Disney has played around with fairy tales before, but Tangled is a different kind of mess. Based on the story of longhaired damsel-in-distress Rapunzel (the movie’s original title, by the way), the heroine (voiced by Mandy Moore) is a stronger, more independent girl here – still trapped in that dreadful tower, but more than capable of making it on her own. She’s also pretty good at kicking butt, which she does alongside thief Flynn (Chuck’s Zachary Levi), who reluctantly rescues Rapunzel from her towering prison. Like Shrek, Tangled stirs around fairy-tale conventions. Unlike Shrek, it doesn’t do a very good job of it, but there are some cute moments. In a way, Tangled is an old-fashioned Disney movie, with Broadway-ready songs, an evil witch-like villain obsessing over a pretty young princess, and funny animals (an eye-rolling chameleon steals the show). But the zippy CGI and wisecracking hero -- not to mention the 3-D --are definitely post-Shrek. And that’s the movie’s big problem: it’s stuck between two eras, without a firm grasp on either one.
Director: Byron Howard and Nathan Greno
Writer: Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm and Dan Fogelman
Producer: Roy Conli
Cast: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor, M.C. Gainey, Brad Garrett and Paul F. Tompkins