I've read many times that Disney doesn't teach children the right lessons; it makes children believe everything turns out perfectly and it's unrealistic and the messages encourage ignorant naivety and dah de dah de dah. In my "What Disney's Taught Me" series, I am going to explore the many fabulous things and desirable morals that Disney creates, whether that be through the "naïve" aspects or not. Today, I will be discussing what Tangled has taught me.
Initially, Tangled is seen to highlight Rapunzel's sadness and seemingly helplessness towards her routine that her heart despises and believes is lacklustre. In the song When Will My Life Begin, it is presenting possibilities. It's encouraging us all to aim high so we don't have to wonder what's beyond our comfort, but instead reach for our ambition burning brightly in the sky. It's not higher than what you believe you can reach, Rapunzel. It looks like I've started my argument off weakly as surely, it's presenting dreams that are too big to be accomplishable when they're not... right? Wrong. Rapunzel's dream is one that many take for granted: going outside. She wants to leave her tower, go "out there" and see a pretty sight: the glowing visions dotting the sky. It's a simple dream. Therefore, whether your dream be extravagant or simple, you can escape those things holding you back.
In turn, Disney teaches that mothers don't always know best. Although, I don't think Tangled is expressing that of "go against your mother kids", it's more of a "be wary of the evil" - but not necessarily your mothers!
Everyone is different and from this, people can have supposedly unexpected dreams and Tangled encapsulates this in the best way. The "malicious, mean and scary" man has a big dream with the others wanting other "unexpected" things. Tangled promotes the reality that people aren't what you think and they should be accepted either way. It's not naivety, it's reality.
Rapunzel is shown to be an incredibly awesome and brave girl, conjuring plans to save her and Flynn a fair few times, as well as, first of all, being brave enough to leave her tower, her comfort. Disney shows that it's okay to be strong and vulnerable. Flynn Rider allows himself to open up to Rapunzel, announcing that he is actually Eugene Fitzherbert. In turn, Rapunzel tells the secret of her magic, glowing hair. Thus representing that vulnerability can build the best relationships with people.
Finally, you may call it naivety, but I call it a beautiful, refreshing attitude. Disney, in Tangled teaches us to not give up. Max, Flynn's companion saves him, proving that friendship is vital and also, after all, Rapunzel's parents didn't give up; they knew that one day, their "lost princess" would return and that she did.
I've been super excited about this series of mine! I thought of it many months ago but was too fearful to start it but now I have, I can't wait to write the next one! Being a huge fan of Disney, I really wanted to incorporate that into my blog as well as challenging the idea that Disney doesn't teach kids good lessons and sets them up to be naïve for life. There is so much positivity that is depicted from Disney and is, deservedly so.
Lanterns & Boat Rides,
The Girl in the Moonlight.
My lyrics based on Rapunzel and I.