TANGLED. Animation film voiced by Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy and MC Gainey. Directed by Nathan Greno, Byron Howard. Rated PG (Mild animated violence). 100 minutes.

Becoming tangled could get hairy.  Well, here it does for Flynn Rider, a Robin Hood type of sorts (who reveals that his actual name is Eugene).  He becomes ensnared by Rapunzel, she of the long and healing hair.

It looks more like a traditional Disney film than most of the other animated films of 2010 – which is fair enough since it is a Disney film.  As in the past, the fairy tale has been Disneyfied for a wide audience.  This also means that the story has been very much Americanised, accents, some slang and some cutesy bits of dialogue and all.  Which does not meant that it is not entertaining, just that it has been Americanised!

Not being too familiar with the tale of Rapunzel, I watched it with more interest than usual.  It is an enjoyable variation of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty stories.  There is a villainous crone (who has been using a magic healing flower to rejuvenate over the centuries), well voiced by Donna Murphy, who abducts the young princess Rapunzel when the king’s messengers have discovered and taken her flower.  She raised Rapunzel in a high tower, brushing and cultivating her ever-growing powerful hair.

But, Rapunzel is nearing eighteen and has a longing to descend from her tower.  Her rather sarcastic ‘mother’ has all the reasons why she should not go and tends to mock, then cajole, then spoil Rapunzel.

But, the aforementioned Flynn Rider and his thug partners have stolen the princess’s crown from the palace and, to escape, he hurries up the tower.  Instead of a romantic welcome (that will come later), she clobbers him with a frying pan!  However, out they go into all kinds of adventures, ‘mother’ arriving back to manipulate matters and coax Rapunzel back, even to resorting to kill Flynn.

As the film went on, it became more and more enjoyable, even with some romantic, some comic and some schmaltzy songs, until ‘mother’ got hers and there was a happy ever after.

Mandy Moore voices Rapunzel and Zachary Levi (Spock in the 2009 Star Trek) is Eugene.  And there is a very entertaining horse who is a great scene-stealer!

Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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