Thursday, January 8, 2015

Five Reasons You Need a Rapunzel In Your Life

During the past twenty-ish years of my life, I’ve watched a lot—if not all—of Disney animated films. I enjoyed them and could sing along to most of the songs, but I never had the same feeling others did about a specific one. I had friends that adored Aladdin or The Lion King and my sister loved Beauty and the Beast, but while I loved watching many of them, I never had a special one that I personally adored and would never tire of experiencing.

Until 2010 with the release of Tangled. By far, Tangled is my favorite Disney film if not my favorite animated film (with the exception of How To Train You Dragon 2). I’m not saying it’s the best, but it’s my personal favorite.

Beyond the gorgeous animation, the stunning songs, and the overall humor and excitement of the story, the characters, I think, fuel the story for me.

Rapunzel—the obvious main character—is one of a few fictional characters I can almost wholly relate to (minus the being trapped in the tower thing, and most people think she’s extroverted while I’m introverted). I find myself in her at every turn of the movie, even down to her green eyes and short brown hair (at the end of the film of course) and the fact that my boyfriend looks (and sometimes acts) uncannily like Flynn Rider.

Because of this special connection, I want to introduce a handful of reasons why it’s necessary for everybody—yes, that includes you—to have a  Rapunzel-like person in your life.

Reason #1: She’s talented.

In the beginning song, “When Will My Life Begin,” Rapunzel sings her way through the morning and lists all of the things she does to take up her time. From knitting to doing puzzles to pottery and ventriloquy, Rapunzel is one talented girl. Not only would having a friend like her around be helpful to do chores around the house with her whirlwind skills or help decorate with her painting skills, Rapunzel would be a grand person to have because she can bake you pies or sew you a dress or make you lots and lots of candles. Basically, you want someone like Rapunzel around for gift-giving time because she’ll bring the best food and also give the best gifts.

On the down side, her talents might make you feel a bit inadequate when she beats you in chess or a dart throwing contest.

Reason #2: She sees the best in people.

Overall, Rapunzel trusts that people are good. She trusts Flynn Rider immediately because he doesn’t have fangs. Even after she learns he’s a wanted fugitive, she still clings to him for guidance and trusts him with her secret (and her heart).

She trusts the pub crawlers not to harm her—even if they do scare her a teeny bit. She trusts Maximus upon meeting him, despite him chasing and fighting Flynn throughout their journey.

She even sees the best in Mother Gothel, despite the verbal abuse and the whole keeping-her-locked-away-in-the-tower thing. She trusted Mother Gothel for eighteen years before ever doubting her story was a lie.

And it is only after her eyes have been opened to treachery and the darker side of people (aka the Stabbington Brothers and the set-up betrayal of Flynn) that she realizes how different the world is.  But still, after all that, she still looks for the best in people. When she confronts Mother Gothel, she says “You were wrong about the world,” and in Mother Gothel’s last moments, Rapunzel reaches out to her before she tumbles out the tower window and dies. Rapunzel still showed a slight optimism that maybe there was good in Mother Gothel too.

Maximus proves Rapunzel’s claims that the world is different than “ruffians and thugs” by changing his mind about a thief. The pub crawlers—who originally were out to get Flynn—turn around and help him escape from prison. And last, Flynn proves Rapunzel’s claims of the good in people by his sacrifice.

Reason #3: She’s loyal.

Continuing with the optimistic side of Rapunzel, she’s loyal to what she cares about and what she believes in. For eighteen years, she’s loyal to Mother Gothel because it’s all she knows. She believes Mother Gothel loves her, so she obeys her and stays inside where it’s “safe.”

She’s loyal to Pascal—her only friend in the tower and makes sure he’s hidden out of the way so Mother Gothel doesn’t take him away. She also consults him for advice, trusting his wisdom.

When she meets Flynn, she immediately becomes loyal to him even when being chased by criminals, guards, and a crazy horse. She doesn’t fear he’s a horrendous criminal that will hurt her; she believes he’s good and she warns him of danger at every turn.
Rapunzel also is loyal to what she believes.

When Mother Gothel forbids her from leaving the tower to see the “floating lights,” she doesn’t give up on her dream. She chases after it. Later when Mother Gothel lies to her for the last time, she stands up for herself and for what she believes to be the truth after all these years. She trusts her gut and stands loyal to her dreams and beliefs.

Reason #4: She sees the world differently.

Now I wouldn’t recommend locking yourself or anybody else in a tower for eighteen years to accomplish this, but I can’t help but notice that Rapunzel views the world through a different set of eyes. Everything she encounters is new and exciting. She’s been dreaming from the tower window her whole life, so her first reaction upon touching grass and water is to lavish in it, to sing about, to be wonderstruck by the world.

She looks at the city of Corona with bright eyes and warm smiles. This helps boost the mood of the city. She drags people to dance or draw with chalk. She lifts the mood of the celebration and evokes smiles and laughter.

Being around a person like that certainly changes your view on the world and life. Just look at what happened to Flynn Rider; he fell head over heels in love with Rapunzel after spending about two days with. Imagine how much more he loves her by the time they got married!

Her perspective on the world is what makes her believe the good in people and to have strong loyalty. It gives her a unique outlook on the world and helps her believe in dreaming, which leads me to my final reason. 

Reason #5: She’s a dreamer.

This is probably the most important of all the reasons, as this fuels everything she is.

Rapunzel is a dreamer, which allows her to see the world differently and help others see the world differently. This opens up a person to consider their dreams and potential.

With one question—haven’t any of you ever had a dream?—she gets a pub full of thugs to burst into song about their various dreams. Not only is this a fantastic song sequence, but it shows the depth of every person, criminal or not. 

She also changes Flynn Rider through her dreaming. She helps him see that there is much more to life than gold and isolation on an island. Her own dreams shift the world around her.

Rapunzel herself learns through her dreaming—and Flynn—that he can accomplish her own dreams and also that it’s okay to set new dreams.

Rapunzel is an optimist with a big heart full of dreams. Flynn states at the end of the movie that she led the kingdom with “grace and wisdom” that no doubt came from her perspective of the world. She’s a dreamer and definitely someone worth having in your life.

If you don't have a Rapunzel in your life, find her and don't forget to live your dream.

Do you have a Rapunzel in your life? Or are you a Rapunzel for someone else?



  1. Huh, I never much liked Rapunzel -- bit too cheery for my taste -- but you made some wonderful points here. I suppose Rapunzel is a very nice person, and that positivity is great in life, but as a character, I wish she had more moral ambiguity, I guess? Thanks for sharing this insightful post!

    1. Ah, yes, I understand. I'm usually inclined to more morally ambiguous characters, but I can't help but adore Rapunzel.

      I'm glad you read through it and took the time to comment despite not being a huge fan of her. :) Thanks!!