‘Tangled’ Coming to Blu-ray and DVD
When I saw Tangled in the theater last December, I thought it was the most charming, romantic, and entertaining (non-Pixar) Disney animated film since Beauty and the Beast (1991). Disney’s 50th animated feature is such a delight that I was simultaneously grinning broadly and blinking back tears for most of the 100 minute duration.
And now, four months after its box office debut, Tangled is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on March 29th! Tangled-lovers with multiple home systems can even buy a 4-disc combo pack with the film on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and as a digital copy (a steal at only $29.99 on Amazon). Members of the Disney Movie Rewards club are also eligible for a free* Tangled bracelet with their purchase of the film between March 29th and June 30th, while supplies last.
It’s possible that my adoration of the film won’t hold up with repeated home-viewings, but here are five things I loved about Tangled the first time around that are sure to withstand the test of time.
1. Rapunzel: My Kind of Heroine
Too many heroines in romantic films (from animated Disney classics to the more contemporary Bella in the Twilight series) are notorious for lacking personality, ambition, and interests outside of finding a mate and performing the traditionally female-centric roles of housekeeper and mother. Having been locked away in an isolated tower for eighteen years, Rapunzel has had little opportunity to do things outside of the women’s sphere of cleaning, baking, and sewing, but she makes it clear in the delightful song, “When Will My Life Begin”, that she’s not content to stay at home and do as she’s told.
Rapunzel is a charming overachiever who excels at everything she does, from reading to painting, darts, chess, and ventriloquy. But these accomplishments aren’t enough to keep her adventurous spirit satiated, and she longs to experience the world outside her tower and the mystery, beauty, and excitement it promises. Despite years of warnings from Mother Gothel, Rapunzel leaves her tower and bravely seeks out her heart’s desires – desires that are admirably much grander than the singular goal of meeting and marrying a prince, though of course she gets her prince in the end, too! The actress-singer Mandy Moore was a great choice for making Rapunzel come alive on screen and is (almost) as adorable in real-life as her feisty animated counterpart.
2. Alan Menken’s Original Score
When the fabulously evil Mother Gothel bursts into song for “Mother Knows Best”, I was immediately reminded of some of the best songs from the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s – and for good reason. Eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, composer of such Oscar winning musicals as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and Pocahontas (1995), has returned in fine form with another memorable Disney soundtrack. Tangled‘s original songs are an upgrade from the largely forgettable The Princess and the Frog (2009), and would transition seamlessly to the stage, should the Walt Disney Company decide to take Tangled to Broadway. I hope they do – I would be first in line to buy tickets!
3. Awesome Animal Sidekicks
Disney animation has a long history of lovable animal sidekicks, from the mice in Cinderella (1950) to Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid (1989). Most of Disney’s animal sidekicks are able to speak, but a few have had to rely on clever anthropomorphic animation to express themselves without using language. Tangled‘s Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon are two of the most brilliantly animated non-speaking sidekicks in the Disney cannon. With a carefully timed snarl, a flick of the tongue, or a stamp of the hoof, Maximus and Pascal are not only endearing, they’re hilarious, and the duo provides much of the film’s physical humor, especially when clashing with Flynn. Of course, what makes the sidekicks extra lovable is their unfailing loyalty to Tangled‘s feisty heroine – what more could a Disney princess ask for?
4. Rapunzel and Flynn’s Romance in “I Can See the Light”
100 minutes isn’t much time to develop a believable love story, especially when the events of the film cover only a few days in the lives of its characters; but Disney’s princess films have never shied from romance, and Tangled is no exception. Rapunzel and Flynn develop nicely in the course of the film, from an anxious and naive girl and her thieving scoundrel companion to two courageous lovers willing to sacrifice their lives for each other. Their burgeoning romance is beautifully animated in the “I Can See the Light” musical sequence as Rapunzel and Flynn float on the water, surrounded by thousands of glowing lanterns. It’s the most beautifully captured Disney love song since Beauty and the Beast danced in the ballroom and Aladdin and Jasmine flew on their magic carpet ride.
5. And Everyone Lives Happily Ever After
The film opens with Flynn claiming that “This is the story of how I died”, but anyone familiar with Disney films knows that this is little more than a red herring. Disney has always been firmly committed to giving every princess a happily ever after which means that their Prince Charmings (and their ruffian petty thieves) always make it through in the end. As predictable as the ending of Tangled may be, Flynn’s temporary death and Rapunzel’s reunion with her parents are still wonderfully enthralling. Every time the bereaved King and Queen appeared on screen, I got misty eyed, and when they were finally able to embrace their long-lost daughter after eighteen years of never losing hope, I really lost it. As if two happily ever afters in one film weren’t enough, even Maximus and the artistically minded scoundrels of the Snuggly Duckling get their happy endings – really, you can’t ask for more than that.