Tangled appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. While attractive, this wasn’t one of the better-looking animated Blu-rays I’ve seen.
Sharpness could be a minor distraction. Though most of the movie displayed solid clarity, a few shots seemed a smidgen soft. These were mild instances, but parts of the image lacked the tightness I expect from Blu-ray. At least no issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, the image lacked any print flaws; it remained clean at all times.
Colors became a strong element. The movie went with a somewhat pastel palette, and it displayed consistently vivid hues. Blacks were dense and tight, and shadows were usually fine, though a few low-light shots seemed a bit dark. Overall, this was a good enough presentation for a “B+”, but that meant the presentation disappointed compared to the usual “A”-level computer animated effort.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it opened up the film in a satisfying manner. Though the mix didn’t give us wall-to-wall theatrics, it managed to use the spectrum well. As expected, the film’s occasional action sequences boasted nice breadth and activity, and the collapse of a dam created a fine sense of involvement; the water engulfed us in a convincing manner. While the soundscape didn’t stun us on a constant basis, it provided more than enough to succeed.
Audio quality seemed consistently solid. Speech appeared natural and distinctive; no edginess or other issues marred the dialogue. Music sounded warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. When necessary, bass response came across as deep and tight. All of this lifted the track to “B+” status.
Don’t expect a ton of extras here. Hosted by actors Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale runs 12 minutes, 27 seconds and offers notes from directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, supervising animator Glen Keane, hair simulation developer Kelly Ward, and actor Donna Murphy. The show looks at the film’s development, character design, some animation topics, and trivia.
“Making” doesn’t live up to its title, as it only includes a few tidbits related to the film’s creation. Nonetheless, it’s a brisk, reasonably fun piece that throws out general Disney nuggets with a few facts about the flick. Despite its lack of depth, it becomes enjoyable.
Unused material shows up next. We get three deleted scenes (12:36), two original storybook openings (7:59), and two extended songs (7:52). Under “Deleted Scenes”, “The Jaunty Moose” (6:51) provides an alternate version of the pub sequence; it’s more action-oriented but lacks the peppy musical number. “Chemistry Develops” (1:44) shows a little more bonding between Flynn and Rapunzel post-pub, while “Vigor the Visionary” (3:43) includes a discarded fortune teller character. The finished Snuggly Duckling scene works better than “Jaunty Moose”, and “Develops” is also superfluous. “Vigor” has some comedic potential, though.
For the “Openings”, both use the standard fairy tale “once upon a time” format instead of Flynn’s intro. “Version 1” (3:57) shows a basic take on this, while “Version 2” (4:02) is closer to the final tale. I don’t think a storybook version would’ve been a bad thing, but I’m glad the movie veered onto something more dynamic.
Finally, the “extended songs” area gives us longer renditions of “When Will My Life Begin” (3:35) and “Mother Knows Best” (4:17). Both come in stages of near-completion, so they’re better developed than the usual cut footage. I’m pretty happy both were abbreviated, though; in these versions, they tend to run too long.
Note that all of the unused material includes intros from the directors. They let us know a little about the footage and tell us why the shots were cut.
Under 50th Animated Feature Countdown, we get a two-minute, three-second reel. It shows all short clips from all of Disney’s 50 animated feature films. It’s an interesting package, though it uses an accounting method that omits all the Pixar flicks and others like Nightmare Before Christmas. (Note that a similar progression appears during “Making”.)
Nine Teasers fill a total of nine minutes, 12 seconds. These offer online ads that promote the movie in a variety of clever ways. Most use scenes from the film recast in a different light; for example, one promotes the fragrance “Smolder”. The last few are Flynn Rider adventures with South Park-style animation. All are great fun.
The disc opens with promos for The Lion King, Cars 2, and Tron: Legacy. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with ads for Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, Shake It Up, Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods, SpookyBuddies and The Incredibles. No theatrical trailer for Tangled appears.
On a second platter, we get a DVD copy of Tangled. This gives us a standard retail version of the release, so it’s a nice bonus.
As a “princess fairy tale”, Tangled provides reasonable entertainment. However, it seems rather derivative and lacks a certain quality that would make it special; it delivers a likable but not especially memorable adventure. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a handful of fairly interesting supplements. You can do worse than Tangled, but you can also do better.