The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Tangled (3/29/2011)

Rated PG for brief mild violence.

Starring the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy and Ron Perlman

Directed by Byron Howard (Bolt) and Nathan Greno (First Film)

Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs.

I have to tell you I was really excited when my 13-year old daughter, Brianna, saw the preview and said she really wanted to go see this one. I thought for sure she would have considered herself too old and too mature for another Disney movie. So we made plans for a father/daughter date. And besides have a total blast…we loved the movie.

The beginning is pretty slow and when Rapunzel started singing (ala Snow White, Cinderella, etc.) I was less than thrilled. Then Mother Gothel starts singing and I was looking for the exits...but then something happens. The movie goes from classic Snow White princess movie to the Monsters Inc./Cars hilarious movie. And it really was one great laugh after another.

Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi were great and (like most Disney films) it was the sidekick, in this case the horse, who stole a lot of the scenes.

I would definitely go see this one again, it’s Theater Worthy.

Yes, the whole family should see it.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: In the story, Rapunzel’s birth is a miracle. Her mother almost dies. But at the last moment she is saved and healed by drinking a potion made of a mysterious glowing flower. The problem is Gothel has been hiding the flower and using its power to keep her from ageing. So when the power to heal is infused into Rapunzel, Gothel kidnaps her and locks her away in a tower so she can continue to stay young.

As I watched the movie and looked past the silliness and the humor I saw the dark and disturbing theme of selfishness. I mean seriously, how selfish do you have to be to lock another person in a tower for 18 years and daily lie to them by telling them you are their parent. That’s pretty dark.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: Well honestly, as Christ followers that should cause a very negative reaction within us. We should be outraged by the selfishness of Gothel and seek justice for Rapunzel. But that’s a movie…and a kid’s movie at that. So maybe outrage is a bit much to ask for.

But as Christians we should be setting the example for selfless lives. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26 that "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

What does Jesus mean when He says that if anyone wants to come after Him he must "deny himself?"

Jesus also says that he is to "take up his cross and follow me." Have you ever thought, wondered, or asked Him what He means by that or what your cross to bear might be? So what do you think that He means?

Jesus gives us the principles of the Christian life:

First, when he said, “If anyone wants to come after Me” this means we should have a sincere desire to belong to Christ and to be his disciple. Secondly, we need to abandon our selfish desires…and we all have them. Thirdly, we are to embrace the difficulties that come with being a Christian. And fourthly, we are called to become more like Jesus.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: So how do we become more like Christ? What does that look like? Paul clears things up for us a bit in Philippians 2:3-4. He says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

So how are you doing? Are you doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit? Do you value others above yourselves? Do you focus on just what you want or are you looking into the interests of others?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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