We had a nice weekend, full of holiday preparations and fun. On Sunday, we took the kids to see their first movie in a movie theatre. It was S's idea -- I was a little hesitant, not wanting to spend all that money not knowing for sure if the kids would sit through the film. But S and the kids really wanted to go, so I relented.
We saw Tangled, and I'm pleased to say we had a very good time. The movie was cute and clever and even beautiful at times. It was less violent/scary than I'd expected. The kids both enjoyed it (in spite of BJ needing to be persuaded to go, since it was clearly a "princess" movie). Both S and I got teared up at the end (when the lost princess is reunited with her true parents -- easy heartstring pull for parents, for sure). We also both really enjoyed the horse character, Maximilian. We chose not to view it in 3D, since it was the kids' first theater experience -- we didn't feel the need to add another layer of possible complication or distress.
I admit I couldn't help but notice that the film adds another example to the "Female Disney Villain Whose Main Fault Is Her Vanity (Especially in the Context of Old Age)" phenomenon -- see also Emperor's New Groove and Snow White, of course. The theme was especially noticeable since Rapunzel's true mother (the Queen) hardly seems to age at all (in contrast to the view we get of her greying husband at the end of the film). It ain't easy being a crone.
It also ain't easy to make a truly great animated movie. And I wouldn't call this one great. (This review from LFM has many excellent reasons why, including this spot-on quote: "What’s subtly wrong with the film is what’s wrong with so many post-Shrek kid movies. Filmmakers insist on a winking referentiality, as if fairy tales are dusty old irrelevancies that must be rescued by pop cultural in-jokes and Lettermanesque (now Stewartesque) insouciance. These Generation X artistes are aware enough to recognize clichés but not inventive enough to transcend them. In the end, the clichés appear in horn-rimmed quotation marks, but they are clichés all the same. In Tangled, every last facial expression and turn of idiom has an antecedent in some movie or TV show or music video.")
I'm not sure how well the film would hold up to multiple viewings. (And we all know how kids love to watch the same thing over and over, so such a point is an important one for children's movies in a DVD era.) But after one viewing, I give the movie two mama-thumbs-up, and i'm glad we went to see it as a family. A fun first, for sure!