Thursday, June 2, 2011

Here's to the Hair

Directors: Nathan Greno and Bryan Howard
Voice Talent: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
Released: November 24, 2010

Oscar nominations:
Best Song - "I See the Light" by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (lost to "We Belong Together" by Randy Newman from Toy Story 3)

I remember seeing a trailer for this movie the summer before it came out (probably one of the trailers I saw before Toy Story 3) and I couldn't help thinking how awful the film looked. Not the animation (that's gorgeous), but the actual movie. All the trailer showed was the main guy character getting beat up and whipped by the long, blonde hair that belongs to the main female character. I immediately thought it was going to be one of those slapstick animated comedies that only cater to kids who have a five-second attention span and thought it would fail at the box office.

Well that goes to show you should never judge a movie by its trailer because after hearing positive reviews and people recommending the movie, I decided to watch it and see it if was good as everyone was saying, and what do you know? It was actually really good and quite an enjoyable movie. In fact, that dumb extended scene they showed as a trailer was cut down in the movie.

Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi (the guy from Chuck - yeah, I don't watch that show either) voice the two leads, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. I'm not really familiar with the fairy tale of Rapunzel. All I know is that she has really long hair and lives in a tower, so I have no idea how close this movie stayed true to the original material.

Rapunzel is a seventeen year old girl who has lived in a tall tower for mostly her entire life with a woman (voiced by Donna Murphy) who has raised her as her daughter, but she is not actually Rapunzel's real mother. She kidnapped Rapunzel as a baby because the girl's hair has a magical power that made the woman appear youthful. Rapunzel has never been allowed to leave the tower and no one has ever been able to get in. For her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel begs her mother to let her out on her birthday because she wants to explore the world and so she can inspect the "stars" she sees every year on her birthday (which are really Chinese lanterns that her real parents light every year in hope that their daughter will find them and return home). Her mother refuses and Rapunzel comes up with a plan that will make her mother have to go to the village and will be gone for three days.

Meanwhile, Rapunzel meets Flynn Rider and has information that he needs. She strikes a deal with him: if he takes her to the lights, she'll give him the information he needs, so they set out on their adventure. Of course Rapunzel's mother finds out that her daughter has escaped and tries everything she can to make sure Rapunzel never makes it to her real parents and finds out the truth.

One of my favorite scenes was a montage right after Rapunzel has escaped from her home and the scenes keep alternating from her being really happy and enjoying being free to her feeling really guilty about disobeying her mother and telling Flynn that she should go back home.

The animation is beautiful, the story is a lot of fun, and the ending even made me tear up a little. Not at all a bad movie. It should have been nominated for Best Animated Picture along with Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon.

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