Stolen as a baby for her magical youth-giving powers, Rapunzel lives a happy life at the top of a tower, hidden in the woods. Her ‘mother’, Gothel, never allows her to leave but with her eighteenth birthday coming up, Rapunzel longs to explore the world and to see the beautiful lights that always shine on her birthday. With the reluctant aid of the dashing, but not entirely wholesome, Flynn, she escapes her prison and sets out to realise her dream but Gothel has other plans for her.
Tangled (2010) – Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
Running Length: 100 mins
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
Genre: Animated, Comedy, Action/Adventure
‘Tangled’ is Disney’s retelling of the Rapunzel story and focuses on the delightfully sweet and naive heroine whose trusting nature is bittersweet as it both helps and hinders her on her journey through life. Her kidnapper, Gothel, mostly treats her well but often bullies and puts her down to keep her controlled so while it isn’t exactly an outwardly abusive relationship, it certainly isn’t healthy; as Rapunzel has never known any different, she doesn’t realise just how harmful her upbringing has been.
This isn’t one of Disney’s best, the story is predictable (putting aside the familiarity of such a classic tale) and the songs aren’t particularly memorable but it is a great deal of fun and with such light-hearted entertainment that has very good comedy throughout, a lot can be forgiven. Without wanting to give spoilers, Flynn’s character is a refreshing change to the usual arrogant, ne’er-do-wells of this kind and his interactions with the extremely expressive horse, Maximus, are simply hilarious.
‘Tangled’ is a delightfully funny and heart-warming story that is bound to be a hit with Disney fans of all ages. It may not be perfect but by doing away with the ‘epic’ and telling a relatively small tale around a small cast of characters, ‘Tangled’ displays more warmth and charm than most recent Disney releases, and with such a likeable heroine, children are going to be glued to their screens from start to finish.
IS ‘TANGLED’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
The movie starts with Rapunzel being stolen as a baby. Her parents are devastated and search for her with no success. They light sky lanterns every year hoping that she will see them and return to them. At one point, many years after her kidnapping, her parents are shown just before lighting the lanterns, her father cries and her mother comforts him, clearly struggling to maintain her own composure. This level of love and loss that they have endured for so long could be upsetting for children as well as the idea that children can be abducted and never found.
Rapunzel and Flynn go to a tavern that is full of frightening-looking men that are described as ‘ruffians’. They grab Flynn roughly and attempt to throttle him, they then surround him, pulling and stretching out his limbs; a large man stands in front of him lining up to punch him which would cause him severe injury. However, the men are stopped by Rapunzel who manages to appeal to their gentler natures.
When Flynn and Rapunzel are being pursued by a number of men, they come across a dam which bursts and the water sweeps many people and animals up in a fast and ferocious wave. Although later on some of these people are seen to be alive and well (and, within the context of the movie, it is assumed that no-one was killed as a result of wave), some kids may be upset as it initially seems as though at least some of these people and animals have been killed.
Rapunzel is approached from behind in the dark by two threatening men. They are initially seen in shadow and mist which is quite intense for several seconds. When she turns to face them, they are menacing, loom over her and attempt to place a sack over her head.
A character is captured by palace guards and told that they will be hung. They are walked past a window that looks out over the scaffold, they appear a little scared but do not become overly distressed.
An established character is stabbed, collapses to the floor and after a short exchange with a loved one, they die. Some blood is shown on their torso where the wound is but nothing graphic is seen. Their loved one is devastated and openly grieves for their loss.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
‘Tangled’ is a lovely modern retelling of a classic tale and although love is a major part of the film, the main focus is on character development which adds depth to an otherwise simple story. Although this movie has a ‘PG’ rating, we believe that it is appropriate for all ages.
- Violence: 1/5 (some mild action sequences which are usually comedic in nature)
- Emotional Distress: 3/5
- Fear Factor: 2/5 (a few intense moments but they do not last longer than a few seconds)
- Sexual Content: 0/5
- Bad Language: 0/5
- Dialogue: 2/5 (Gothel is often verbally abusive towards Rapunzel but insults her with a smile on her face as if her words are meant to be taken light-heartedly. She bullies her by calling her names like ‘dummy’ and ‘naive’)
- Other notes: Deals with themes of child abduction, having an overly controlling parental figure, a young woman’s dreams of freedom and excitement, love, greed and never giving up hope.
Words by Laura Record
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