Blog 9

The Walt Disney franchise adapted the Brothers Grimm Rapunzel in 2010 called Tangled. It follows the typical Disney characteristics. The story was embellished in several ways to appeal to children. The tale was appropriated and contaminated. The major motifs and lessons are similar, but Disney made several changes to the storyline.

Both versions have the same falcon (the most significant part of the tale that makes it stand out from any other tale)- the long hair. The long hair symbolizes beauty. The tower is another significant symbol that is shared. It can be a phallic symbol for sexual awakening or a metaphorical symbol to show heaven and earth.

Both versions share the idea and motif of knowledge through exploration. In both, Rapunzel is able to be truly happy after she learns what the outside world is like outside of her tower. In the Brothers Grimm version, she is able to live with her true family. In Tangled, Rapunzel takes adventures and learns things along the way that she never would have known if she was in the tower the rest of her life.

In both stories, a plant is unique in the plot, but it holds different meanings in regards to the way that Rapunzel is taken. In the Brothers Grimm version, the mother craves the lettuce and the father makes a deal with the evil witch that she can have the baby in exchange for the lettuce. In Tangled, the flower has magical powers. The queen needs the flower for her health. The evil mother in Tangled uses the flower to keep her young and youthful, so she takes Rapunzel because her hair now has the magical power.

Another unique difference is the idea of a prince charming and true love. In the Brothers Grimm version, the prince is the one who comes to the tower and gets Rapunzel pregnant. He is her true love. In Tangled, Flynn Rider is a thief who saves Rapunzel from her isolation in the tower. Each brings Rapunzel to her happy ending, but in different ways.

My favorite part in Tangled is the very end. I never understood the meaning behind the tear that saved Flynn before I took this class. I love how Disney added that subtle touch. Both versions show Rapunzel healing their husbands leading to the happily ever afters.

Some people think this movie symbolizes the death of the fairy tale and criticize Disney. I disagree. The movies are creative adaptions of centuries old beloved tales that teach life lessons and let readers enter each universe in miniature (Lüthi) to understand our deepest desires and fears.


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