Tangled Parent Guide
As the charming Rapunzel faces up to her fears of the unknown and follows her dreams, this plucky princess proves herself to be an enchanting addition to the long list of Disney royalty.
Parent Movie Review
In 1937, Walt Disney’s production company introduced its version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the studio’s first full-length animated film. The characters included a beautiful girl, an evil antagonist, a handsome prince and some cute little animal friends. The formula worked then and through the years that followed. Now in Tangled, Disney’s 50th animated movie, filmmakers are sticking with the tried and true premise as they tell the story of the golden-haired Rapunzel.
In keeping with modern times, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) is spunkier than the demure Snow White. Wielding her long locks as skillfully as Indiana Jones brandishes his bullwhip, the young girl, who has been confined to a tower ever since she can remember, entertains herself during the long lonely hours that her mother is away.
Unbeknownst to her, Mother Gothel (voiced by Donna Murphy) is not her mom but an evil enchantress. The wicked captor kidnapped the royal infant when she discovered the child’s fair hair had magical powers that enabled her to retain her youth. Refusing to tell the girl about her real parents, Mother Gothel verbally abuses Rapunzel. She also scares her into staying inside by rehearsing all the dangers and ills that exist outside the isolated brick tower.
However, as her eighteenth birthday nears, the inquisitive teen grows increasingly curious about the world, especially the beautiful lights that appear in the sky every year on her birth date. Finally a chance to escape her confinement comes when a common thief (voiced by Zachary Levi) scales the tower and climbs through the open window. Flynn Ryder (i.e. the handsome prince for the sake of this story) is a misguided orphan trying to make a name for himself by stealing the royal jewels with the help of the Stabbington Brothers (voiced by Ron Perlman). But after bamboozling his cohorts, Flynn makes off with the stolen crown and heads for a hiding spot away from the two muscular thugs and the King’s soldiers.
Unfortunately, once inside the tower, Flynn is hit in the face with the flat side of a frying pan. (This culinary object becomes the weapon of choice for several characters in this story.) Although it is played as slapstick, the nervous young girl repeatedly whams the intruder over the head and shoves him into a closet to hide him from her mother. Only later does she realize he may be her ticket to the outside world. Summoning her courage, Rapunzel convinces Flynn to take her to see the lights in exchange for the crown she has hidden. But Mother Gothel isn’t happy once she discovers her little charge has bolted. With the help of the jilted jewel thieves, she sets out to find Rapunzel and her reluctant guide.
Added to the well known story is an engaging group of hoodlums who hang out at the local bar, a friendly chameleon and a dedicated cavalry horse that tracks Flynn with bloodhound skills. Though many of these characters experience moments of peril, more serious depictions of danger include one character that receives a bloody, life threatening injury and another who falls from a window, resulting in death.
Yet while Tangled rehashes the same storyline we’ve seen before, this proverbial plot demonstrates why it has staying power. It is like a familiar and comforting bedtime story asked for over and over again. And as the charming Rapunzel faces up to her fears of the unknown and follows her dreams, this plucky princess with the flaxen hair proves herself to be an enchanting addition to the long list of Disney royalty.Directed by Nathan Greno, Byron Howard. Starring Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release November 24, 2010. Updated April 20, 2020
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Rating & Content Info
Why is Tangled rated PG? Tangled is rated PG by the MPAA for brief mild violence.
Violence: Characters are chased, shot at with arrows or threatened with knives. Some engage in hand-to-hand combat. A young girl is kidnapped, verbally abused and kept locked inside a tower. Slapstick depictions include several characters being hit with a frying pan, some of them repeatedly. Others are wounded with swords or knives and one dies. A woman is tripped and falls out of a window to her death. Characters steal and lie. A man is tied up on several occasions.
Sexual Content: Brief kissing and embracing is depicted. A woman is shown during childbirth. An old man representing Cupid is seen wearing only a diaper.
Language: The script includes repeated depictions of name-calling and cruel comments from an adult to a child.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are shown with drinks in a bar setting.
Other: Parents mourn the disappearance of their kidnapped child.
Page last updated April 20, 2020
Tangled Parents' Guide
When Maximus the cavalry horse and Flynn finally meet, they get along as well as a couple of tired kids in the backseat of a car on a long road trip. What other human characteristics do the animals in this story have?
Flynn wants to emulate the swashbuckling characters he reads about in the orphanage. How well is he doing? Are there other literary figures that might be more worthy of imitating? Does Flynn experience any consequences for his actions? Does he ever show remorse?
Who has a dream in this story? What do they do to make their wishes come true? What ambitions do you have for the future? What will it take to achieve them?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Rapunzel’s tale has been frequently retold from numerous perspectives. For a traditional, beautifully illustrated version, try Paul O Zelinsky’s Renaissance-inspired picture book of the same name. Trina Schart Hyman also turns her lush fantasy illustrations on a version of Rapunzel adapted by Barbara Rogasky.
Young readers will also enjoy Rapunzel by Chloe Perkins and Archana Sreenivasan. Available as a board book, this tells the story in a vibrantly colored Indian setting.
Shannon and Dean Hale move the story to the Wild West and make Rapunzel’s Revenge a rollicking graphic novel.
Also written by Shannon Hale is Book of a Thousand Days, which tells the story of Dashti the maid, who is locked up in a tower with her mistress when Lady Saren refuses to marry a man she fears. Set in an imaginary land which resembles Mongolia, this is a richly rendered story with unforgettable characters.
Teen readers looking for a clean romance with a Christian perspective can try Melanie Dickerson’s The Golden Braid. Those seeking for a darker, more psychologically complex perspective on Rapunzel, her lovelorn suitor, and her tormented mother will enjoy Donna Jo Napoli’s Zel.