Rapunzel is a classic Grimm fairytale that is about a little girl that was given up by her parents in desperation and grew up in near isolation. In 2010, Disney Animation Studios, released Tangled, which was intended to be a retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s Rapunzel. Even though these 2 sources of entertainment have some similarities, they are different stories with the same character.
In both Rapunzel and Tangled, a mystical creature, named Mother Gothel, took Rapunzel when she was a baby. The timing was similar but not the same: In Rapunzel, she was taken by the consequences of a deal and in Tangled, she was kidnapped. But the long golden hair is important in both, but for different reasons: In Rapunzel, it was used as a ladder / pulley to get to gain access to the tower in Tangled, it was also used as a ladder / pulley, but it was also used to keep the witch / adoptive mother physically young and seemingly immortal. The story takes place at important ages in a woman’s life: 12, the average age for a woman’s first period, and 18, the age of adulthood in Rapunzel.
In both stories, Rapunzel disobeyed her adoptive mother by spending time with a man. In Rapunzel, she let a man up into her tower and later had hanky – panky, which was implied when Rapunzel told the only mother she knew that her clothes were too tight. In Tangled, after Flynn Rider enters the tower by climbing it, he and Rapunzel escaped the tower together. After both of these betrayals, Mother Gothel was very upset. Also, near the very end of the fairytale, Rapunzel shed a tear that had healing effects for the man in the story: In Rapunzel, she shed a tear that hit the prince in his blind eyes and he magically regained his eyesight and in Tangled, she shed a tear on a seemingly dead Flynn Rider and he came back to life.
Other than the differences in similarities between the stories, the major difference is the storyline. Disney appropriated the living daylights out of Tangled, so there are to many differences to pick from, but a few I can think of. First, they made Rapunzel a princess, to go along with all of the other Disney “Grimm” Princesses. Second, why did the witch want to be immortal? Just to get Rapunzel? That could have been done better … Maybe use the original Rapunzel lettuce idea? The king and queen are later seen in the movie, so an introduction would make more sense. Third, the disobedience from Rapunzel was taken to the extreme in Tangled when she broke out of the tower, and had a mental break when she initially disobeyed her mother. But Rapunzel didn’t get pregnant in Tangled …
I loved the movie, Tangled, but because of the purely Disney created love story, not because of its lacking similarities to the Grimm Brothers Rapunzel.
This is Rapunzel letting her long golden hair down to allow someone entrance into her tower.