Tangled Blu-Ray And DVD
Raised in isolation by the captor she believes to be a loving but passive aggressive mother, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is unaware she was born a princess and has spent her relatively happy-but-unfulfilling life in a tower hidden in the forest of her birth family’s kingdom. Her assumed mother/kidnapper snatched baby Rapunzel out of her crib, so she could reap the benefits of her magical golden hair. (Which, by the way, is particularly noteworthy not only for its fountain of youth and healing properties, but for its sheer lack of breakage, considering how often it’s used to hoist her mom up into the tower.)
Tangled is Disney’s first CGI fairy tale, and though the animation is beautiful, the CGI somewhat disassociates Tangled from the rest of the princess movies. Pre-Rapunzel, the latest addition to the crew was Tiana of the The Frog Princess, who has a similar aesthetic to the one Disney now uses to draw all official members princess lineup: Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, and the like (you’ll notice that they all look quite alike these days as compared to the original versions). Rapunzel appears as if she’d be more at home in the Shrek universe.
There is a particularly stunning scene in which hundreds of paper lanterns are lit and released into the night sky, that has wonderful detail and depth even on the DVD version. The sweeping panorama really showcases the brilliant work of Disney’s animators, and adds a whimsical, romantic realism to an otherwise cartoony film.
The film comes as a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, but if you don’t have a Blu-ray player, you miss out on some significant special features, including deleted scenes, extended versions of the super catchy songs, and a “making of” featurette hosted by Moore and Zachary Levi. Both the Blu-ray disk and DVD feature alternate introductions in the storybook style, a la Beauty and the Beast. The final version is instead a nontraditional narration by the smooth-talking hero, Flynn Rider (Levi). The alternate intros are made of some early sketches and include commentary from the directors about why they chose to introduce the story with a modern twist. It sets the tone for the rest of the film and seems natural for a story that’s been updated from its original (and tired) “damsel in distress” theme. This kind of exposure to part of the creative process really helps one appreciate the extensive creative process that’s involved before arriving at the final product, so it’s a shame that the DVD extras are limited to just this one.
Tangled is a success in any number of ways – visually, musically, comically – and would be entertaining on even the tiniest iPod screen. But anyone planning to purchase this for children may want to keep in mind Disney fairy tales tend to be played on heavy rotation, making it worth it to spring for the high-definition and extra features that Blu-ray offers.
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