Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Grade: B
Cast: Mandy Moore (voice), Zachary Levi (voice)
Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair ….

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen ….

As a friend of mine noted, we are entering an age of collective amnesia. We no longer have to remember anything anymore. There are no long debates over beers about factual details. If there’s a disagreement, the conversation ends and someone pulls up Wikipedia.

For example as I get older, I no longer remember the storylines of fairy tales, and I want to know, can I trust Wikipedia? If Wiki is wrong, is it possible to tell the wrong story, impart the wrong meaning, and mis-teach a child?

Getting it right might be especially important with Rapunzel. As fairy-tale sexual metaphors go, the story of a certain hairy girl rides to the top of a very phallic tower. A witch traps a young woman with extremely long, rich hair in said phallic tower. A young prince climbs the tower using Rapunzel’s long hair, planning to marry the young woman. When the witch discovers the ruse, in some versions due to a growing belly, she confronts and blinds the prince. If children don’t get the story straight, then how will we prepare young boys for overbearing mother-in-laws? They need all the time they can get.

Disney's animated Tangled is a modern update that follows the Grimm story in many ways and departs in many others. Rapunzel goes from the daughter of paupers to a lost princess with magic hair that can replenish youth. Her selfish stage mother refuses to share her secret with the outside world. The prince is transformed into a sly rogue thief, who stumbles on the startled tower dweller, meeting the flat side of her frying pan. Rapunzel forces the thief into a date outside the tower, traveling to watch distant flying lanterns that are released each year on the lost princess’ birthday. Good morning Starshine ….

By and large, Rapunzel’s hairy adventure is not a letdown. The visually striking Tangled is vivid in both its colors and its details. The 3-D is more than a gimmick and adds depth of field.

So yes, give me a head with hair.

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