Review: Tangled Blu-ray

Tangled Blu-ray/DVD combo boxSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTORS: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard | VOICE CAST: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman
RELEASE DATE: 3/29/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD combo $39.99, Four-Disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy $49.99
BONUSES: featurette, deleted scenes, extended songs, original storybook opening, look at Disney’s 50 animated movies
SPECS: PG | 100 min. | Animated family | 1.78:1 aspect ratio | 7.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

TangledDisney‘s 50th animated movie, a modern spin on the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel, is fun and light, but it’s no Little Mermaid. Voiced by Mandy Moore (License to Wed), Rapunzel herself is one of the more spunky princesses. She’s as wide-eyed and innocent as Snow White, but swings around and kicks butt better than Shrek‘s Princess Fiona. The romance between her and the smart-mouthed outlaw Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi of TV’s Chuck) is predictable but sweet.

But where the movie lacks is its villain. Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Muphy of Spider-Man 2) is perfectly servicable, but she doesn’t have the delicious bite of earlier Disney bad girls, such as Ursula (The Little Mermaid), the Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and the classic Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians.

Where Tangled truly shines, however, is the computer-generated animation. The character movements, the glorious floating lanterns and Rapunzel’s stunning 70 feet of hair are incredible. And it all looks amazing in the high-definition presentation in the Blu-ray disc.

The creation of Rapunzel’s hair is addressed briefly in the featurette “Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale.” We learn that directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard hired a PhD in hair (really?) to consult on how hair moves and shines, and to even help develop a program to allow the animators to wrangle the thousands of strands so they flowed realistically. The featurette isn’t as in-depth as many on Disney’s discs. Hosted by Moore and Levi, it has more of a Disney Channel feel, as they give viewers backstage tidbits weaved around classic Disney trivia (what was the first Disney animated movie to feature CGI? Moore asks). Plus there are lots of hair puns, with Levi joking that we need to “brush” up on our trivia knowledge.

As Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated film, the featurette shows a quick run-through of all the titles in order, but the Blu-ray has a separate feature that does the same, showing classic scenes set to music. It’s brief, and it’s a shame more wasn’t done to celebrate this landmark.

The Tangled Blu-ray also includes three deleted scenes introduced by the directors, which are shown in sketch format, two earlier versions of the storybook opening of the film and two extended songs, “When Will My Life Begin” and “Mother Knows Best.”

The DVD in the two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo includes the standard-definition movie plus the original storybook openings.

All in all, however, it’s the movie that the prize in this package.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.