Disney’s 50th animated movie gives the fairy-tale Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) a makeover with this delightful musical.
It tweaks and teases the original story just enough for a modern audience – Rapunzel is now a princess, abducted at birth by wicked enchantress Mother Gothel (Broadway star Donna Murphy) and kept locked in a tower until rascally thief Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) turns up.
The arrival of the handsome scoundrel launches the pair on a series of spirited adventures involving various crooks and thugs, plus an unstoppable police horse with a zealous sense of duty.
Delivered with zip, these escapades are great fun. But it’s Rapunzel’s journey to maturity – accompanied by violently see-sawing emotions that the film’s young audience will recognise – that provides the story’s core.
The songs – by Disney veteran Alan Menken – are tuneful, if not particularly memorable, but the CGI animation has a delightful painterly feel, particularly in an enchanting scene towards the end in which the night sky fills with floating lanterns.