I saw Tangled over the Thanksgiving break. It's the newest animated Disney movie, and it's the story of Rapunzel. Apparently, a lot of people don't know this story, even though it's familiar to me. It was in my family's book of fairy tales, and twelve years ago, I used to read it to my little sister as a bedtime story every now and then. As I recall, the story goes like this:
Rapunzel is a beautiful princess who is trapped in a tower by a wicked witch. She has been stuck in the tower her whole life, and she has never once gotten a haircut, so her golden hair is now thirty feet long.
The witch comes by every day with food, and she cries out, "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" Rapunzel then sticks her hair out of a window, and the witch climbs up the side of the tower, using the hair as a rope.
This goes for several years, until our hero Prince Charming finds out about the tower and becomes curious. He tries calling out to whoever lives in the tower, but no one responds. So he decides to wait by the tower for a while, and eventually, he sees the wicked witch come to the tower. He watches her go inside, and that's how he learns that you can't get into the tower unless you say, "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!"
As soon as the witch leaves, Prince Charming jumps out from his hiding spot and cries out, "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!". She lets her hair down, and Prince Charming climbs up to the tower. The two of them quickly fall in love, and he agrees to rescue her the next day. He then leaves the tower and rides into town, singing happily. He is so happy that he doesn't even notice the wicked witch standing there as he rides off.
The witch then goes into the tower and confronts Rapunzel. She cuts off Rapunzel's hair and uses her magic powers to send Rapunzel far away, so she can never see Prince Charming again.
The next day, Prince Charming comes with two horses: one for him and one for Rapunzel. He cries out, "Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" The witch throws Rapunzel's hair out the window, and he
he climbs up the tower. When he reaches the top, he realizes that he's been tricked by the witch. The witch then lets go of the hair-rope, and the prince falls to the ground.
As a result of his fall, the prince becomes blind. He becomes a blind beggar and starts wandering all over the kingdom, looking for food. Meanwhile, Rapunzel is also wandering all over the kingdom, trying to find the prince. Eventually, the two of them meet up again, and they get married and move into her father's palace, and they live happily ever after. The end.
I always thought it was an interesting fairy tale, because the prince becomes blind. Usually, bad things like that don't happen to Prince Charming. If you're still sketchy on the details of the Rapunzel story, check out this old Sesame Street sketch with Kermit the Frog:
Tangled is the Rapunzel story, with a few changes. The Prince doesn't become blind, and he's not thrown off the tower. Instead, he gets lured in the tower, and then he gets stabbed by the wicked witch. Oh, and he's not a prince in this version; he's Flynn Rider, adventurer extraordinaire.
Flynn is a fun character. Have you seen The Road to El Dorado? He's basically the two main characters of that movie, morphed into one. He's a thief on the run from the law, but he's really laid-back and makes jokes all the time. He takes Rapunzel on a trip to the kingdom's castle at her request.
Rapunzel is a very sheltered character, because she's spent her whole life living in a tower. Actually, she kind of reminds me of Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter (another fairy tale character, this one from the Oz series). She doesn't know much about the outside world, and she's kind of scared and unsure about what she's doing. But she's also super-excited to be in a brand new place.
The wicked witch is less of a witch in this story. Instead, she pretends to be Rapunzel's mother, who is protecting her from the scary, outside world. They did a good job with this character, balancing out her "concerned mother" act with her true personality, that of the selfish villain.
Oh wait, I'm like two pages into the review, and I haven't said what I thought of the movie yet. The movie was great. Much better than the other hit movie right now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One. In fact, I heard that Tangled has made more money than Harry Potter, even though Harry's movie has been out longer. Well, Tangled completely deserves to do better in the box office, because it's a far superior movie.
I'm glad that Disney has started to turn things around. Disney has had tough luck with their animated movies in the past ten years or so, partly because the movies they made weren't very good, and partly because Pixar totally stole their limelight. Last year's movie, The Princess and the Frog, was their best movie in a long time.
I'm a little curious as to what Disney is going to do in the future. Their next movie, which comes out in March, is another Winnie the Pooh movie. Besides for that, they haven't really announced anything. Hmmm...