Directed by Nathan Greno & Byron Howard
Written by Dan Fogelman
The brothers Grimm are the brothers Grimm for a reason, just like Disney Animation Studios is Disney Animation Studios for a reason. And this is not the first time the two have found each other for a bit of magic. Of course the very first Disney film, Snow White, was also a Grimm fairy tale. But Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince (The Princess and the Frog) have all come from the magical minds of the Brothers Grimm. So now we have the classic tale of Rapunzel and her beautiful, flowing, golden locks. And what makes this marriage such a wonderful thing is that the minds at Disney are just as magical as the Brothers Grimm, they just use a different medium.
To be honest, I have never actually read the Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel, but I am willing to bet it is a fair bit different from what Disney did with Tangled. We have Rapunzel trapped in her tower by her evil mother who uses her magical hair to stay young. But she does not know she was kidnapped by this evil woman and that she is actually the Lost Princess of the kingdom, so she believes her “mother” when she tells her the world is dangerous and she is better off in the tower. But that is all about to change when she follows her longtime dream when she meets hoodlum Flynn Rider and forces him to guide her to see the magical lights in the sky on her birthday. It may seem like I just spoiled a fair bit, but honestly, you learn pretty much all of that in the first five minutes of the film.
For the life of me I cannot figure out what it is about Disney that is so magical and makes their films so magical, but they are. They are just such good storytellers, and the stories they choose to tell are always marvelous. What we as an audience get here is a story of rebellion, adventure, love, and the unquenchable thirst to pursue dreams. It may start slower than it finishes, laying the groundwork for the story, but once Flynn and Rapunzel get going, nothing stopped them from stealing my heart, my laughter, and my dreams. I have only cried at a handful of films so far this year (Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3 off the top of my head), but this one joins that list because Disney knows how to get to my emotions I guess. It is something with the adults at Disney who are young at heart, who haven’t lost their will to dream, to hope, and to love with all their hearts. That is why Disney continues to make great films. And that is why I will continue to love their films. If ever one day they lose these characteristics, somebody smack them. And if ever one day I lose these characteristics, definitely smack me.
P.S. The flying lantern scene is gorgeous.
P.P.S. What a great year for animation: The Secret of Kells, How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3 and now this. And I still need to see The Illusionist!