Monday, January 24, 2011

‘Tangled,’ spangled

Rapunzel gets a makeover in Disney’s “Tangled,” an endearing, if highly routine re-interpretation of the Brothers Grimm’s classic tale. Like many Disney princesses, Rapunzel is tormented, only this girl is a prisoner of a hag who abducted her as an infant and poses as her overprotective single mother. The teen’s golden, untrimmed hair has healing properties, and has kept her “mother” perpetually young. Rapunzel is forbidden from leaving their doorless tower, which keeps imagined dangers away.

The songs, while not as catchy as Disney’s older fairy tale soundtracks, still enhance the storytelling. There are stock characters and situations; however, their inclusion is easily forgivable because of focused characterization.

Rapunzel’s love interest, Flynn, looks like a generic charming rogue, but he’s got a few secrets that make us understand his less-than-lawful ways. Also, the angry horse Maximus starts out as a bitter adversary to lawbreakers, but there’s more to it than that, and his personality is well-defined despite his inability to speak. The friendly barbarians, they’re typically quirky background characters, less-fleshed out and briefly utilized but useful story elements.

A rich color palette also helps in creating mesmerizing, mood-conducive environments. Rapunzel’s adventure has its twists and turns at expected intervals, and the sure and total recollection of her real identity is a bit iffy. Still, “Tangled” deserves to be seen and enjoyed; it’s a Disneyfied fairy tale, but it also pleasantly reminds us of the company’s beloved films from decades past.

"Tangled” opens Feb. 2 in Metro Manila.

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