“Tangled” (2010)

I get a lovely feeling in my heart when I’m sitting in a dark theater, munching popcorn, watching a movie while my kids laugh beside me–doing something I love, and sharing it with them. I have a much less warm feeling after the movie is over, and they make faces and say they hated the movie.

I don’t take my kids to every kid movie that comes out. I take them to a few a year that trusted critics and other parents have recommended. Yet again and again, they seem to be engaged, laughing, enjoying and wham, by the time we’re out the door, they are grumpy: How to Train Your Dragon (which they said they didn’t like, but agreed to see again), Fantastic Mr. Fox, Princess and the Frog, Up, Secret of the Kells, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Megamind, and now Tangled.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Tangled, either, though. Look, it’s a pretty blond princess who’s been kidnapped by a witch with kinky black hair! Look, an older rascal who is tamed by the virginal princess into a good man! The major building blocks of the movie were dry as dust, with uncomfortable racist and sexist undertones. Really, the whole plot is that of the standard bodice ripper that clearly no one at Disney has taken the time to interrogate enough, if at all.

Here’s what I liked: Pascal the chameleon was great. The name of the thugs’ bar is The Snuggly Duckling. I think that’s it. My boys liked Pascal, and they liked the parts with physical humor. That was about it.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about my boys and movies. About the only movies I can get them to approve of are most Pixar flicks, most Miyazaki flicks, and Mary Poppins. Oh, yeah. And the Star Wars movies. I’m going to keep trying, though. But clearly, modern kids’ movies don’t seem to be the way to go.

7 Responses to ““Tangled” (2010)”

  1. weirleader Says:

    good food for thought — I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see this one, and now I’m definitely hesitant (though my wife will undoubtedly want to and I will surely go along). But I suppose I find it easy to go along with the trite and stereotyped, so I probably won’t hate it.

    We loved How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3, but I confess to finding Secret of the Kells too dry and stylistic for my taste.

    I have this suspicion that move-makers are trying so very hard to make sure the parents are entertained in modern ‘kid fare’ that they’ve gotten off-target in actually entertaining the kids. In fact, recycled stories probably work especially well for kids because the target generation keeps changing and the kids never notice that it’s recycled. Not that any of that makes me happy…

  2. V Says:

    Have you seen “Megamind”? Saw it with the boy on the last school release at the Riverview for $4 total. Thought it was much stronger than “Tangled.”

    Younger kids may not get the whole superhero creation myth turned on its head, but it has a good kid message: You are who you want to be. And a lot of action, too.

    There was plenty there for adults, too. Just two off the top of my head: Megamind’s “No, You Can’t” signs ripping off the Obama campaign poster and a character based entirely on Marlon Brando’s portrayal in “Superman.”

  3. thalia Says:

    They are still very young. I’m sure when I was 7 I’d only seen a handful of films - indeed I remember distinctly seeing the sound of music just before my 8th birthday and it was a HUGE deal. We just didnt’ go to the cinema. So I’d give them some time, they have a lot of time to develop their cinema habit.

    What about ‘despicable me’ btw?

  4. girldetective Says:

    I didn’t see Despicable Me, G took them, and he liked it while they claimed they didn’t, as with Megamind (which we also saw for $4 at Riverview!). They _are_ young, and they do love some movies, but they have this tendency, not just in movies, to not like kid-friendly stuff that occasionally stymies me. Crayons and coloring, for example. Drat them for their individuality!

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  7. Kate Says:

    Well, you know, I didn’t watch a whole lot of kids movies when I was a kid. D gets very nervous at movies, and the other night I realized he was weeping quietly about 15 minutes into Toy Story 3 (”it’s just so sad the toys have to go to day care,” he sobbed. We turned it off, obviously). He almost never goes to the theater.

    Movies I liked as a kid tend to be older, because I watched them with my Grandpa. D has seen a few of these and seems to like them.

    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (Don Knotts is in this movie. It always scared the pants off me, in a good way. We loved it.)
    The Music Man
    Singing in the Rain
    Mr. Roberts (like I said, I watched these with my Grandpa, a Navy man in the war. As kids we loved Jack Lemon and the crazy captain yelling “NOW HERE THIS!”)
    The Quiet Man (I’m not sure about the message of this one anymore, but he loved John Wayne)

    I have great memories of watching those every time we spent the night at my grandparents house, over and over again. At home we watched The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters and Field of Dreams, again, over and over and over. Then again, this is probably why I have a limited knowledge of movies.