Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Month of Rapunzel: Project Disney: Tangled (spoilers included)

Project Disney is hosted by Picture me Reading. They want to reread all the classic stories and compare them to the Disney films. 

Tangled is based on Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. You can download it here for free.  It will take you all of 10 minutes to read if you don't want to be spoiled. There will be spoilers from here on out. 

If you know me for more than one day you will come to realize that Tangled is by far my favorite Disney movie. I often wish it came out when I was younger because I would have loved to dress up as Rapunzel for halloween and collect well everything Rapunzel. I have quite a few Rapunzel themed
items I will be showing off later in the month. I have lost count of how many times I have sat and watched Tangled, but I do know I'm well over 50. I have the first five minutes of the movie at least memorized. No matter how many times I see Tangled I'm still in love with this movie.

Tangled is very loosely based on the Brothers Grimm's version of Rapunzel. In the original version Rapunzel's mother craves Rapunzel from the enchantress's garden. The husband steals the Rapunzel and gets caught by the enchantress. Gothel makes a deal with the husband that he can have all the Rapunzel he wants in trade for his daughter when she is born. The husband and wife agreed and Rapunzel was given to Gothel when she was born to raise as her own. Here's the shocking part of the story Rapunzel wasn't locked into to tower until she was twelve. Gothel came up the tower by climbing Rapunzel's hair. Soon Rapunzel met a Prince and they were to be wed until Gothel found out. She cut off Rapunzel's hair and when the Prince climbed it he found Gothel standing on the other side. He jumped out of the tower safe with his life, but fell into thorns and lost his sight. He roamed around for many years trying to find Rapunzel and found her and her twins.
When Rapunzel realized it was him she wept and he could see. He brought Rapunzel back to the kingdom and there she was joyfully received and lived the rest of her life happy and content.

Rapunzel's story in Tangled all begins with the sun. From the sun grew a magical golden flower that had the power to heal the sick and injured. It was that flower that Gothel used to keep herself young. The queen was about to give birth and she was sick. She needed a miracle or in this case a magic golden flower. The flower healed the queen and she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, a princess named Rapunzel.

Tangled's intro is one of my favorite movie openings. If you have ever watched the special features on your dvd you would see that they show their original storybook openings for Tangled. Although those openings were traditional I'm really glad they decided to go with this opening. Rapunzel was given away by her parents in the original story, but in Tangled Gothel took Rapunzel without consent. A big element they missed out on in Tangled was the herb Rapunzel which gives her name in most retellings, but in Tangled they just decided to name her Rapunzel. I think by doing this they made the parents look less selfish and that they actually wanted to be Rapunzel's parents. When you see the look in her mother's eyes you can see how much they love Rapunzel. I have never got that feeling of love from the
Credit given to Disney
mother in the original story.

Another point to be made with how Tangled structured their story is the justification of being locked in a tower. In the original tale it does not explain why Rapunzel would need to be locked in the tower besides the fact that she turned out to be the "most beautiful child beneath the sun." I think this might have been the line that made Disney use the sun as Rapunzel's healing hair.  In Tangled Gothel has to keep Rapunzel locked away because she wants to be able to stay young forever.

The Prince instantly falls in love with Rapunzel in the original tales as happens in most of the original fairy tales. There is no love at first sight with Rapunzel and Flynn in Tangled. In fact Flynn does not even want to take Rapunzel to see the lights. He tries to get rid of her during the I Have A Dream scene
at snuggly duckling. As the movie moves forward Rapunzel and Flynn (Eugenie) slowly grow closer.

The I See the Light song is by far my favorite scene of the movie. I love the background of the lights and the romantic moment between Rapunzel and Flynn. I might be the only one who thinks this, but I think it is rather symbolic when Rapunzel lifts up the lantern with the sun on it. The only one that has a sun on it is the one the King and Queen released. I think the lantern is key to Rapunzel figuring out her destiny.

By the end of the movie after Rapunzel has returned to the tower with Gothel and figures out that she is lost princess, Flynn will do anything to save her. In the original story Gothel cuts off Rapunzel's hair so the prince will no longer be able to see her, but in Tangled Gothel would never want to get rid of Rapunzel's hair. Rapunzel's hair is literally Gothel's life. Flynn cuts off Rapunzel's hair and it turns brown as a symbolism of her new life. Although Flynn did not fall into thorns I think the parallel was Gothel stabbing him. An aspect they did keep from the original fairy tale is Rapunzel's tears power to heal. Personally I'm glad they left the twins part out because it is highly unexplained. Rapunzel was joyfully accepted into her new kingdom. She was a princess worth waiting for. Eugenie and Rapunzel lived happily ever after.

There are two strong side kicks in Tangled. Pascal the chameleon, my personal favorite, can you say attitude. Although he never says a word his actions say it all. Maximus who is amazing. I think his
body language really adds to his personality. He goes from being mean to Flynn to helping him rescue Rapunzel at the end. Rapunzel has a special relationship with animals and knows how to speak to them.

I was actually a bit surprised at how many comparisons Tangled had to the original story. I thought there was barely any, but there are quite a few parallels. I think a prevailing theme in the Grimm version is selfishness whereas Tangled main theme is dreams. Some of my favorite quotes in movies are dream quotes. My favorite quote in Tangled is "I've been looking out a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what it might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it's not everything that I dreamed it would be?" "It will be." "What if it is? Then What do I do?" "Well that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream."Tangled is number one of my favorite Disney Princess movies. I love every scene of Tangled and almost nobody likes to watch it with me anymore because I'm constantly quoting the lines.

I could go on all day about Disney's Tangled, but I will end the post here and tell you go watch the movie because writing this post has made me want to go watch it like now. 

Thanks for reading 

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  1. I love the I See the Light part so much too. It really is beautiful. Tangled has wonderful humor. I have really enjoyed your month of Rapunzel!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I absolutely love Tangled so this was such a fun post to write. I See the Light is my favorite song of the movie.


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