Tangled

Tangled PosterI’ve got to admit Disney’s Tangled is the most beautiful animated film I have ever seen. Unfortunately, it also has the one of most dangerous messages of any animated film I’ve ever seen.

The Story

Once upon a time in a land far away, a drop of sunlight fell to the ground. From that drop grew a magical flower which would heal any wound and could even reverse the affects of time. Some years later, a queen in a nearby kingdom was giving birth. It was a difficult labor, and the kingdom’s doctors were afraid she wouldn’t make it. So the entire kingdom set out to find this flower to heal the queen. Their search was successful, and the queen gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter.

Unfortunately, someone else knew about the flower and would stop at nothing to get back it’s power.

The Good

Technically speaking, this film excelled. The animation was beautiful, the story was well thought out, the characters were delightful, and, despite my not being a big fan of musicals or Alen Menken soundtracks, I actually enjoyed the music of Tangled. Sadly, while there are several other themes which could have been very powerful, the overarching message of the film corrupted them to the point that they are hardly worth mentioning here.

The Bad

As I mentioned earlier, this film has some very dangerous messages. While Mother Gothel isn’t Rapunzel’s real mother, and is in fact a very evil woman using Rapunzel for her own good, Rapunzel believes that Gothel is her mother and therefore she deserves her respect and obedience. After Rapunzel runs away with Flynn, she does feel some regret for her actions, but doesn’t repent of her disobedience. While Rapunzel later learns that Gothel isn’t her mother and doesn’t deserve any respect or obedience, this cannot be used to excuse her intentional disobedience. Flynn also mentions that rebellion is just part of growing up, and while that does seem to be true nowadays, it is certainly not right.

Also troubling is the relationship that grows between Rapunzel and Flynn. For most of the film it’s handled fairly well, but towards the end of the film they blow it with a kiss and a rather lengthy embrace. There are also some low-cut dresses, particularly on Mother Gothel, and magic is involved in the story, though to a lesser extent than in many other fairy tales.

Conclusion

I have rather mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, it is a beautiful piece of animation, and I found the story to be both entertaining and enjoyable. On the other hand, some of the messages tangled into the story are quite dangerous. Sadly, I cannot recommend this movie for families.

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