmer who lives in the moment, while former teen popstar Mandy Moore plays the forthright, strong-willed Rapunzel - y'know, the type of female character that's a modern role-model for today's young girls. While their relationship blossoms with typical predictability (this is, after all, only a kids film), the script remains fresh and exciting, with universal gags, and strong momentum in the form of Mother Gothel, the Stabbington Brothers (Flynn's old partners in crime) and the Royal Guard all in hot pursuit of the couple.
Even the musical numbers throughout the film - a Disney stalwart that is perhaps the most outdated of its traditions - are genuinely entertaining and, dare I say it, catchy. The fun songs are lifted by a collection of silly on-screen jesting, while tender melodies accompany the more touching scenes, tugging at little uns' heartstrings and, in one instance at least during my screening, moving them to tears. And by 'tears', I mean 'bawling their little eyes out while screaming'. It's a beautiful thing.
Overall, Disney has clearly stepped up their game to be a leading contender in animation once again. Mixing the universal appeal of newer competitors with the tried-and-tested magical charm of long-established classics, Tangled is a marvellous film that's as easy on the eye as it is on the ears. Shoe-horned Topical Comment Alert: And it should have been nominated for Best Animated Feature.
Right, I'm off to reclaim some manly points and watch The Terminator, or Tango and Cash or something.