Once upon a time, Disney released a spectacular 3D Blu-Ray called Rapunzel, umm… I mean Tangled. Like many of the other animated features based on classic fairy tale stories in Disney’s huge catalogue (this their 50th animation release), Tangled takes some liberty with re-imagining the story for a modern audience. While many of the key ingredients from Rapunzel remain in place, most of what you’ll find here is adapted. The 3D Blu-Ray release honestly boasts some the best 3D I have seen recently. Seriously, it’s a stunner. And while the film itself might not be as appealing, the visuals more than make up for any lack in the story.
Like most people, when Tangled initially released in 2010, I gave it a miss. This was mostly because Tangled seemed less interesting than Disney’s other releases. While some of my reservations with the title seem somewhat warranted, Tangled proved to be a lot better than I previously imagined. For one, the horse, named Maximus, is ridiculously funny. It certainly is a pity that he isn’t rewarded more screen time. Unfortunately, the character is pushed into the background, with the main focus being on the relationship of Flynn Rider and Princess Rapunzel. There are a few sweet moments, but nothing that can’t be predicted. Again, it is a story aimed at teens, but adults will appreciate the warm feeling that lingers after a viewing. And if that doesn’t do it, the visuals certainly will.
The tale starts off much like the original. Rapunzel is a princess kidnapped at birth by an old witch and then locked up in a tall tower, where she spends most of her life. The witch took her because Rapunzel’s magical glowing hair not only has the miraculous power to heal, but also work as an anti-aging remedy. In order to activate the magical hair, however, Rapunzel must sing a special song (yes, it’s a musical). When Flynn Rider, a thief on the run, stumbles upon the tower where Rapunzel remains captive, the princess discovers a world she has never known.
Tangled is unlike any of Disney’s other releases, in that it keeps to modern animation techniques but finds its roots in the classics. Perhaps this is its biggest fault; it tries to be the best of both worlds. Ultimately, in the end it gracefully fails as both.
As I mentioned before, Tangled’s 3D is nothing short of stunning. Unlike many other films that use the 3D gimmick, Tangled makes full use of the technique to create depth and realism. Nearly every single frame here has something special to boast about. Even those looking for “out-of-the-screen” popping effects won’t be disappointed. The action often leaps right off the screen into your living room. Tangled continues Disney’s good track record and arrives in brilliant 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer framed at 1.78:1. The strongest points of the video are its rich colours, its deep blacks and its crystal, fault-free presentation. On the negative side, there are some ghosting problem – but nothing to be overly concerned about.
The audio quality is on par with the video side of things, matching it frame for frame. It’s exceptional really. Disney provides a punchy lossless DTS-HD 7.1 audio track that does wonders for the musical score. Every channel carries a lot of sound effects and music, filling the entire room with exceptionally good surround sound. Low frequencies reach the lowest vibrating levels, while the highs make good use of your speaker’s tweeters. Unfortunately, the songs themselves never quite match the awesome quality of the sound.
Not surprisingly, Disney has loaded Tangled 3D Blu-ray with enough extras to keep the kids (and those young at heart) entertained. When Disney promises, they deliver.
Deleted Scenes (13mins)
Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale (12mins)
Extended Songs (8mins)
50th Animated Feature Countdown (2mins)
Original Storybook Openings (8mins)
Discover Disney 3D Blu-Ray with Timon & Pumbaa
Tangled is classic Disney. If that’s your thing then this title will fit right in to your collection. For those who need a little more convincing, checkout the 3D. It’s surprisingly really great. Really great.