I’ve been going through my long pile of notes stored on my mobile device today and I found this piece from July 2011. I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts and the Classic Disney movies Tangled reminded me of long before Frozen hit the big screen.
“ Thoughts on Disney’s Tangled
Was the lantern scene inspired by a specific town, like Ping-Shi, Tawain?
One of the best things about this movie is its usage, not only of special effects and heart-pounding action, but the nuances of emotion in each character. Perhaps the strongest characters in the movie only have four appearances and never say a word. And yet, through their laughter, their tears, and the meaningful looks and touches between them, they are portrayed as kind and caring monarchs and worthy parents for the star. By continuing the lantern tradition for eighteen years, it shows how the king and queen value their subjects, for they ignored their own pain the festival awakened each year for their lost daughter. And the willingness with which they accept Eugene into their family, again with just a simple gesture, they are shown as the perfect family, not just for Rapunzel, but for Eugene as well.
The other part I love about this movie is all the references to previous movies. The scene with Max and Eugene skiing down a rooftop is just like Quasimodo’ and Esmeralda’s nighttime escape from the cathedral in "Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Rapunzel and Quasi also share similar character traits, from being locked up by a cold-hearted master not wanting to share them with the world (for various reasons of course), yearning for freedom without begrudging their forced lifestyles. They also both have huge eyes and talk to themselves and things that normally shouldn’t be able to talk back.
Maximus reminds me of Buck, the action-oriented horse from “Home on the Range” and also Dreamworks’ “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” many times throughout the movie. Pascal reminds me of Flit from “Pocahontas” in his protectiveness of Rapunzel and devotion, plus his willingness to respect others. They also share a long tongue. Pascal also is similar to Pip from “Enchanted” in his intelligence and funny ways of getting his message across.
There are plenty of other similarities to “Pocahontas” with the forbidden love and the beauty of the land and the long hair. And “Enchanted” has a blonde heroine with a dark, reluctant hero, and similar possessive matriarchs/villainesses. Gothel could be compared to any number of villains, though she stands out as being one of the most clever and motherly of the bunch. She comes across as a complex person: vain, yet willing to get her hands dirty; cold, yet seemingly genuine in her jaded affection; inflexible, yet adapting to situations with ease and also accepting Rapunzel’s hobbies.
Of course, the healing scene is very reminiscent of “Beauty and the Beast” with the glowing transformation, conveniently right when the audience begins to lose hope. There are also plenty of similarities to “Aladdin” with both of the main characters and some nice moments with the village children. Flynn and Aladdin are kind-hearted thieves with an eye for pretty ladies, with both a stigma, a villain, and physical obstacles to overcome. They are good at thinking on their feet and performing difficult maneuvers. And, more so than many princes and other Disney heroes, they are vulnerable and approachable.
There are also similarities to “Chronicles of Narnia” and “Little Mermaid” with the castle and sea themes, and the use of both setting, natural elements, and animals to drive the main characters close together.
Plus, the scene with baby Rapunzel and her parents at the beginning? Check out “Tarzan.” Very similar both with the parents and Tarzan and Rapunzel. Tarzan and Rapunzel have faint memories of their parents that help them put the pieces together once they grasp a small part of their past. Oh, and Flynn shares a few maneuvers with Tarzan: sliding down the water trough like Tarzan slides down tree limbs, and vine swinging. Rapunzel shares these moves as well.
All in all, a movie based on a classic fairytale, with a distinctive Disney flavor and a few twists along the way. Action, adventure, love, family, new friends, cleave animals, beautiful music, realistic special effects, humor, and special moments that will bring a smile, even after watching it half a dozen times. “