Best Movies of All Time + [Zachary Levi]

TANGLED

TANGLED

You can watch the trailer here

Hang on, Toy Story 3. Looks like Disney has a little bit more up their sleeve...

Disney's take on the Rapunzel story, which was directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, adds a few twists and turns with a little bit of contemporary attitude. As a baby, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is stolen from her royal world by Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) for the fountain-of-youth-like powers that her hair contains. She locks the girl in a remote tower for eighteen years, and every year on her birthday, Rapunzel sees a cloud of lanterns bathe the sky (we're told that these come from the castle where the king and queen hope their daughter will see them and return home). Rapunzel desperately wants to find the meaning behind the lanterns, believing there to be a connection between them and her birthday. Then, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, a mysterious thief named Flynn Ryder (voiced by Zachary Levi) makes his way into her tower, and after making a deal with Rapunzel, agrees to escort her to the flying lanterns she so much wants to see.

As you can imagine, the story takes a number of both comedic and dramatic turns throughout its one-hundred minute run-time, and it just flows so well. This is Disney firing on all cylinders, with every facet of the film fulfilling - no, exceeding - expectations. The story keeps you captivated throughout the movie, and there's never a dull moment.

The voice work is fantastic, especially from Moore who provides both the speaking and singing voice for our lead Rapunzel. She brings such a sense of innocence and wonder to the screen that I haven't seen in a Disney movie since Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Levi also holds his own as our male lead, but the real accolades have to go to Murphy's stellar voice performance as our villain. There's something about Mother Gothel that's both eerie and wonderful. Her song - one of the better one's in the film - is a tour-de-force coming from the Tony Award-nominee.

Speaking of the music: I'm so glad that Disney chose to hold onto the musical aspect of their animated films. Because this was going to be the first CGI princess, I wondered whether they'd go the route of previous Disney-Pixar films that held no emphasis on original compositions. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the soundtrack is simply astounding. The aforementioned Mother Gothel song ("Mother Knows Best") may be the strongest vocally, but there's a song that Moore and Levi share called "I See the Light" that may very well be one of my favorite Disney songs of all time, just falling short of Aladdin's "A Whole New World" (my all-time favorite). Sure, it may take a little time to pick up steam, but I think that some of these songs could become as iconic as some of the former Disney classics.

When you see the film, be on the lookout for a couple on-screen references to other Disney fare (I noticed a reference to both the film Sleeping Beauty and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland). Please, please take in this movie - Disney's 50th animated feature film - because I don't think you'll be disappointed. I went in with my reservations, and I came out smiling from ear to ear.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #128
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