Blondes certainly have more fun in Tangled, Disney’s glorious animated reworking of the Rapunzel fairytale that marries a hilarious script with dazzling and colourful visuals.

The traditional recipe of rousing love ballads and a boo-hiss villain is stirred to perfection by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, who draw heavily on The Little Mermaid as their plucky heroine abandons her tower and explores a world that was previously out of reach.


Crucially, screenwriter Dan Fogelman manages to appeal to children and adults, peppering his fantasy world with cuddly critters and underscoring the tomfoolery with a romance that tugs the heartstrings without ever becoming cloying. The 3D format isn’t too obtrusive, employed most effectively in a wonderful sequence involving hundreds of fire lanterns.

Princess Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is abducted from the castle by the scheming Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), who covets the girl’s magical hair. The golden locks shimmer with the secret of eternal youth but must never be cut — or else the hair will lose its power and turn brown.

Gothel confines the girl to a tower and convinces the child that she must never leave the high-rise fortress for fear that she will fall victim to the evils of man. As years pass, Rapunzel longs to explore the world below but must be content with a cheeky chameleon called Pascal as her only friend.

Then as Rapunzel celebrates her 18th birthday, swaggering outlaw Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) happens upon the tower in the secluded clearing and climbs into Rapunzel’s bedroom. At first, the young woman is wary of the intruder but he eventually convinces the fair maiden to disobey Gothel and travel to the castle to witness the annual display of fire lanterns.

Once Gothel discovers her prize asset has escaped her clutches, she gives chase, aided by a pair of dim-witted thugs. Meanwhile, a tenacious sniffer horse from the palace called Maximus is on Flynn’s trail, determined to bring the thief to justice.

Tangled is a delight, carrying us along on Rapunzel and Flynn’s adventure, which includes a rousing song and dance number, I’ve Got A Dream, in The Snuggly Duckling tavern with the tattooed regulars.

Vocal performances are almost as lively as the animation. Alan Menken and Glenn Slater’s soundtrack hits all the right notes.

French television anchorwoman Marie Lelay (Cecile de France) is on holiday in south-east Asia with her boyfriend when a tsunami rips through the community in Hereafter. Marie is knocked unconscious and almost drowns in the deluge, glimpsing bright white light before she is resuscitated. In San Francisco, psychic medium George Lonegan (Matt Damon) turns his back on his so-called gift, which he views as a curse. In London, Marcus and Jason (George and Frankie McLaren) fend for themselves on a working-class housing estate while their drug-addict mother (Lyndsey Marshal) wrestles with her demons. When a street accident tears the family apart, Marcus searches for respite. Hereafter brings together the characters for the briefest of moments, before their paths diverge again.

Performances are exemplary across the board, from Damon’s loner and De France’s haunted political journalist to the McLaren twins, who capture the stoicism of frightened little boys.

Clint Eastwood directs with flair, opening with an action sequence that brings back uncomfortable memories of the 2004 tsunami, before another sensitively handled set piece that draws comparisons with the 2005 London underground bombings.