Tangled 2011 5*

"This is the story of how I died". Motivations, methods, and secrets tangle up in confusion to an almost sad and scary end. One big birthday, furiously fast 24 hours. Only the tower-long hair is like the original Rapunzel, so less predictable than many re-tellings.

Preview makes me laugh every time: frypan bonk, kungfu hair fight, "The Smolder". Did I see this "Tangled 2" as Xmas special?

Beloved Disney heroines dance, lift, wrap, kiss, in dawn, moonlight - match perfect to perfect melody. Uplifting for Valentine, any day. Rapunzel, Flynn, and other "Legendary Dreamers" set to "Lift Me Up", and other love songs. Having lost my own dad before I knew him, I'm not so keen on Lion King brat who causes his father's death, but Mulan and Hunchback of Notre Dame touch hearts set to "Heartline".

This is more than a silly musical cartoon, because serious lessons invisibly painlessly slip in. Adults, maybe parents, who "protect" you, can be abusive liars. Reaching for dreams can be dangerous, achieving them a disappointment, requiring sacrifice. What we want (freedom of choice) can be confused with how we reach (theft) our perception of that goal (wealth). We can change who we are by what we do. Help can come from unlikely places. An unexpectedly effective weapon can be a frypan.


Long ago, a single golden drop of the sun grew into a magic flower. Sung a sweet verses, the glow healed. The next events puzzle me. If only people did not greedily hoard for themselves, couldn't maybe single petals heal everybody forever? Another lesson about win-win results of sharing?

Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) hid the bloom for centuries, to keep herself youthful. When the pregnant queen fell deathly sick, the blossom was found and made into a healing drink. The healthy babe (Mandy Moore) had golden hair and enormous endearing eyes like her mom.

When Gothel snuck in and sang, the hair glowed and restored her. When she cut off a lock, the hair turned brown and useless. So Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel, hid her in a tower, and raised her as her own, claiming "I love you most", and stays lovely outside, bad inside.

The Biggest Day of their Lives:

Every year the girl sees the castle release a sky-full of lanterns to fly free on her birthday, and yearns to find their source, but Gothel refuses. Finally, on her 18th birthday, the orphan thief Flynn Rider (Zachary Levy also TV Chuck, the perfect combination of looks, amiability, cleverness, and bumbling) climbs her tower. He stole her tiara from the castle, is on the run, pursued by his villainous cohorts and the royal guards, led by the horse Maximus, who trails and wags like a dog.

Max and Pascal, the princess's pet chameleon have no voices, but credit Disney animators for extremely expressive faces and bodies. A helpful, most unlikely singing Thug Hook is Brad Garrett from TV Everybody Loves Raymond, his brother Robert.

The winding road leads back to the tower, but the ups and downs, traps and escapes, carry us a long way in a single day.

Voices: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levy, Donna Murphy

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