“Tangled”, Disney’s latest Princess installment, captured me from the start with a charm likened to “Beauty and the Beast”. “Tangled” (rated PG) tells the story of Princess Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Morre), who is stolen from her crib as a baby by Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) for the magical healing powers found in her long, golden hair. Eighteen years pass and we learn Mother Gothel has kept Rapunzel locked in a tower her entire life. Upon the approach of her eighteenth birthday Rapunzel’s one request to travel to the nearby city is denied by Mother Gothel citing lack of safety in the outside world.
A chance meeting with bandit Flynn Ryder (voiced by Zachary Levi) provides Rapunzel with the guide needed to get to the city and back before Mother Gothel returns in three days. As you can imagine, traveling with a hunted thief provides much adventure, as does being free from her tower for the first time in eighteen years.
I highly recommend this movie for the whole family (including dads and sons). Several moral messages are skillfully woven within the fun which could be seen as a helpful teaching tool: 1) eventually hidden patterns of sin are always brought to light and there are always consequences for that sin; 2) the sacrificial laying down of one’s life for another brings rewards; and 3) humility breeds joy which is sometimes found in the most unlikely of places. The trademark Disney songs are short enough to keep young children’s attention, the costumes are not immodest like some past Princesses (see Jasmine, Aerial, etc.) and Mother Gothel’s manipulations are kept short and far less scary then past villains (see Ursula, Maleficent, Jafar, ect.). Rapunzel’s zeal for life is fun and infectious while humor is added not only through Rapunzel’s naivety, but also through her pet chameleon, Pascal, and the Captain of the Guard’s horse, Maximus. I give “Tangled” four out of five stars. …Stephanie Spurgetis