The Grimm Brothers fairytale of Rapunzel, the gal with the extra long hair, gets a terrific cartoon makeover for Disney’s 50th animated movie Tangled.
That the film isn’t titled “Rapunzel” gives us a hint that this isn’t a princess-style movie aimed just at girls (Disney having learnt that boys avoided the girly The Princess And The Frog like the plague), while the PG certificate should let parents know there are a couple of moments that may have very tiny tots hiding behind their hands.
After getting healing powers from a magical flower, Princess Rapunzel is stolen as a baby from her parents by Mother Gothel (Murphy). The old woman realises Rapunzel’s powers are in her long golden hair, but if she cuts it, Rapunzel’s hair darkens and the magic is gone. Determined to be young forever, Gothel hides the child in a tall tower deep in the forest, raising her as her own. Of course, when she becomes a teenager, Rapunzel – now with hair hundreds of feet long – wants to know about life outside the tower with her ‘mother’, and to find out what the floating lights are that fill the sky once a year on her birthday. So when dashing thief Flynn Ryder (Levi) scales the tower while on the run and ends up captured by Rapunzel, she offers him a deal – that she’ll give him back his stolen loot if he becomes her travel guide through the world outside her prison.
It’s spirited stuff with Donna Murphy deserving much of the praise for her vocal performance as the fake mother from hell who sings the terrific Mother Knows Best (“Take it from your mumsy, On your own you won’t survive, Sloppy, underdressed, immature, clumsy, Please! They’ll eat you up alive!”). Both Moore and Levi get great dialogue, too, and there’s the added treat of two fun Disney non-humans, Rapunzel’s pet chameleon Pascal and Maximus the palace horse, who deserves a movie to himself. Fun for all the family.
Is Tangled suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Little ones will find Mother Gothel scary, especially when she ages into an old lady.
SPOILER They will also be scared when she is killed, and plummets from the tower before turning to dust.