The heart of Disney animation lies in song and spectacle, and while none of the musical compositions here are quite at the level of "The Little Mermaid" or "Beauty and the Beast," they are good enough...
Tangled, Disney's 50th animated feature, is a splendid tribute to the best moments from decades past but also a thrilling example of what could be the future of animated family entertainment from the studio.
Tangled is unusually attuned to the emotional frequencies of mothers and daughters, considering that, like basically every Disney/Pixar feature, its writer (Dan Fogelman) and directors (Nathan Greno and Byron Howard) are a bunch of dudes.
A Rapunzel retelling could have become just a retread of the studio's past princess tales, but this genuinely charming, chintz-free story does something new: It takes the time to chill out, as its heroine might say.
The result is an uncommonly pretty visual experience, especially during a climactic scene when hundreds of lanterns are sent aloft into the night sky. One thousand points of light never looked so fetching.