Monday, March 13, 2017

Though Very Appealing, 'Tangled: Before Ever After' Is Just Not For Me

Tangled: Before Ever After is a made-for-TV movie serving as a sequel to Tangled (Disney’s 2010 animated film adaptation of the classic fairy tale “Rapunzel”) as well as the pilot for the animated TV series Tangled: The Series (which is set prior the events of the short Tangled Ever After).

In it, Rapunzel, though very much happy with her relationship with Eugene (a.k.a. Flynn Rider) and being reunited with her family, struggles to adjust to her new life as the princess of the kingdom of Corona.  One night, after a stressful day, she sneaks out of the castle with her swashbuckling lady-in-waiting, Cassandra.  They go beyond the kingdom’s border wall to the place where the healing flower used to be planted.  While examining the area, where mysterious rock spires now lie, she’s struck with magic that brings back her long, blonde, magical hair.  To complicate her life further, a group of pirates led by a vengeful lady rogue attacks her coronation day.
Tangled: Before Ever After is far better than the previous Disney-movie-pilot-for-a-TV-series I watched (i.e. The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, as it’s much more coherent, charming, amusing, and entertaining.

It captures much of the spirit of Tangled; it doesn’t feel “cheap.”  With Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene, the lovable qualities and chemistry of the two characters are retained.  In addition, the composers of the songs and score of the original movie, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, are behind the songs of Before After.  Thus, the participation of original talents gives this TV movie a sense of “legitimacy.”
As for the animation, it understandably departs from Tangled’s.  Rather than CGI, Before After is done in a storyboard-esque 2D animation style.  It’s actually quite pretty to watch.  But some who got used to seeing this stuff in CGI may find the fresh look distracting.

In the end, though it’s very appealing (for a TV movie), it didn’t hook me to watch the series.  It’s just not for me.  But I’m pretty sure it will easily win over die-hard Tangled fans.

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