Some people stay alone because they like their own company, but there are some who do it when they don’t like other people’s. It’s kind if important to know the difference. When you visit a loner unexpectedly, they could either be glad for the surprise … or they could sic their dobermann on you.

Princesses are a little different. Fiona was put in a tower when her mother married a frog. Aurora was messing with a sewing machine and fell asleep for years. Rapunzel had really long hair and her stepmother hated the stairs.

I’ve always been upset about Disney [and Fox and Barbie] changing fairy tales. In the original Snow White, the wicked queen dies after dancing on hot coals. The real Cinderella had no Lucifer cats and dancing mice, and Rapunzel wasn’t originally a princess. Her parents were poor, her prince goes blind, and for some reason, and there’s a giant cabbage involved.

So when I first heard about Tangled, I was like please, not again. I saw the preview of a girl holding a frying pan and using her hair as a lasso and rolled my eyes right out of their sockets. There was no way I was watching that.

But then I saw Flynn Rider on Twitter, and bumped into another part of the teaser, the part that goes:

 

Rapunzel: Who are you and how did you find me?

Flynn: I know not who you are or how I found you, but let me just say … hi! How you doin? How’s your day going?

I’d say that scene pretty much won me over, right next to;

Flynn: Listen Blondie…

Rapunzel: Rapunzel.

Flynn: Gesundheit.

Needless to say, I loved the movie, even though I wish they wouldn’t sing so much. Singing actors just don’t do it for me. I even do soundtracks for opera!

I liked the little twists in the tale. Rapunzel is a barefoot dancer, a painter, and a cow girl. She doesn’t just sit around waiting to be rescued. The ‘prince’ isn’t a prince until he marries her, and it’s all very sweet and sappy. I like that he risks his life for her freedom – literally – and that the gorgeous princess isn’t quite blonde. He doesn’t once call her a pretty or allude to her beauty. [He calls himself pretty all the time though]. Pascal the chameleon is cool too.

 

My favourite line in the whole movie?

I have got to get me one of these!

I’m not talking about the chameleon … you have to watch the film to understand.

I suspect that one of the signs of maturity is gracefully accepting when you’re wrong. That and appreciating the value of quiet. This bears no relation to a love of loud music though. Those are two completely different things.

So in the spirit of maturity, it can’t be thaaaat bad to take out the scary parts of fairy tales and replace them with something more … healthy. In the original Rapunzel, Gothel chops off Rapunzel’s hair, uses it to pull the prince into the castle, then lets go, so that he falls to the bottom where the thorn bushes poke out his eyes. Or something. Rapunzel then leaves the tower barefoot to find him, and her tears heal his blindness. Cue happily ever after. In Disney’s version, the scene is far more touching, and hurray, they don’t sing! Well, not exactly.

Also, there’s a mime.

Changing the story plot gives more plot development too. In traditional fairy tales, the wicked stepmother is mean because she’s mean. She has no humanity or purpose on life. The original Gothel is a rich old hag who just locks Rapunzel up to punish her parents. They stole her cabbage during a famine, and in exchange, she demanded their pretty baby girl. She keeps her locked up for years for apparently no reason, and we never hear of her parents again.

But Disney [and Fox and Barbie] likes to flesh out the bad characters. Cinderella’s mum just wants what’s best for her daughters. Gothel wants to stay young forever. Fiona’s parents are protecting her from ridicule. None of the baddies are bad just for the sake of it.

Tangled is not a movie I’d watch twice – even in 3D. But I’m glad I hid my pride long enough to watch it once. Rapunzel is a girl that cooks, cleans, dances, and bakes. She makes her own clothes and paints like Van Gough. She’s feisty, independent, and she decides her own destiny. She suffers 18 years of imprisonment and abuse as Gothel constantly puts her down, calling her clumsy, unattractive and useless, and telling there’s no way a man [Flynn] could like her. But it never breaks her spirit.Despite all her girliness, style, and finesse, she’s also great with lassos, chameleons, and frying pans. With a back story like this one, I don’t mind my kid believing in happily ever after.

3 thoughts on “Rapunzel reloaded

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *