Disney brings their film adaptation of the Rapunzel story to life in this digital book, pairing animated clips from the feature film alongside a nicely abridged version of the movie's plot. For lovers of princess stories, this app is a real treat that includes much more than a book, providing lots of entertainment for young readers in the form of games, puzzles and coloring pages based on the Tangled movie.
My child loves this Disney film, so he was delighted to see a few animated scenes from the movie interspersed throughout the book. This is one of the ways this storybook stands out from many of the other movie-themed book apps available. This title also has a nice choice of settings, letting you set the book up for auto-play (Follow Along) or a more interactive "Read & Explore" mode.
In the interactive mode, pages within the book include icons for the painting pages, puzzles or mini-game feature, taking the child into another activity bundled within the story. The story itself, however, is not interactive, making this a good title for storytime with multiple children. This book's length makes it less ideal for bedtime but great for encouraging older, struggling readers to stay engaged.
There is one mini game called "Floating Lanterns" where the players drag their finger to connect floating lanterns of different colors. It has a 'match 3' quality about it, but doesn't seem to have any clear goal except to get more points. It has three difficulty levels and is more a fun distraction than anything else. There are also five puzzles with three difficulty levels, plus five 'painting' pages based on scenes in the storybook.
As a digital title, this book is solidly made with lots of simple settings like a page-guide, home button and ways to 'keep in touch' with Disney. Users can also set the app up for personalized narration by recording the book in advance. Overall this is a transmedia title sure to please any young reader who loves the Tangled movie, and possibly even those who've never seen the film. Recommended.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
The Disney Storybook Artists
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
15 - 18 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 10
This digital book tells the tale from the movie, Tangled in an abridged form. Full plot synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia:
"A drop of sunlight falls to the ground and grows into a magical flower, with the power to heal the sick and injured. An old woman named Gothel finds it and uses it to keep herself young by singing an incantation. Centuries later, a kingdom has developed, ruled by a king and queen. The Queen becomes ill during pregnancy, and the couple's loving subjects search for the legendary flower. The queen is eventually fed the flower, is healed, and gives birth to a daughter, whom they name Rapunzel. Rapunzel's golden hair, it is found, has absorbed the magical abilities of the flower. Gothel discovers this and tries to steal a lock of Rapunzel's hair. However, she finds that, once cut, the hair turns its normal brown and loses its power. So she kidnaps Rapunzel and hides her in a tower, saving the powers of the magic flower for herself, and raising her as her own child. Every year, on Rapunzel's birthday, her parents and their subjects release thousands of sky lanterns, in the hope that the lost princess will return. Rapunzel has seen these over the years from her high tower. Nearing her 18th birthday, she asks Gothel to take her outside to see the source of the annual floating lights as her present, but Gothel refuses.
Meanwhile, the charismatic Flynn Rider and accomplices steal the tiara of the lost princess. During the ensuing chase, Maximus, horse of the Captain of the Guards, is separated from his rider and continues the search for Flynn alone. Flynn outwits his accomplices, takes the tiara, and stumbles upon Rapunzel's tower. He climbs up it and in but is knocked unconscious by a frightened Rapunzel, who hides him in a wardrobe. When Gothel returns, Rapunzel tries to show her the captive but is fiercely barked down by Gothel. Gothel tells her she is never leaving the tower. But the forlorn but sharp Rapunzel instead asks for Gothel a special paint for her birthday found three days journey away. Gothel leaves and Rapunzel takes Flynn out of her closet and ties him to a chair. When revived, she tells him that she will give him the tiara if he takes her to see the lights. Flynn takes her to the Snuggly Duckling Inn, which is full of Gaul thugs, in hopes of scaring her into giving up her quest, but the thugs are charmed by Rapunzel, who encourages them to follow their dreams.
Mother Gothel sees Maximus riderless and worries someone will find Rapunzel. She returns to the tower to find Rapunzel gone. Meanwhile, the guards invade the tavern, but Rapunzel and Flynn Rider have escaped. The pursuit ends at a dam, which Maximus causes to collapse; Flynn and Rapunzel are trapped in a flooding cave. Believing he's about to die, Flynn admits his true name: Eugene Fitzherbert. Rapunzel admits she has magic hair that glows when she sings. Using her hairlight, they find a way out. Later, when Flynn goes to gather firewood, Gothel meets Rapunzel, insisting that Flynn does not care for her and merely wants the tiara. Gothel gives Rapunzel the tiara, suggesting that she test Flynn by giving it to him.
The next morning, Maximus confronts Flynn, but Rapunzel befriends the horse and convinces him to help them instead. They arrive at the kingdom and Flynn takes Rapunzel to see the lanterns. There, Rapunzel gives Flynn back the tiara. Flynn spies his old accomplices and leaves Rapunzel waiting as he gives them the tiara back, realizing that he no longer cares about its monetary value. However, the brothers tie him up on a boat and sail him across the lake. They reveal Flynn's "betrayal" to Rapunzel as they attempt to kidnap her for her hair's power, but Gothel "rescues" her and they return to the tower. Later, Flynn is arrested and sentenced to death. Maximus brings the inn thugs to rescue Flynn, and Maximus and Flynn race back to the tower. From various clues she found during her adventure, Rapunzel realizes she is the lost princess and attempts to flee the tower. Flynn escapes and returns to the tower, climbing up Rapunzel's hair only to find her chained to the wall and gagged. Gothel stabs him from behind and prepares to take a struggling Rapunzel to a new hiding place. Rapunzel tells Gothel that she will not stop resisting unless she can heal Flynn. Knowing that Rapunzel keeps her word, Gothel agrees, but before Rapunzel heals him, Flynn uses a shard of broken mirror to cut her hair which subsequently turns brown and loses its power. Gothel rapidly begins to age and stumbles around the tower. Rapunzel's pet chameleon, Pascal, using the cut off hair as a tripwire, makes her fall out the window, disintegrating, from the tower."
Rapunzel tries to heal the dying Flynn, who with his last breath declares his love for her. Rapunzel cries and sings the incantation. One teardrop, filled with her power, lands on his cheek and revives him. Back at the kingdom, the royal family has a tearful reunion and the King and Queen welcome Flynn into the family. Flynn then closes the film, telling the audience that he and Rapunzel eventually get engaged and married. The Gaul thugs each fulfill their individual dreams, and Maximus becomes a respected official on the Royal Guard.