When I watched Tangled I thought it was a Tragedy. It was a bit discouraging, I thought it would be funny the humour with the witch in the trailer but when I watched it, it was all black and white. Playing to people's desires to have something clear cut.

It begins with a story about an old woman: witch, traditionally witches are cast as evil people. She is alone in the woods, she has never hurt anyone just kept to herself. She is getting ready to die. At some point she witnesses the birth of a flower or she finds this flower which when you 'sing' to it gives you life. Most people today are afraid to die, she found this treasure and many of us can attest that if we found a rare treasure we would probably keep it secret for fear of what others would do to it: Steal it, destroy it, burn it. So she kept this flower safe and used it to keep herself young. It's implied she lived a long time.

One day the Queen fell ill while pregnant. They had heard rumours that there was this flower that could make their Queen live. So they all went on this hunt for the flower and found it. They chopped the flower from it's roots and threw it into a soup to which they fed to the Queen. The Queen lived and gave birth to a daughter with glowing blonde hair (which was really the flower, her real hair is black like her parents).

The Witch learned of this and sneaks in. She doesn't want the child, she just wants a piece of the hair, a piece of the flower that they stole and destroyed. So she cuts a piece of the hair and it turns black. She's devestated and realizes that she 'has' to take the child since the flower is now in her hair.

So she raises the child, she gives the child lots of what I saw as love. Brushing her hair, talking sweetly to her, telling her how much she loves her, and sometimes teasing her but quickly rebuffing it to say you know you're confident and beautiful too. She never not once derives her or puts her down. She isolates her saying the outside world is a dangerous place. And I am sure there are a lot of people who want to make sure their child is safe and do feel the outside world is dangerous. The Play, Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters showed that side of the coin wonderfully. But in this case they added a 'selfish' reason for wanting her inside.

At some point a bunch of thieves come in to steal the Tiara from the castle. He ends up going into Rapunzel's tower for refuge and he hides there with her and they end up going on this journey back to the castle to return the Tiara. When Gothel (the witch) returns the tiara is in the tower, so she goes to find Rapunzel. On their journey the two fall in love, and when the witch finds them Rapunzel doesn't want to return home. The witch gives her the tiara and says in a nutshell he'll leave you once he has this.

Long story short Rapunzel connects the dots once she willingly returns to her tower, that she is the lost princess and hates the Witch now for her 'deception' and even attacks her mother. The witch is surprised at the assault and she says something to me that was very heartbreaking. "You want me to be the bad guy?" it was as if she was saying, that's what you want a black and white picture, you want a bad guy story not someone who has loved you and cared for you all these years.

So she chains her up at this point turning into the 'bad guy' that all the viewers want to see, the 'real witch'. And at some point she begs the witch to let her heal her lover who is wounded and dying and promises to stay with her forever. The witch lets her heal the man and he 'cuts' off all her hair, her hair turns it's natural black and the power of the flower is gone. The witch's entire body turns old she stumbles backward dying and then falls from the window. Rapunzel briefly reaches for her but doesn't do much to save her, and the woman falls from the tower and dies.

Rapunzel quickly forgets about her mother, nurses her future husband, returns to her biological family 'Rich Rulers of the land' and they live as typical disney movies go: Happily Ever After.

You know a friend mentioned to me...wait, all you do is sing to the flower and it gives you life? Why didn't they just 'ask' her instead of chopping it up/destroying the flower and putting it into the soup? In fact this is how the entire story COULD have ended:

The Queen is pregnant and dying, they heard of this tale of the flower that can make you live forever probably also linked to the witch. So they know or they are just ignorant of who 'guards' the flower or who has 'claimed' the flower as their own. Instead of destroying the flower to allow the Queen live they could have simply 'asked' the Witch can you use your flower to heal our Queen? Offered her a payment which probably wouldn't have been the child to begin with. The Witch could have done that instead however others would have flocked to her and it.

A greater story could have been that the Witch was isolated and lived alone because society had treated her poorly. And She gets to know the Queen and learns to like her and then desires to heal her.

Another way they could have done this is having the witch explain that they had stolen her flower before stealing the child in return who 'has' the flower in her hair. That too would have been perfect.

More realistically the Witch should have left the kingdom entirely so that Rapunzel could have roamed freely and enjoyed life outside the trapped tower, and the Witch wasn't so 'over protective of her flower/her child'.

The fact that so many people loved this movie made me sad that so few people saw the real Tragedy in this story. That it is through our ignorance that we create turmoil for each other that doesn't need to be. An even better ending? That could have easily kept the story and been an 'Happily Ever After'.

If the witch told the Princess, I have lived long enough and now it is your turn to live. The sacrifice a mother gives to her child. And maybe even cutting the Princesses hair herself as a way of freeing the girl. A message to mothers to let their child go and experience the world and their life instead of holding them back and a message to children that they don't need to 'kill their mothers' or 'violently' turn from their Mothers to be free. That to me would have been just as beautiful than the chilling scene of the dying/aging woman falling from the tower's window and dying.

Many people look at the woman and think she was selfish for wanting to live. But the Queen wanted to live...it was her life for another life. Nobody really had to die in this story and yet...we made it so.

nov 29 2010 ∞
nov 29 2010 +