Tangled

It’s about time Disney Channel gives us another charming animated movie; since the Princess and the Frog (which I never saw, though based on the previews it didn’t look like much; I’d have to see it to ascertain whether my superficial impressions on it were correct or not) they haven’t really made anything besides Tron. But, with Tangled, we finally have another one of those classic musicals that find a warm place in our hearts, and this film is no exception.

The plot begins fairly conventionally, at least as far as Disney movies go: We see the queen in her boudoir, with the king, several noblemen and women, and a nurse, all of whom are awaiting the former’s daughter to be born. Whilst in labor, however, they all discover that the queen is mortally ill, and that if help is not brought to her quickly, she might die, and the baby with her. The king, desperate, orders his men to search for a fabled healing flower, which, legend tells it, has the power to heal any wound, and to revert time itself and restore a person’s youth. Now, it just so happens that an old hag has been abusing this power for ages and has hidden it away for herself, but when it is exposed, and the king’s soldiers perceive it, they dig it out of the ground and return it to the castle, to the old hag’s dismay. The flower is placed in a basin of water, and after soaking for a time, the draught is given to the queen, who drinks it and becomes well again… With a mild side effect. Her daughter, Repunzel, is born, but she has a head of golden hair which possesses the same power of the golden flower. So the old hag, sneaking into the castle in high hopes that she might be able to purloin the valuable little plant, finds that it has now become a part of the girl, and steals the child away instead.

All in the first five minutes, so don’t worry about spoilers.

From there, the plot takes off, but I won’t go into too many additional details. All I can say is it’s a ripsnorting thrill ride that runs the slapstick commedy gamut – only it does it a lot better than most movies. I’ll say one thing: Flynn Rider, plus a wooden cabinet and fifty feet of hair, equals plenty of laughs.

But the movie deviates from most animated films in that it actually has a very deep storyline that runs throughout the entire thing. Yes, there are plenty of scenes thrown in just for the younger audience, since it is the children to whom this movie is chiefly directed, but the relationship between Repunzel and her would-be Prince Charming, and even her parents, who will not give up the search to find her, is poignant and real. Even moreso, in my opinion, than, perhaps, The Chronicles of Narnia – the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. If they made the next Narnia film in exactly the same manner as they did, but with the characterization that constitutes a respectable majority of Tangled thrown in, then I think it would have been a lot better.

I was especially struck with the scene near the end of the film when the floating lights are released into the sky; it’s not only a beautiful display, but it’s symbolic of the lenghts a mother and a father will go through to find their lost child, and I will honestly avow that I did tear up while it all happened. But it was certainly worth it, and it will probably remain one of my favorite movies of the entire year because of it. In a way, I can almost see the king representing God; that is, He is constantly looking for us, goes to great lengths to draw us closer to Him, and is heartbroken when we remain lost. But when we’re found, He rejoices, and we are embraced in His love. I don’t know if Disney meant to include this allegory, but for Christians it’s certainly cool to see parallels like this. 

And the end absolutely blew me away. Just trust me when I say that watching the entire film is all worth it, if only for seeing the final scene.

And Mandy Moore (who voiced Repunzel) sang the flower-activation song (you’ll understand when you see it; for spoiler purposes, I won’t disclose the meaning behind it yet) with such a haunting voice, especially at the end, that I got chills down my spine. Again, you just have to see it to believe me.

And with Tangled my movie-viewing year ends.

But it was definitely a good way to end it.

Happy New Year everyone! God bless!

In Christ,

Ryan

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