Let’s think about this movie “and it starts with the sun.” When the queen is sick, the kingdom searches for the “magic, golden flower” in the dark. They seek a small ray of hope to save the queen.
The lanterns are a fun choice. They get confused with stars because they only come out at night. Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is always associated with the light. She has the golden hair; the lanterns are released on her birthday, her hair glows. She is the light
Now we have identified the light, the dark is definitely Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy). During her “Mother Knows Best” song, she extinguishes all light. She dowses the candles and closes the windows. However, she tries to show herself as the light. At the end of the song when Rapunzel can’t see in the dark, Mother Gothel appears in a ring of light. She is deceiving, like when you think you see things in the dark. It isn’t really there, but you think it is. Mother Gothel’s love is not genuine, but Rapunzel knows nothing else.
Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) is a tricky character. He wants to be a bad guy but can’t seem to pull it off. When we first meet him, he’s in the dark a lot (Rapunzel knocking him out with the frying pan... Twice...). However, as we get to know him, he turns out to be a good guy. He is healed by Rapunzel’s magical hair and even cuts it off to save her.
Then we enter the Snuggly Duckling with all the bad guys that “smells like the color brown”. They look mean because they’re in a dark scary tavern. However, as it turns out, they are all decent people with dreams. This movie can throw you off with who’s supposed to be the light and the dark. However, a few minutes and a song reveal a lot.
So I changed directions in the middle of that, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. We usually see light and dark as polar opposites and use phrases such as “it’s black and white” for what we consider obvious situations. However, this movie shows that light and dark are not so clearly defined.
Here is a cool look at both this movie and the fairy tale behind it. Check it out!
I found another article about how this movie represents traditional gender roles. I would have to disagree. Flynn is not the traditional prince; he is flawed. And compared to other Disney movies, we actually get to know more about him than just his name. Also, Rapunzel holds her own. She is not weak and useless. But if you are interested, here it is.
Another simple look at Tangled. I love this site for all its interest in fairy tales. Not a remarkable piece, but something to think about.
Come back next time!