English 011
29 March 2013
Have you ever wondered what Disney films are really showing to children? In the article “Someday My Prince Will Come,” Marcia Lieberman explains the negative impact on children from classic Disney films. The negative messages Lieberman talks about are the girl always depends on the hero, the willingness to change themselves, and the idea that if you are beautiful you get through life easy. However, the Disney film Tangled defies this article. Tangled starts off the same as any other Disney film; a nice, strong, brave man saves the damsel in distress, but then it changes by not following the cliché, negative messages and sends out a positive message. Although Tangled and Cinderella have a similar plot, Tangled portrays a better gender message for young children because of the untraditional role reversal and the inspirational message.
The plot of Tangled is just like any other plot that Disney comes up with. Girl gets into some kind of trouble; handsome male comes to save her, and they live happily ever after. But, the difference with Tangled is that it starts off as a cliché, but drives away from the fairytale norm. In the movie, there’s a magical flower that everyone desires to have. The queen of the kingdom had a special baby girl named Rapunzel. She has had magical powers since birth. Her long blonde hair glows when she sings and has the ability to heal all wounds. However, things take a turn when Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel just to stay young. Rapunzel was locked in the tower and could never leave. Until one day Flynn Rider steals a crown from his partners and is forced to run towards the tower. Not knowing if anyone was there, he climbs up into the tower and meets Rapunzel for the first time. The two go out on a wild adventure that would make them closer than ever. During their journey they both learn to grow more into each other. Throughout the movie Tangled shows a reversal of roles that strays away from the traditional story of damsel in distress.
Classic Disney movies have a big part of gender roles, which are a set of behaviors that indicate, specifically the image projected by a person that identifies his or her femaleness or maleness. Stereotypical gender roles in Disney movies teach individual’s behavioral and associational patterns that illustrate appropriate behavior for each sex and provides a way to predict the outcome or fate according to sex. Rapunzel is a princess, who was kidnapped by Mother Gothel. She lived her entire life locked inside a hidden tower, but she is no damsel in distress. She is a girl with very long golden hair. She is a girl who fills her days with art, books, and imagination. Rapunzel’s true destiny lies outside of the lonely tower. She always obeyed Mother Gothel by keeping her magical hair hidden. Flynn Rider is a thief, who discovers Rapunzel in the tower. He is a tall and well-built with short, dark hair. He is an experienced thief; he skilled in escaping the authorities, hiding out, and stealing right from people’s noses. He later becomes the husband of Rapunzel.
Tangled is a much different movie compared to Cinderella even though they were made by the same company. Cinderella has a message of that a woman should be abused from most of her life until she is saved. The woman should be dependent on someone else instead of herself. In Cinderella she depends on her fairy godmother to save her at first, and then she depends on the prince to save her instead of working on her own to save herself. In Tangled Rapunzel is very independent and even is able to leave her tower. She rescues Flynn multiple times throughout the movie. She shows that women can easily be independent and even be the rescuer. Additionally, the focus on beauty sends another negative message to young girls. Beauty is associated with goodness, and ugliness is associated with evil. Rapunzel is beautiful and sweet. For example, she was able to help the men at the bar and think back and show emotion by asking them if they ever had a dream. She was not afraid of them; she acted very nice to them. On the