Flynn, voiced by Zachary Levi, courts Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, in Tangled’s reinvention of the fairy tale.
TANGLED (Nathan Greno, Byron Howard). 101 minutes. Opens Wednesday (November 24). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
The story of Rapunzel doesn't exactly fly off the page. Girl's got long hair, lives in a tower; some guy comes by and she lets him climb up her hair to get with her. Not exactly empowering.
Obviously, the thing to do is turn it into a musical where Rapunzel (a princess born with magic healing hair thanks to her mother's exposure to a supernatural flower) gets snatched away as a baby by a conniving old woman bent on keeping her gift for herself and sealed up in a tower, hidden from her birth parents. But then handsome young rogue Flynn Ryder discovers the tower... whereupon Rapunzel whacks him with a frying pan.
It's that kind of movie. More specifically, it's a fleet, fun and splendidly realized digital fantasy designed to look like a Disneyland attraction come to life. Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard amp up that plastinated CG sheen, an effect that plays strangely well in 3-D.
Mandy Moore and Chuck's Zachary Levi contribute sprightly performances as the voices of Rapunzel and her would-be suitor, with Donna Murphy channelling Patti LuPone as Rapunzel's supremely passive-aggressive captor.
But the best performance is a silent one delivered by the animators of Flynn's nemesis, Maximus, a guardsman's horse clearly modelled on Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive - but funnier, obviously, because he's a horse. Pity they couldn't figure out a way to give him a song.