If you’ll forgive the tired old cliché, Tangled is a “coming of age story” for Rapunzel, Flynn, and even (in a weird way, a “coming of old age” ) for Rapunzel’s evil, passive-aggressive step mother (who continues the long tradition of evil stepmothers in Disney Movies.).
What’s totally great about Rapunzel is that she is a normal looking girl. This is huge for a Disney movie. They have deviated from whatever mathematical formula that they have applied to prior princesses that make their faces flawless and perfectly symmetrical and give them bodies that are anatomically impossible. You know, like Barbie.
What’s also great about Rapunzel is that she saves herself from Flynn (the would-be hero), when he breaks into her, um… house, and without giving too much more away, she repeatedly saves herself in other situations thereafter. Flynn doesn’t save her; she saves him.
The horse Maximus and Flynn have a comical, sibling-type relationship going on throughout the movie which was so much fun to watch that it elicited a few disapproving “Mom! You sure laugh loud!”‘s from my tween.
This movie also brought to mind a few other clichés: “If you love something, set it free,” embodied by Rapunzel. “If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it,” embodied by the evil stepmother.
The lights that are launched annually recall the tune “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”, which is reflective of Rapunzel’s optimism in spite of the deck being completely stacked against her…and I mean: Completely. Stacked. Against. Her.
Then there’s the frying pan, which is perhaps a nod to the woman who can “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan”. At one point, Flynn asks: “A frying pan! Who knew?” A woman knew, that’s who!
Don’t get me wrong; all of these cliches are comforting, familiar. They help to make the movie accessible, and overall, EXCELLENT. Bring your kids and go see it (but try not to embarrass them by laughing “too loud” at Maximus and Flynn). 🙂