Earlier today I said that there are several movies that can affect the way you think. Well, I also mentioned Tangled, Disney’s adaptation of the story of Rapunzel. As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan at all of it, and I’ll let you know why in just a minute. First, I thought I’d tell you what I do like about it. Trust me, it shouldn’t take long.
First off, I like the characters. Not that I like what they do or how they act, but I like it from a storytelling viewpoint. You really see the characters changing in the story. This is especially true of the two main characters Eugene and Rapunzel. At first Eugene is an arrogant guy who steals from others without an inkling of shame about it. As he gets to know Rapunzel, and sees that she cares about him for who he is and not how much stuff he has, he beings to see that acquiring stuff is not what life is all about. He finally has friends in Rapunzel and Maximus, the horse, and they are worth more to him than riches, which is shown when Eugene gives the crown to the two bad guys he had been working with before he met Rapunzel. The storytellers worked little hints into the dialog to show Eugene’s change, like how at first he calls Rapunzel “Blondie” or “Goldie”, but towards the end he calls her by her given name. His final act of selflessness was sacrificing himself, knowing he was going to die, in order to save Rapunzel from a life of servitude.
Rapunzel also experiences a character change. At first she is a trusting, innocent girl who was ignorant of how things really were. As she sees guys who are technically thugs and are actually sweet hearts, a thief who is charming, and experiences all the wonderful things being with other humans brings, she starts becoming torn. Actually, she is torn even before she leaves the tower, but it comes to a peak when Mother Gothel finds Rapunzel and tells her that Eugene will just run off and leave her when she gives him the crown. At the end of the movie, she is a little wiser of the world, but she has retained her sweet, self-sacrificing nature, which I think rubbed off on Eugene a little bit.
Now, for the rest. First off, from a Christian standpoint, the whole story is one of a rebellious teenager who is walking around unchaperoned with a guy, which is glorified into a good thing, for how could you expect her to stay with the evil woman who had kidnapped her as a baby only because of the magical properties of her golden hair? Besides, the guy is kinda cute.
First off, Rapunzel didn’t know that Mother Gothel wasn’t her mother. In Rapunzel’s eyes, up until she is in her room after coming back and sees suns everywhere, Mother Gothel is her mother, and God commands us to obey our and parents. If we glorify challenging our parent figure’s commands, than that is what we’ll get. Eventually, that will lead to deliberate disobedience of the God who ordered us to obey our parents. It doesn’t matter that Mother Gothel wasn’t her real mother. Are you saying that all adopted children or fostered children can just disobey their adoptive or foster parents because they weren’t born to them? No, you wouldn’t, so why are you saying that Rapunzel should be praised and rewarded for disobeying Mother Gothel?
Mother Gothel was not commanding Rapunzel to anything wrong. In fact, Rapunzel was an excellent housekeeper, partly because she had nothing better to do, but she knew how to run a home. I think that is actually something that is looked down on in the movie, especially when Rapunzel is singing “When will my life begin?”. This gives you the impression that sweeping, baking, reading, painting, sewing, and various other homely things are not worthwhile, for they are not a part of life. What does that tell women who seek to be keepers at home and homemakers? That their life isn’t a life at all? That it isn’t until they leave the home under another man’s direction than their God-given authority and follow their dreams that have no lasting purpose and learn all there is to know of this sinful world that their life will begin? God forbid! Do we really want our impressionable girls to have this mindset as they are growing up and learning skills in the home?
Eugene, for all his great character development, is a terrible example as well. I mean, he is portrayed as this dashing young man who knows a thing or two about the world and can guide the innocent girl safely through many dangers, albeit he does lead her into quite a few of them himself, and saves her at the end. I mean, he doesn’t even really die at the end! I am still mad at the writers about that.
In reality, he is a lying thief who is taking advantage of a girl’s innocence to get what he wants, and learns a little bit about how valuable others are in the process. I mean, even at the end, he is still a thief, stealing Rapunzel’s crown off her head, which was, I admit, done in fun, and kissing her before he marries her. The first time I watched it, I thought they had gotten married and was fine with the kiss at the very end, but later I learned they were not, and I was mad at them again. I always hate it when they kiss before they get married. Before they even get engaged. It’s like the kiss is the engagement. It makes me, who has promised her dad not to kiss anyone that way until my wedding day, confused as to what a real romance is like before marriage.
What is sad is that Eugene is my favorite character in the whole film. Really sad. The horse is a close second, and then the piano playing thug. The king and queen are really bad searchers in my opinion, and the guards are nincompoops. They always are.
So, what is my rating of the movie Tangled? Well, I’d probably give it a 2. And all of that is the graphics and characters development. I would not let your child watch this unless you were sitting right with them and telling them every two seconds, “That’s not true.” or “Don’t do that.”
What movies do you either love or despise because of the lessons taught in them? I would love to hear them in the comments section.
God bless you and keep your hearts pure and true to Him in this sin infested world.