Warning: This post will probably be really boring unless you watch a lot of Disney movies. Also, spoiler alert if you haven’t seen most of the big ones.
I like kid’s movies. I like fairy tales. So, since being home with bub, I’ve watched a lot of Disney movies. Which got me thinking about their version of Repunzel, Tangled.
It was designated their 50th animated motion feature (I say “designated” because they don’t appear to have counted all their animated films in this official list) and I’ve decided that it’s a “greatest hits”.
Sure, it follows the usual Disney post-renaissance formula — you know, you start with a yearning musical number about the hopes and dreams of the main character, then have the boy meet the girl. Difficulties are overcome, dreams are achieved, then finish with a wedding (which we don’t necessarily see but know happened). But that’s not what I mean.
Very specific moments from Disney classics seem played out, with visual similarities that are waaaay too blatant to be a coincidence.
The romantic musical number in the boat from The Little Mermaid? The one where the hero and heroine don’t quite manage to kiss?
The death in Snow White of the vain domineering false mother? Who has, by this point, transformed into a claw-fingered crone in a black hooded cape? Who falls to hear death from a great height?
Totally in it:
The near death in Beauty and the Beast of the hero, while the heroine kneels over his body, and the pair exchange a gut wrenching goodbye? Where a combination of love and magic regenerate him? And light shoots everywhere?
The heartfelt reunion in Sleeping Beauty of the princess with the parents she didn’t know she had, specifically by hugging her very similar-looking mother before her sumptuously dressed father steps in too?
There’s more, but you get the point.
As for Tangled‘s main characters, the rooftop-running, vest-wearing, streetwise thief and orphan Flynn Rider is so an Anglo-Saxon Aladdin, while Repunzel is an EveryDisneyPrincess — sweet, accomplished, prone to breaking into song, supernaturally good with animals and completely devoid of human friends (thereby leaving the way open for an all-consuming heterosexual relationship that will put an end to the yearning she expressed at the start of the film, no matter what it was for).
I actually really liked the film. But I can’t decide if it was an exercise in cleverness or cynicism.