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Tangeled

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Joseph Reyes February 3, 2016 rjoseph@andrews.edu English Composition II Tangled
When talking about Disney fairytales, what is the one thing that most people in America assume will happen in the movie? It would be that a “Prince Charming” will come and save the Princesses in whatever predicament that they are in. For instance, in the Disney Fairytale Snow White. She dies by an evil witch’s spell and the her “Prince Charming” comes and saves her with true love’s kiss. The trend of these movies has continued throughout the years, until a recent changed in one of their recent movies. In the Disney fairytale Tangled, it utilizes the same stereotypes where the main character, Rapunzel, has beauty, she can sing, she has an evil mother, she cleans up around the house, has an animal friend, and the list goes on. Yet the movie itself also pushes against the fairytale expectation. They say that most fairytales focus on the woman of the movie, and that the male figure is barely present. In Tangled, however, there is a focus on men who are much more developed then the typical Prince Charming character. While the roles of women have significantly changed in fairy tales since becoming popular, the roles of men have stayed the same. The heroes of these fairy tales appear to be rich and powerful but what they do lack is personality. For example, in the movie Snow White, the Prince comes out of thin air but he’s handsome, and rich, and his character hadn’t even been developed. The males tend to be royalty, handsome, and they are everything that a Princess ever dreams of. But yet, they seem to be very simple, lacking in any serious needs and barely having any emotions other than “love.” These heroes tend to fall in love, and they like to fall in love with these Princesses at first sight. Even when the Prince or hero’s actions may be questioned at times, and even at times controversial, they always seem to never be wrong. He gets his Princess and his happy ending, regardless of the plot of the movie. According to the fairy tales, the ideal man is one who is always right night even if what he is doing is questionable, he always has to win, but at the same time doesn’t show any intelligence and has no flaws. The whole dynamic of how fairy tales portray men has changed. There seems to be this masculine takeover that is taking place in Disney’s recent fairy tale movies. Take for instance the movie Tangled, we see how the movie shifts from the story of Rapunzel to more of the story of her “Prince Charming” Flynn. Flynn, has a more dominant part in this movie, in fact it seems like a lot of guys are really focused on more in this movie than Princess Rapunzel. What it is starting to look like is a masculinist makeover. The privilege of men in the story is clear from the first shot in Tangled, a close up of a wanted poster of the male character, Flynn, as he begins to narrate, “This is a very fun story and the truth is, it isn’t even mine.” The “fun” story involves the kidnapping and imprisonment of Rapunzel. Even though Flynn says that the story isn’t his, it eventually becomes about him and less about Rapunzel. In addition to Flynn, Rapunzel has an animal sidekick, a male chameleon named Pascal, he is Rapunzel’s closest friend. Even though he is a small chameleon he plays a huge part in Rapunzel’s life. He’s the confidante, coach and dare I say it her cheerleader. Pascal is the driving force behind Rapunzel having the courage to leave her lonely tower. She is constantly being surrounded by all these men and it is very uncharacteristic of Disney to allow a Princess to be surround by so many men characters. Once she escapes out of her tower and into the real world, she confronts a horse named Maxim, yet again another male character. When we first see Maximus, we see him as the Captain of the Guard’s horse, and attempting to capture Flynn. They portrayed Maximus as fearless, and would defy any danger, and go where no other guard dared to go just to capture whoever he was chasing, and in this case it was Flynn. As the story goes on Maximus meets Rapunzel his heart softens, and begins to see the world differently, and yet he stilled remained the same relentless and fearless horse he we first saw him. The influence that Rapunzel had on Maximus was also reciprocated in the sense that she became fearless, and relentless in her adventure. By having some type of male figure or presence in Rapunzel’s life seemed to be a benefit for her
Most of the time in Disney films the Princess encounters characters that are feminine, and they are surrounded by woman. Take the movie Sleeping Beauty, the Princess was surround by her fairy godmothers, who were woman, and for most of the movie they would just show the Princess being surrounded by woman. So for Rapunzel to be surround by all male characters there seems to be something Disney is changing to make it more appealing for their viewers. Additionally, Rapunzel’s father, the King, comes into the spotlight in a few scenes to show how much he and the queen miss their daughter. In the scenes, the king is portrayed as a massive, bearded figure, who dominates the scene. In these scenes it is shown that he’s been torn with sadness, and standing with was wife, who is shorter than him and is not really in the spotlight, but is just there to comfort and support her husband. Usually in fairy tales, the king is non-existent and if he is he usually doesn’t have a major role, or it is just implied that he is there. What tends to be popular in these films is that the Princess only has a mother or an evil stepmother. The women are shown to be more dominate in Disney films, and shows that the daughters don’t even know that their father exist. But with Tangled it put the King in the spotlight showed that he has emotions and cares for his daughter.

From this movie I can see that Disney is taking a turn for the better in their masculine takeover. The whole “Princess Culture” has brought on this stereotype that these films are focused on the female character and how important females are compared to men. In an article that Peggy Orenstein wrote she posed the question, “What was the first thing that culture told my daughter about being a girl? It wasn’t that she was competent, strong, creative, or smart, but that every little girl wants-or should want-to be the Fairest of them All.” All woman can be smart strong, and creative, it just that people allow their little girls to watch movies like this and it leaves a lasting impression that they can only be the damsel in destress. But there is an exception to this statement, and that exception is the movie Tangled has broken that Princess stereotype by allowing the movie to be more about Flynn and not about Rapunzel. As well as surrounding Rapunzel with a male supporting cast like Pascal and Maximus, as well as her father. This is a good thing in my opinion because growing up I associated all Disney films with just women, and didn’t even think about the male character but now that they started to develop the male character, it is making a change for the better, and allowing that male figure to have an influence on the female main character.

References
Tangled. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2011. DVD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0HFaG-5DSE "Funny Scenes from Tangled Movie." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.
Orenstein, Peggy. "Cinderella Ate My Daughter." NPR. NPR, 2011. Web. 07 Mar. 2016.…...

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