Screenplay by Dan Fogelman
Based upon the fairy tale “Rapunzel” by the Brothers Grimm
Starring Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, and Donna Murphy
Released by Walt Disney Pictures, 2010
Running time: 100 minutes
Rated PG for brief mild violence
“When will my life begin?,” wonders Rapunzel, the heroine of Disney’s Tangled, an animated adaptation based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. She has spent the eighteen years of her life hidden away in a tower with no company except her mother and pet chameleon. She tries to make the most of her long, dull days, doing chores, baking, painting, knitting, reading, and brushing her long, magic hair. But none of the repetitive activities available to her in the tower are enough to make her feel alive. She longs to discover what the world is like outside and to go see the lights that appear in the sky every year on her birthday.
No chains or locked doors prevent Rapunzel from leaving. Mother Gothel, the film’s antagonist, stole Rapunzel as a baby and raised her as her own in order to use the girl’s hair to keep herself young and beautiful. To ensure that Rapunzel is obedient and cooperative, Gothel psychologically manipulates her. She undercuts Rapunzel’s values and sense of self with malicious humor. She constantly insults her, then hides behind excuses, such as: “I’m just teasing. Stop taking everything so seriously.” She also scares the girl with exaggerated descriptions of the dangers she would encounter outside, including quicksand, plagues, cannibals, ruffians, and thugs—dangers that Gothel claims Rapunzel is too weak, naive, immature, and clumsy to survive. Under this guise of care and concern, she aims to destroy Rapunzel’s self-esteem, induce guilt, and keep her in the tower. . . .