Saturday, August 27, 2011

Off the list: Tangled

Why, oh WHY didn't I see this in the theater? Anyway, yeah, I noticed that Disney's latest film, Tangled, was up on Netflix and decided to watch it this morning and it was incredible. Zachary Levi was great as Flynn (not that surprising - he's great in Chuck) and the tale actually turned into a really good action-adventure movie very quickly. Disney flipped their formula a bit and made it a redemption story instead of just a hero tale, which was a great touch. I really don't want to spoil anything in this part of the review, so I think I'll leave it at this: If you like adventure, fantasy, and/or comedy, open up your Netflix account (or go get a free trial code from a TWiT show or Swagbucks or something) and watch this NOW. Beautiful animation, fantastic voice acting, fun story - awesome.

RPG notes: Spoilers aplenty. Go watch it and come back. And don't you dare NOT watch this!

Anyway, first some quick D&D notes: Maximus is now the official inspiration for every paladin's mount forevermore. That horse is full of epic win. Flynn also provides a nice example of the rogue with a heart of gold archetype, but what I'd really like to get into is Rapunzel's hair. The filmmakers actually constructed a surprisingly complex and interesting mythology around her hair, the flower it was derived from, the properties it had and so forth. There's some real parallels between Rapunzel's hair in this movie and Samson's in the Bible, and while Disney tends to avoid explicit religious themes in most of its works, you can definitely infer a "gift from God" property here. There's also some nice, subtle cues in the movie about how to craft a kingdom rules by wise, benevolent monarchs if you pay attention. The look and feel of the capital city and even the royal couple in particular convey a lot without any explicit exposition. I think one of the coolest and most important things you can pull out of this movie, though, is that you can get a fairly solid story (and even portray some real evil) without going all horrific and gruesome. The "mother" in this movie is also an excellent example of restraint and subtlety in villain design.

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