When The Princess and The Frog came out last year, there was a trailer for this movie before it and it almost appeared that Disney was going to keep this classic 2D animation of the classic fairytale musical stories going. You know, like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and The Beast. I thought The Princess and The Frog was marvelous and just as worthy to stand among those other Disney classics. But then I saw that Tangled was going to be computer animated and...even worse...released in 3D! I wrote this film off as another crappy Disney movie that could've been released by any other studio before I even saw it. I was wrong. I enjoyed this movie SO MUCH more than I thought I would. First off, the computer animation is made to look (almost in tribute too) the 2D animation. Second, the 3D effects are fun but not too gimicky to make me think I'm in an amusement park. But most importantly, this is a classic Disney movie in every sense. It's a musical with great songs. It's fun and colorful. It has a hilarious script and is directed well by a team of guys who worked on Bolt, which was far from traditional Disney. It follows the formula for a successful Disney film to the finest point: a princess who's in trouble but is still tough, a charming hero that doesn't like her at first, talking (or not talking) animal friends that steal the show with their human emotions, an evil villain that has one, clear goal, unlikely friends the two main characters meet along the way, love that comes from their shared expierence and songs, action and comedy to wrap it all up. Put it all in the pot, bring it to a slow boil and you've got a successful Disney film. Sure they're all the same but remember that the target audience is children; the more you can keep it familiar to them, the more they'll dig it. The whole thing is wonderfully acted by the shockingly good team of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi (ABC's Chuck), who can actually sing pretty well. There are times when you're watching Tangled that you forget that it's computer animated and, for me, that's what really won me over as a fan. I guess I just need to come to terms with the fact that the classic 2D animation might be dead. Although The Princess and The Frog was a critical success, it was considered a box office failure and I suppose that's because kids want to see 2D animation as much as adults want to see Black and White films. But as long as Disney still pays homage to the old school, I can learn to love the new school.
Tangled (Rated PG)
Gavin Grade: A-
Utterly charming, visually sumptuous and often witty, this new 3D musical rendition of the old fairy tale...will delight youngsters and teens while holding the attention of the more hair-challenged among audiences.