Tangled Up in Blonde

Tangled – I still can’t get used to the computer animation when it comes to people. They come across looking like plastic toys. Attractive and expressive plastic toys in this particular case, but somewhat plastic all the same. That said, I did like the movie. Rapunzel and Mother Gothel, the former naive but competent and the latter nasty while pretending to be overprotective, were well-presented characters. (By the way, I recently read in The Annotated Brothers Grimm that “Mother Gothel” is really just a generic German term for a godmother; I guess it became the witch’s name in English due to a translator somewhere along the line not realizing that.) The multiple uses to which Rapunzel put her hair reminded me of Baron Belfaygor and his magic beard from Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, but I guess just about anything can make me think of Oz. I find it kind of odd that, what with all the hullabaloo about Disney wanting to focus more on a male character, Flynn Rider just came off as the typical cocky rogue with a heart of gold that we’ve seen many times before. He was all right, but I don’t know that I’d count him as a strong male presence in the film. Incidentally, while Disney has never been known for sticking to the original versions of stories, I thought it was kind of funny that, while versions of the story like the one in the Grimms’ collection make Rapunzel a commoner who falls in love with a prince, the movie essentially reversed this. Granted, Rapunzel didn’t know she was a princess until the end, but still. As far as the obligatory animal companions go, Pascal the chameleon really seemed like more of an accessory than a character in his own right, but I did get to like Maximus the horse, as bizarre as his character really was. If you haven’t seen this yet (which you probably have), it’s definitely worth watching.

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10 Responses to Tangled Up in Blonde

  1. You should read (since it will take no time) the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge, by three different people with the last name Hale (only two of whom are related). It’s one of the places Disney got some of their adaption ideas (much like if you read Robin McKinley’s Beauty you see that Disney pulled a lot of THAT one for their Beauty and the Beast, too. Not direct adaptations, but the adaptations influenced THEIR adaptations in obvious ways).

    • Nathan says:

      Or like how heavily Disney’s Aladdin was influenced by the 1940 Thief of Bagdad?

      I’ll be sure to check that out when I get the chance. Thanks!

      • Ozaline says:

        I loved it! And I loved the subversions, I’m pretty sure though I could tell where the script was doctored to give Flynn more presence… that last bit about her asking him being a joke felt tacked on… I bet in the original script she really did ask him, for example.

        Anyway I too thought it’s possible there’s a connection to Rapunzelle’s revenge… but then Disney always draws a bit from outside sources.

        Kimba for Lion King.

        American McGee’s Alice and the Looking Glass War for Alice and so on.

      • Nathan says:

        Since Rapunzel is a princess and Flynn a former criminal, you’d think it would be more appropriate for propose to him.

    • vilajunkie says:

      I’ll have to find the link again, but I was looking for fairytales from Spain online once, and I found one where the protagonist was very similar to Belle–peasant girl who loved reading novels/fantasies that saved an enchanted beast-prince from his transformation and/or death, except the prince married a true princess and she ended up with the prince’s brother or some other rich and handsome hero. I have no idea how authentic the tale is though, since I didn’t see any sources.

  2. vilajunkie says:

    I haven’t seen Tangled yet (no one willing to go with me and I’d feel odd going alone to a movie where most of the audience is under 18 and/or female, due to the possible accusation of being a sexual predator). However, I have followed the regular updates leading up to the opening night and changes to the theme parks to accommodate and promote the movie. In one of the previews of the final conceptual designs, I learned that the “magical flower” used as a plot device isn’t actually a generic or totally fictional flower. The shape (as in number of petals, size and appearance of each petal, basically any physiological, external aspect of the plant except color and scent) comes from one Eurasian species of Campanula, while the color of the petals comes from another Eurasian species of the same genus. Why Campanula species for the final design? The genus is commonly categorized as the “rampion” group, which of course is translated in German as “Rapunzel”.

    • Nathan says:

      That’s pretty cool about the magic flower being from the rampion group. As for the audience concern, maybe you could find a showtime when no one else would be there? While school is still in session, perhaps?

      • vilajunkie says:

        Maybe I could do that. I’ll probably just wait till it comes out on DVD, since it’s not playing in my area anymore.

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