I always love revisiting this one. I’d probably rank it as my favorite of the CGI Disney films. The backgrounds are lovely (especially with the tower!), the characters memorable, the scenario and villain appropriately dramatic. The action is fun and scary for a Disney flick. But what really shines for me is the script — it manages to juggle three or four separate threads and have them intersect in surprising ways, with solid character development (at least for our two leads and the villain) along the way. And the leads actually get enough shared screentime and action for us to buy their romance in a huge way… this honestly might be the best-developed Disney romance this side of Beauty and the Beast.
In fact, the script might be too ambitious… it felt like some characters switched motivations too quickly or inexplicably. The pandering to boys at the beginning of the film bothers me more each time I watch it, too. And the music, while it’s grown on me over the years, is uneven.
But man, this thing soars at its best moments. So many scenes take my breath away: “I See the Light”; Rapunzel’s first encounter with terra firma; every shot of Rapunzel’s sad king dad; Rapunzel and Flynn’s shared declaration of being each other’s dreams as he lays dying…
What a good movie.
Exceptionally Good (7/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.