I’m definitely not the first person to say this, since our very own Mack Rawden made a video concerning the matter, but Tangled is better than Frozen. And, by like, a lot. I actually hadn’t seen Tangled since it originally came out in theaters. But, my daughter was having a Disney princess movies marathon the other day, and I was so tired that I didn’t feel like getting up and sat through both Frozen and Tangled, back-to-back, and it kind of blew my mind. Because when you compare the two Disney movies, Tangled is, by far, the better picture.
Again, I’m not the first person to say this, and even Mack postulates that people like Frozen better because the music is better, but no. I don’t even think that’s true. Over the years, “Let It Go” has become more of an annoying earworm than the empowering showstopper that it once was when it first debuted.
Now, as a Frozen 2 apologist who likes just how dark that movie gets, I think there is an argument to be made that Frozen 2 is better than Tangled. But, when it comes to the original Frozen, I think Tangled gets the W, and I have five reasons why.
Oh, and spoiler warning for movies you’ve likely already seen many times over.
The Plot Is Twistier And More Engaging
In his video, Mack argued that Tangled’s plot is simpler than Frozen’s, which is kind of all over the place, and I agree. You could explain Tangled’s plot better than Frozen’s, which, as Mack says, “meanders.” But, one thing I liked back when I originally saw Tangled in theaters (and again when I watched it with my daughter) was the dramatic irony. You know that Mother Gothel is not really Rapunzel’s mother, but Rapunzel doesn’t find that out until much later in the story.
This makes the plot of Tangled very engaging as you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop, while the brisk story carries you away with its whimsy in the meantime. Frozen, on the other hand, even with its trolls, giant snow monster, and “true love” storyline, is rather bland in comparison.
I don’t find any of the characters – not even Olaf – interesting, and I couldn’t care less what happens to any of them. I can’t say the same for Rapunzel or Eugene “Flynn Rider” Fitzherbert, who I always desperately wanted to see succeed and be together.
Frozen Has One Banger Of A Song. Tangled Has Several
I know there are people who will argue that Frozen has more than one good song, but I think that’s kind of a reach. I think the problem is that none of the songs, besides “Let It Go,” really feel all that organic to the story. It’s almost like the whole plot has to stop in order to shoehorn in another musical number. At least, that’s how it always felt to me. This is something I actually dislike about a lot of musicals – song over story.
Tangled, on the other hand, has songs, that I think truly fit into the story, and are genuinely better than those found in Frozen. I really love Mother Gothel’s scheming and conniving “Mother Knows Best,” because it fits so well into her character of being manipulative, and then you have the counterpart to that song with Rapunzel’s “When Will My Life Begin?” (And, okay, I won’t lie. I just prefer Mandy Moore’s voice to that of “Adele Dazeem”.)
Hell, I even enjoy the “I’ve Got a Dream” number because it kind of reminds me of the bar scene in Beauty of the Beast, as well as the idea of subverting beliefs about what people should be like, and what they’re actually like (which again, ties into the story). By the time we get to the beautiful duet, “I See the Light,” I’m pretty smitten, just like the characters themselves. I don’t get any of those vibes from Frozen. Like, not a single one.
There Is A Definite Villain In Tangled, And She’s Terrifying
Okay, so there is a villain in the original Frozen, and it’s Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, but we don’t really know that until very late in the film. I know this is supposed to be a riveting plot twist, but it’s not. It’s just kind of meh.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the ultimate reveal that the “true love” can be sisterly love (though, again, Mack argues that Olaf’s love should have broken the spell, which is true), but the whole reveal of the villain didn’t land well for me at all, because the story itself doesn’t really seem to care that he’s the main antagonist. He seems like more of an afterthought to the rest of the Anna/Elsa stuff.
But, we learn about Mother Gothel early on in Tangled, and I love that she is a threat throughout the entire story. I also love that she is so mentally abusive to Rapunzel, but it feels very real – that smile to your face, and stab you in the back (or cut off your hair) – mentality makes Mother Gothel a villain for the ages, and far more interesting than…Wait, what was his name again? Oh, yeah. Hans of the Southern Isles. That guy.
Tangled Never Got A Sequel, Which I View As A Positive
As I mentioned earlier, I actually really like Frozen 2. I like the music better, the setting better, and especially the fact that it takes place at Thanksgiving. Hell yeah! We need more Thanksgiving movies! But, I seriously would have written Frozen off completely without its sequel. It was a movie that I was annoyed by that I feel was actually redeemed by its successor.
I like that Tangled never got a Part 2, since I think it would have cheapened my feelings of the first movie. It would be pretty impossible to have a better villain than Mother Gothel, and with Rapunzel’s hair sheared by the end, the story feels complete and solid. I think Tangled worked better as a solo adventure, while there is really no end in sight for Frozen, which I’m not looking forward to, no matter how much I did enjoy Frozen 2.
Frozen Is Overrated, While Tangled Is Perfectly Underrated
Lastly, Frozen is SUUUPER overrated, and I don’t like overrated things. Of course, that is a purely subjective opinion, but I think that even Frozen’s most ardent fans will agree that it’s no masterpiece. It’s kind of like Avatar, a movie that took the world by storm, but when you look back at it, you’re just kind of like, why?
However, Tangled has forever been underrated. A lot of people like to believe that Frozen was the start of the current wave of Disney animated classics, but no. That would be Tangled. Do you remember what we had BEFORE Tangled? Bolt. And do you remember Bolt? Well, maybe you do, but Bolt was pretty middle of the road, while Tangled was spectacular. People keep forgetting it exists when Frozen enters the conversation, but as I’ve already argued, Tangled is better than Frozen, and yet, it often gets overshadowed. Which one reason why it’s the superior film. All quality, and none of the hype. Perfection.
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Lover of Avatar (The Last Airbender, not the blue people), video games, and anything 90s, he will talk your ear off about Godzilla, so don’t get him started.