I enjoyed the 2010 animated Disney film Tangled so I was happy to hear about Tangled: Before Ever After, a new film about the characters featuring all the main voice cast from the first film. It was clear from the DVD cover art that this was a 2D animated film rather than a CG animated film like its predecessor, which was a little disappointing to discover because the original movie had such beautiful CG animation, especially with Rapunzel's hair. Still, there are a ton of great 2D animated movies and shows so I wasn't worried. And that's about all I knew about this film going into it.
After watching Tangled: Before Ever After I can safely say that it's the introductory episode to a Tangled TV series. The artwork and animation is much simpler that I would have expected from a full-length motion picture, or even a straight to video film. Plus, the story didn't finish! They wrapped up one of the main story plots but the other was left wide open which clearly means they're either launching a TV series or at the very least some more direct-to-video films. But with the quality of the animation, I have to believe it's going to be a TV show.
Alright, so how was the story? That part was pretty good. It focused on Rapunzel and her trying to adjust to life as a princess in a castle. Having spent her entire life growing up isolated in a tower, she never learned manners or customs that we all take for granted, much less the ones fit for royalty. While she's doing that she also begins to feel trapped by the duties and responsibilities of being a princess, and thus feels the urge to get out and explore the world. Her main man, Flynn Rider, on the other hand is taking exceptionally well to living like a price. But of course he had the complete opposite experience that Rapunzel did growing up; he was nomadic and never had a place to call home. So I really liked those aspects.
What I didn't care for was how Rapunzel's father dealt with the situation, not just because it was the complete wrong way to deal with it but because it's so cliché. We've seen that reaction time and time again in movies and it never works and we always knows what follows so I was thinking they would go somewhere different with it. But nope. There's also a subplot, which is the story plot that's tied up by the end of the show, but I won't go into that one. It's okay, but also kind of obvious. There wasn't too much of a mystery going on there.
The DVD includes a few extras:
- Short - Checkmate
- Short - Prison Bake
- Short - Make Me Smile
- Short - Hare Peace
These are shorts that are 2-3 minutes long. They're entertaining enough, but nothing super-special. There are also some promos but I hardly consider those extra features. So overall this wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Maybe when the TV show comes out it will fit into the expanded story and feel more epic.