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He’s a bandit, he’s a rogue thief and he’s self-absorbed.

He’s not royalty, he’s not an upstanding citizen of the kingdom, but he does have goodness in him — who is he?

Flynn Rider, of course, of Disney’s 50th animated feature film, Tangled, or some might affectionately refer to it as Rapunzel.

With an estimated cool budget of US$260Million, it also happens to be Disney’s most expensive animated film ever — and, after spending one of the best two hours of my life in recent weeks in a packed theatre full of animation nerds, I’m glad they spent it building a world that’s gorgeous, smooth and lush.

Tangled - Maximus the horse and Rapunzel.

She tames the beast.

It is a technical achievement in 3D animation that’s worth watching over and over and over again, as hair, cloth and rushing water flows like the way they should, while the textures, models and characters are brilliantly executed.

Rapunzel, I mean, Tangled is an animation masterpiece to behold where the only gripe that I have from watching it, earlier today, is that it wasn’t in Real 3D.

Oh how a magnum opus this movie, supposedly Disney’s final ever movie revolving around a Princess, would have truly been, especially during the wondrous-emotional-home-coming-lantern-boat scene, had I been invited to watch it in 3D by Irfan.

Still 2D never disappointed as the colours are brighter and richer than their 3D counterpart, so I’m not really complaining.

But what’s to complain when the story rarely lags from it’s teasing opening sequences, melodramatic plot-starters and incessant comedic moments?

Pascal - Tangled - 50th Animated Feature Film of Disney

Pascal deep in thoughts.

From Pascal, a chamelon that acts as Rapunzel’s advisor, to Maximus, a horse that’s bent on arresting Flynn and yet with a heart to help him in the end (thanks to Rapunzel’s eggings), the movie is a loaded barrel of laughter that’s long been missing from Disney films of late — no, make that of recent animated movies in your memory.

Megamind, Despicable Me, Toy Story 3 — sure they were funny, but Tangle’s hilarity is in a league of it’s own, and experiencing it can be likened to watching Dory and Nemo’s Father for the first time. (Note: I’d have said Marlin instead of Nemo’s Father, but I doubt that many will remember Marlin huh?~)

Tangled is solidly paced, enchantingly animated and endearingly engaging, and there’s really not a moment that passes by without you getting a pleasant surprise and longing for more of the comical tension and burly exchanges of Maximus, a horse that doesn’t talk but wears the heart of a proud dog, and Flynn.

Maximus And Flynn

What smells?

Also, it’s hard not to fall for the two leads — Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, and Flynn, voiced by Zachary Levi — even when the hero is as rogue as he can be or when the heroine is as stubborn as she can be, because you can’t help but root for Rapunzel as she falls back into her ‘fake’ mother’s lap time and time again, as she (fake mother) conceives and deceives her.

Wait — I hear some of you say what’s a guy watching a show about a kidnapped Princess who lives in a hidden tower?

Actually, it’s quite manly and rugged, and that’s why the movie was aptly titled ‘Tangled’ and strewn with plenty of action sequences and macholy chaotic musical scenes.

Make no mistake, this is not your typical princess story (which I happen to read a lot of when I was still a child~ but of course I’m not going to tell you I’m still reading them now, am I? Na-uh~) with a happy ending, but rather this is a story of a little girl’s growing up adventure which is quite manly and rugged, mind you.

Lantern Scene - Tangled

What happens if I get my dream?

It doesn’t take much to appreciate the soft touch given to the movie’s plotlines and subtle messages, where as always Disney excels with that subliminal nuances of morality and the wisdom of growing up.

I oh-so loved the lantern-boat scene, if only it’s because Rapunzel realises that this is it, the moment that her dream might come true, where she finally gets to see with her very own eyes the stars that float on the eve of her birthday, and then when she asks what might happen when this dream of hers is realised, Flynn tells her aptly “And then you look for another dream.

Tangled Teaser Poster

Oel 'Ngati Kameie -- I see you.

Awwwww… Just what would we be without dreams?

A rock.

Or something that’s lifeless and pointless I guess, but if you still hadn’t figure out your own dreams, then join Rapunzel and Flynn in theirs, and I’ll bet that if you ’empty your cup’ off Princess movies before watching this, then you’d be greatly impressed by the impeccable, tight, juggernaut of a Disney movie.

I know I was.

My friends were too, heck even the whole theatre was too — judging by the raucous applause (twice it went off) as the movie ended.

You know what?

I’m pretty sure that the last time I felt this great about a movie was when I watched a certain Blue Cat-like Alien movie, which was a year ago and I guess it’s been long time coming!

Well, if you think that this is going to be another cheesy Disney Princess movie, it’s not — there’s too much goodness in this for it to sour at all.

See what I did there? Plus I guess this much critics can’t be mistaken uh?

Rotten Tomato - Tangled Reviews

Even Avatar lost in ratings!