5 out of 5 stars (Contains no spoilers)
“Mommy, can we please, please go see Rapunzel? She’s a princess.” My daughter looked up at me with large, imploring eyes. And in a flash I was back at the old Landis Theater in Vineland, NJ with my mom, my own little grade school self staring wide-eyed at Sleeping Beauty on the big screen. Back to the present, my daughter bounced on the balls of her feet like a baby robin as I thought to myself…a new Disney princess movie? I’m so there. Time to keep the tradition going. I raised my hand to my daughter and she slapped me a high five.
Far from an original concept, Tangled is the age old story of boy meets girl (an equation I shall never tire of, so long as I live). In this particular story, the boy is a scoundrel and the girl is a princess (Han and Leia minus the Millennium Falcon). Again, not a unique idea. However, this movie was executed so brilliantly, with perfect pacing, that no one will remotely care that this is a recycled plot (or that it’s a cartoon, for that matter).
From the previews, I was pumped up for some good old-fashioned slap stick humor. Figured even my boys would get a chuckle. And Tangled certainly did not disappoint. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. That was what I had come for. That was what I was prepared for. I was NOT prepared to cry. Yeah, I cried at a Disney movie (not a first by the way—I got a bit choked up when Belle leaned over the Beast and whispered ‘I love you’). But this? Tears were streaming down my face. I had a “please don’t let my husband see this or I am so going to get teased” moment.
And it wasn’t just me. At a certain scene (you’ll know it when you see it), the entire theater, made up of mostly children, fell silent except for sniffling. And then a sweet, little voice rose from amongst the crowd and asked, “Mommy, why are you crying?” And then we all laughed. I was not the only lachrymose mommy.
What did I love about this movie?
Finally, a strong heroine I can enthusiastically cheer for! As a reader of Young Adult fiction, I’ve been so frustrated lately with the lack of good, strong female leads. And I finally found one. Ironically, a cartoon character. Don’t get me wrong. Rapunzel is sheltered and sweet, but she’s not one to cower in a corner and wait for the guy to save her. No, a number of times, she saves him. Refreshing!
It’s a redemption story. I am a complete and utter sucker for a story of personal restoration. I mean, come on, we’ve got a scoundrel here. Of course he needs to be redeemed. And it was done so magnificently. Amongst the sea of predictable plots of Disney movies, there’s a part in Tangled where I turned to my husband, with my mouth agape and said, “I didn’t see that coming.” And my highly intelligent husband admitted he didn’t either. I LOVE THAT!
Bottom line: There is nothing I disliked about this movie. Nothing. I cannot say this strongly enough: Go see this movie. GO NOW. Run like the dragon form of Maleficent is chasing you down. You can thank me later. Oh, but whatever you do…do not forget to tuck a tissue in your pocket. J-Suzi Ryan