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Topic: I just saw Tangled! Stop worrying. It's good.

Wed 5/26/2010 12:18a
Through the auspices of an alert friend and some good luck, I got to attend a test screening of Tangled this evening in Ontario, CA. (Cue Disney internet monitoring types: "OMG ... who the Helen of Troy let mawnck in to the test screening?" followed by an exhaustive dig through the comment sheets to see if they can figure out which one's me. Pbbbbbbbt.)

They told us that our screening and another one earlier in the evening were the first public showings ever, so we felt pretty special. Even saw John Lasseter his self in the audience gauging the reaction.

Very little of Tangled is finished - about 11% according to our MC, and I doubt it was even that much. There was quite a bit of rough computer animation and quite a bit more still storyboard drawings. Therefore I can't say much about the overall look of the flick other than they're off to a swell start.

It's an action/romance/fairy tale/comedy/musical, with none of those elements overpowering or taking away from the others. For a bit of spiciness, there's an enjoyably disturbing dose of psychodrama in the relationship between Rapunzel and her stepmom Madame Gothel*.

(*I'm horrible with names, and am taking Wikipedia's word for it that Madame Gothel is correct. If it isn't, it's all Wikipedia's fault.)

Miss R doesn't hang out in the tower for too long - it's mostly her and Flynn (who is a wanted criminal with lots of folks after him for assorted reasons) having adventures and falling in looooooove and meeting plenty of interesting people, while trying to avoid Madame G's evil schemes to get R back in the tower.

Even in this rough form, it is a VERY entertaining movie, and the audience was laughing their butts off at the gags (even the ones still on storyboard) and was very engrossed in the exciting stuff - with the exception of one rather flimsy action sequence which I have a funny hunch is going to be a bit different in the finished product, assuming they really do read the comment sheets.

There are some GORGEOUS set-pieces in the works. We had to use our imaginations, but we could tell where they were going. They're gonna be stunning, especially this one thing near the end that I refuse to spoil for you.

Those who were disappointed in the musical numbers in The Princess and the Frog ... Get ready, cause they're about to make it up to you. WONDERFUL songs. At least two of them are Oscar worthy IMHO. One in particular, which involves a tavern full of assorted dangerous scoundrel-types singing about their secret dreams in life, has the potential to be a personal favorite of mine, not to mention a stone-cold classic. It is hee-larious!

If there's one complaint I have, it's that once again there's a cloud of deja vu hanging over the proceedings. Other than the vibe between Rapunzel and Madame Gothel, there's no new ground here ... it's all just a wonderfully-constructed revisiting of the old ground.

The gags are great, the songs are great, the music is great. But if you're over the age of, say, 11, there will be few moments in the movie where you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next. You've seen it all before. Lots of times.

It's particularly hard to ignore the Ariel resemblance in Rapunzel. She practically IS Ariel, albeit a bit more loopy and caffeinated. With more hair and less fins. Perhaps when the movie is finished the visuals will help set her apart. She certainly is a big-eyed cutie in the few completed scenes.

Disney animation buffs will notice many other characters and situations in Tangled that have obvious antecedents in the Disney catalog. Some are pretty flagrant.

Regardless of all that, it is a crowd-pleaser, fun for all ages and all sexes (yes, boys too, so FORCE them to go see it), lots of laughs, wonderful music, and potentially fabulous art direction. I absolutely can't wait to see the finished product.

Especially where in the heck they're going to put all that dang hair in each scene.
u k fan
Wed 5/26/2010 1:52a
Sounds very positive. I won't ask for spoilers!

I was already keen to see this so now I'm even more excited!!!
Liberty Belle
Wed 5/26/2010 5:06a
Sounds good, looking forward to seeing it!
Wed 5/26/2010 7:06a
"But if you're over the age of, say, 11, there will be few moments in the movie where you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next. You've seen it all before. Lots of times."

There have been a lot of HUGE money making and popular movies that fit that description. It is very hard to come up with anything that is truly original AND that people will like. These days, almost all originality is in the visuals. Just look at "Avatar". You can say you've seen the story before, but not those visuals.

Here's hoping that good visuals, good music, good voice acting, good pacing, AND GOOD MARKETING make this a hit.
Jim in Merced CA
Wed 5/26/2010 9:11a
Does Glen Keane have any more involvement in this movie? Or has he essentially been shown the door?
Wed 5/26/2010 10:33a
That I don't know. The version we saw had no credits. The designs of R and F have been adjusted somewhat from what we've been seeing in the leaked clips and artwork, and they seem to have abandoned plans to give it a 2D look.
Wed 5/26/2010 11:30a
Could you maybe tell a little bit more about the songs please? :) (How many are there? Does the villain have a song...?) I think the music in this film is what I'm looking forward the most.
Wed 5/26/2010 12:15p
I can't wait to hear the new Alan Menken Disney/Broadway-style songs.

I thought Enchanted's music was perfect.

I'm hoping the music for Tangled is up there with Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas, and Hunchback.

I miss Howard Ashman's influence on Disney movies.
Wed 5/26/2010 1:19p
Definitely Broadway style. Right down the Mermaid/Aladdin/B&tB alley.

I wasn't as focused on the songs as I was trying to imagine what the visuals were going to look like when they were finished, but I do remember that I thought they were all very strong.

There was a bit of a sense of "stop story here, time for a song" to a couple of them, but in each case (1) it turned out the song pushed the story forward after all and (2) the songs and visuals - even in the state they were in - were so entertaining that you got over it pretty quick anyway.

I believe I counted 5 or 6 songs (there were also partial songs, reprises, that sort of thing). Most were in the first half of the movie. A couple of ballads, the villain number, the thing in the tavern, and I'm sure I'm missing a couple others. It was a lot to take in, and I didn't have a notepad. ;-)

Madame Gothel has a great song. I believe it was called Mommy Knows Best. She sings it to R in the tower mostly against a black background, while scaring the poor kid half to death with various spooky shadows and props and such.

I don't know if I'd put this stuff up there with Howard Ashman. But if it's the songs you're looking forward to, I think you'll be pleased.
Wed 5/26/2010 3:41p
Could you tell me about humor and romantic moments?
A dear friend told me that humor isn't à la Shrek or à la Princess and the Frog (for Princess, humor was too slapstick and there is too toilet humor) and in Tangled humor is intelligent... Do you agree?

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