Before Disney had the mega-hit it was looking for with Frozen, there was an attempt to nail the non-Pixar 3D animation formula with Tangled, a new take on the classic Rapunzel fairy-tale.
With The Princess and the Frog, it looked like Disney was ready to be Disney again, bringing back a unique style of 2D animation now long dormant. Sadly, Tangled isn't another hand-drawn effort but rather a quality, polished-looking 3D treat which looks about 10 times better than any of the Shrek films yet still very 90's in spirit... in a good way.
Tangled looks modern but it's very much a throwback to the likes of The Little Mermaid so your enjoyment of the film will probably depend on whether you like that type of Disney film or if you hate it with a passion. The story of Rapunzel, like the Frog Prince, is an inevitable, safe choice for Disney but both stories have clearly been handled with a lot of heart and with 80's kids in mind.
Now the film itself, it should be said, is very derivative: the humour feels a bit like Shrek (but funny), the main guy looks like Aladdin, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) looks like just about every Disney princess (though with longer hair), the villain also feels pretty generic and yet the whole thing feels fresh and is still a lot of fun. Mostly thanks to the pretty amusing combination of a wacky horse and a gecko (both basically steal the show), a more modern approach to jokes and musical numbers. The latter are, it must be said, catchier than most of The Princess and the Frog's but still there is a lack of genuinely memorable tunes there.
"A Whole New World", "Part Of Your World", remember those?
Anyway, on the whole, Tangled was another move in the right direction for Disney. All it needed was a little more originality, catchier songs and a better ending (this one is just annoying, think Pokemon The Movie), something which Frozen delivered soon enough.
Kids and some, more retro-nostalgic adults will love it.