*Sigh* Just waiting for my own personal Eugene Fitzherbert.
It has officially been 10 years since Tangled — the BEST Disney movie — came into our lives, changing them forever, no doubt.
But not everyone seems to think so! It definitely did not get the hype Frozen got.
Because I truly do not believe that Tangled gets its due, I have compiled a list of all the reasons it's the best. Read on to see!
Spoilers ahead, I guess?
1. It has one of the best intros.
Sure, Disney movies with great song and scenery intros are wonderful (like Aladdin and The Lion King). But one of my favorite Disney intros is The Emperor's New Groove, and this feels very much like that, while being even darker and a little more serious. It's funny and introduces us to Flynn really well, but also provides some beautiful animation and a legendlike backstory that makes the film feel even more like an old fairy tale.
2. Rapunzel's hair is the best computer animation I have ever seen.
Long hair is notoriously difficult to animate, which is why cartoon characters so often have updos and braids. The amount of work and care that went into Rapunzel's hair was incredible. It truly looks like actual hair and not just a cartoon mass.
3. Mandy Moore was born to be a Disney princess.
I literally couldn't think of anyone I would want to be a Disney princess more, except for maybe Julie Andrews when she was younger. Mandy is truly a real-life Disney princess, and her unique voice was absolutely perfect to play someone of Rapunzel's age and personality.
4. Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert is the best Disney prince of all time, and I will fight you about this.
First of all, he's definitely the hottest. The directors literally had women employees come into a meeting with pictures of hot men to help them decide what Flynn would look like. For his personality, they were inspired by Ferris Bueller and Indiana Jones. It modernizes the movie so much to have a sassy, overconfident, yet emotionally repressed male hero, and he works absolutely perfectly with Rapunzel's naivete, curiosity, and surprising capability.
5. And his relationship with Rapunzel is a beautiful thing.
It just built so naturally! It threw away a lot of the love-at-first-sight tropes — unlike a lot of other Disney films, there is no wedding or "I love you" in this film. The series even expands on that, showing Flynn and Rapunzel's relationship maturing with them. I love that it's a little more realistic while also being super sweet — you really see them soften to each other and bring out the best in each other. Also, "too sweet for this world" meets "sassy and jaded" is my favorite trope.
6. Tangled's music was written by Alan Menken, who scored all of your fave Disney films.
Alan Menken scored all the Disney Renaissance movies, including Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas. I will say that while I don't absolutely love all the songs in Tangled, they have this really familiar Disney feel to them. And the score is absolutely incredible — I used to listen to it while just doing homework.
7. Tangled has some of the best animal sidekicks...
I'mma let you finish, but Maximus is the best Disney animal of ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME!!! He is truly the most expressive of all the Disney animal sidekicks, without saying a single word. The animation of his face and his movements ooze so much personality. It's also great to see a sidekick who's actively working against our main characters for part of the film and then has to reluctantly tag along for the rest — he's a complicated character, which is saying a lot for an animal sidekick with no dialogue. And there's Pascal, who basically KILLS MOTHER GOTHEL in the end, so he gets points too.
8. Tangled is absolutely hilarious.
Listen, the scene where Flynn fights off a bunch of guards plus Maximus (a HORSE) with a frying pan is one of the funniest scenes of any Disney movie (not to mention being super action packed and animated to perfection), and it doesn't stop here. Rapunzel and Flynn's meeting is hilarious, and Flynn and Maximus's banter is amazing. The best part is when Flynn realizes that Maximus has rescued him and tries to have a sweet Disney moment, and then Maximus shuts it down with just one look.
9. ...but also incredibly dark.
Maybe this is just me, but I love when fairy tales are dark (as many original fairy tales were). Tangled's premise is incredibly dark: A kidnapped girl literally spends 18 years in captivity with a woman who pretends to be her mother but who really just wants her for her magical powers. Less than an hour into the film, Flynn and Rapunzel get trapped in a mine and give up on trying to get out, accepting death and confessing secrets to each other. When Flynn goes to rescue Rapunzel at the end, he finds Rapunzel chained up and being taken away by Mother Gothel, and he then gets stabbed, causing Rapunzel to promise Gothel a life of obedience if she can heal him. Yes, it has a happy ending, but it's refreshing to see Disney delve into darker territory first.
10. Along with that, the villain is one of the most complicated and interesting Disney villains.
At the end of the film, you're not sure if Mother Gothel has ever truly cared for Rapunzel, or just what Rapunzel's hair did for her. You don't get that closure, which is so realistic. She's not a traditional two-dimensional villain. She has a goal we can understand, and she does treat Rapunzel like a daughter in many ways. Her villainy is far more manipulative and sneaky, and you get the feeling that she thinks she's doing nothing wrong.
11. And her relationship with Rapunzel is not at all black and white.
Despite realizing that Gothel is not her mom and she's manipulated Rapunzel her entire life, and also seeing her stab Eugene, Rapunzel still reaches out for her when she falls out the window. This is far more realistic than I would've expected from Disney. Gothel has raised her, after all. Rapunzel still cares about her, which adds a layer of complexity to a movie like this, which normally would've been very black and white.
12. Rapunzel is a super-strong, powerful Disney princess who triumphs over the villain in an empowering way.
So many times, the princess needs to be rescued. Here, Rapunzel actually has to rescue Flynn — in multiple ways, multiple times. I also love the confrontation between Rapunzel and Gothel when Rapunzel realizes the truth. It's so powerful to see a Disney princess actually get angry and stand up for herself, even against someone she loves — because people you love can still be terrible people. I think that's so important for young girls to see.
13. She also doesn't need Flynn — and her happy ending is not him.
So many Disney princesses have this thirst for adventure that's sort of tossed aside at the end in favor of love. Rapunzel's dream does change to Flynn (after her original dream is fulfilled), but that's not her only goal or care. The movie ends with Rapunzel finding her family and her place, because that's what matters most to her. Flynn is an important part of her life, but he isn't her entire life. And if you watch the series, it's all about her NOT wanting to settle down and wanting to continue a life of adventure.
14. With Tangled, we finally got a Disney film where the parents weren't dead!
For decades, a staple of Disney films has been the whole "dead parents" thing. To be honest, it's getting a little old, and it's starting to seem like lazy writing to explain why these teenagers end up in these situations or why their remaining parent is overly cautious. I love the new twist in Tangled, where both her parents are alive but have lost her.
15. The animation of the landscapes and backgrounds is truly amazing.
The water in the dam-breaking scene LOOKS SO GOOD! There are so many different landscapes, and every one is animated to perfection. The lantern scene alone deserves an Oscar.
16. The mood coloring in Tangled is just SO good.
Another thing I felt Tangled does so well is changing the tone of the colors based on the mood. When Flynn goes to rescue Rapunzel at the end, the tone is noticeably less bright. It gets darker when he goes up into the tower and is stabbed — until Gothel falls out the window, when it gets lighter but is still less bright. After Rapunzel heals Eugene, the color comes back. It all blends so seamlessly!
17. And finally, it was good enough to spawn an ENTIRE TV SHOW.
Tangled: The Series is honestly so cute and has amazing character arcs and bomb music. ("Nothing Left to Lose" is a jam!!) I know other Disney films have had series (like that Lilo & Stitch one), but I do not remember them being very good.
TV and Movies
Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.