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While it will probably never be quite the film classic that the majority of the other Disney animated Princess Fairy Tales have become, TANGLED ($40) is still a highly enjoyable movie that will appeal to kids and adults alike. Adapted from the German fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, TANGLED offers a somewhat modernized, modified and softened version of the story. The premise of TANGLED tells of a magical plant with healing properties that has been used for centuries by an elderly woman named Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) to stay young. When the pregnant queen of a nearby kingdom falls ill, the king dispatches his guards to find the legendary plant. Ultimately, the plant is destroyed healing the queen, and she gives birth to a baby girl named Rapunzel. Gothel comes to the castle in search of the plant, but discovers Rapunzel’s golden hair retains the destroyed plant’s healing abilities. In an effort to retain the source of her eternal youth, Gothel cuts a lock of Rapunzel’s golden hair, but the cut hair immediately turns brown loses all of its magical properties. Unwilling to give up eternal life, Gothel kidnaps the infant princess and locks her away in a tower in the middle of the forest.

Years pass, and Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) grows to womanhood, sheltered from the outside world by her overprotective "mother" Gothel. For her eighteenth birthday, requests to leave the tower to go see the lights in the sky, which strangely appear every year on her birthday. However, Gothel flatly refuses Rapunzel’s request, warning her yet again, of the dangers of the world and the bad people that inhabit it. However, in lieu of letting Rapunzel leave the tower, Gothel does agree to fetch her the necessary ingredients to make a special paint as a birthday present, despite the fact it will be a three-day journey to acquire the items her "daughter" will need.

Meanwhile, a group of thieves, led by the handsome Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi), sneak into the castle to steal the tiara belonging the missing princess, then flee into the forest pursued by the palace guards. Flynn becomes separated from his accomplices and happens upon Rapunzel’s tower. Flynn scales the tower walls, and while looking for valuables, is knocked unconscious by Rapunzel. Upon waking, Rapunzel advised Flynn that she will release him and return his satchel (which contains the tiara) only if he agrees to escort her to see the lights in the sky that appear on her birthday and take her back to the tower. Flynn agrees to Rapunzel’s terms, but the road to the lights is paved with obstacles, including Gothel, Flynn’s accomplices, a palace guard’s horse named Maximus intent on capturing Flynn, not to mention a bit of romance. The vocal talent behind TANGLED also features Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett, Paul F. Tompkins and Richard Kiel.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has made TANGLED available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. This is another virtually flawless 1080p presentation from Disney. As TANGLED is a CGI animated film has been transferred directly from the digital files, the image on this Blu-ray release is virtually perfect reflection of what the computer animation team intended. TANGLED seems to marry the 2D animation style of Disney animated fairy tales to the CGI realm rather nicely. Backgrounds are remarkably detailed and rich looking, while the characters are somewhat less detailed- the implication, you can’t pull off photo-realism in stylized animated characters. Colors are highly attractive and perfectly render the pastel hues of the fairy tale world that the characters inhabit. Blacks are pitch perfect, while the whites demonstrate the same kind of straight from the computer realm perfection. Additionally, contrast displays the kind of smoothness that can only be achieved in the digital realm. As I stated above, the presentation comes directly from the digital files, so there is no grain, nor will one find any visual imperfections in the image.

TANGLED is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a pretty terrific sounding track that benefits from a nicely directional implementation, which makes excellent use of all the outlying channels for active sound effects placement. Of course, TANGLED is also a musical, with Alan Menken’s music and songs being greatly enhanced by the lossless encoding featured on this Blu-ray, as well as being given a nice spread throughout the soundstage. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. The bass channel is deep and adds all the necessary reinforcement that the track requires, like thundering hoof beats. French and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution soundtracks are also encoded onto the disc, as is an English Descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include: Untangled: The Making Of A Fairy Tale (twelve minutes) and 50th Animated Feature Countdown (two minutes). Original Storybook Openings with introductions from directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, Deleted Scenes with directors’ introductions, Extended Songs with directors’ introductions and Tangled Teasers close out the standard extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray.

While not quite a classic, TANGLED is a highly enjoyable animated film that will appeal to kids and adults alike. TANGLED looks and sounds pretty darn terrific on Blu-ray. Recommended.


Tangled (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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